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Title:Visual Impairment and Computer Displays: The Effects of Foreground and Background Color on Oral Reading Speed
Author(s):Simmers, Michael John
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Dennis, J. Richard
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Special
Education, Secondary
Computer Science
Abstract:Nine female and 6 male visually impaired junior and senior high school students with a mean age of 14.75 years were individually tested using a microcomputer with a color monitor. The research questions were: (a) What is the relationship between the pairs of foreground and background screen colors and each of the dependent variables (oral reading rate, comfort rating, and brightness-contrast adjustment) for partially sighted junior and senior high school students reading CRT displayed text? (b) Is there a difference between the results obtained for the dependent variables across the pairs of foreground and background screen colors? The independent variable had six conditions: white, green, or yellow text against black and black text against white, green, or yellow. A multi-element baseline repeated measures design was employed.
Fourteen practice and 42 test passages were randomly displayed without replacement over eight sessions. The condition used with each passage was determined by the item's position in a Latin square generated for each subject. Prior to the display of a passage, the subjects could adjust the brightness and contrast of the screen. The subjects rated the comfort of the condition used with each passage on a Likert-type scale. The brightness-contrast levels, comfort ratings and oral reading rates were recorded.
ANOVAs were calculated for each dependent variable. Significant results were obtained for brightness-contrast only. This suggests that brightness-contrast is the most crucial factor for effective CRT use by visually handicapped students. The results for brightness-contrast differed from those obtained for oral reading rate and comfort rating. The results for oral reading rate and comfort rating were parallel. Foreground and background color appear to have little influence on oral reading rate or perceived comfort of display colors. However, a visual inspection of the data revealed a strong tendency for CRT reading tasks to be performed better with light background displays, but for dark background ones to be preferred. Software and hardware developers need to use color displays which provide maximum perceived contrast and incorporate ways for the user to select colors which meet his/her personal needs.
Issue Date:1988
Description:126 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8908846
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1988

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