Sunday, April 26, 2015

Vision Therapy Reader - A free vision therapy reading appliction

A few years ago, when I was learning computer programming, I practiced my skills by creating a text reader application. I wanted to make an electronic version of a bar reader. A bar reader is a vision therapy tool that forces you to use your eyes together when reading. You can see an example of a bar reader on this lovely vision therapy blog here.

I never got around to releasing my application because I was being a perfectionist and I never felt like it was quite done. It was never quite perfect. But now I've decided to release it, in case it can help someone. It certainly can't help anyone just sitting on my computer.

When I wrote this program, I didn't know anything about web programming. So it's not a web app; you can't play it in your browser. You have to download it. I'd like to eventually make it a web app, but until then...

 How to install and open Vision Therapy Reader
  1. Install Python
    • Vision Therapy Reader is written in Python (a computer programming language). To use it, you must have Python installed on your computer.
    •  There are two version of Python: Python 2 and Python 3. Choose whichever version you like - it doesn't matter for my program.
    • Python is available for many operating systems - Windows, Mac, etc... Theoretically, my program should work on Mac. But I've only been able to test it on Windows so far.
    • Download Python
  2. Download Vision Therapy Reader
  3. Unzip the file
  4. If you installed Python 2, open the python2 folder. If you installed Python 3, open the python3 folder.
  5. Click on
How to use Vision Therapy Reader
You need red/green or red/blue vision therapy glasses.

You need some text. You can paste your own text in, or load a text file (.txt). Both options are located in the FILE menu.

Pasting text
You also need to calibrate the application colors to your specific monitor and glasses. In the COLORS menu, click CALIBRATE COLORS.

Calibrating the colors

There are two palettes available - red/blue and purple/teal. BOTH work with red/green or red/blue glasses. Try both and see which works best for you.
Now that you're all set up, you can play around with the options.
 Bar reader
You can use the bar reader.
You can change the palette between red/blue and purple/teal.
You can change the width and spacing of the bars. You can make fat bars, thin bars, far bars, close bars, whatever your heart (or eyes) desire. You can also play with the font.
 Color reader

You can use the color reader, where instead of bars, uses colored text.

Like the bar reader, you can play with the palette and the font.

You can also change how to text is colored. The words can be different colors, or the individual letters can be different colors.

You can include an "anchor" color, which both eyes can see.

I hope someone out there finds this application helpful. Let me know if it helps you, or if you're using it in your VT office. I love to hear that stuff :)

Spelling Bee - A free vision therapy video game

Play Spelling Bee here

I've finished another vision therapy video game!

A game about spelling! And bees! (not really)

  • Google Chrome web browser
    • This game uses a fairly new feature, canvas blend modes, and in my experience, this works best in Chrome
    • Canvas blend modes are supported in Firefox, but it seems SLOW on my laptop
    • Canvas blend modes are supposed to work in Safari, but I've never tried it
    • Canvas blend modes are NOT currently supported in Internet Explorer
  • Red/green or red/blue vision therapy glasses


A spinning hexagon bounces around the screen. Inside the hexagon is a word.
  • If the word is spelled correctly, press UP
  • If the word is spelled incorrectly, press DOWN
  • If you need some more visual feedback, press LEFT or RIGHT to move the cursor underneath the word

  • Color calibration
  • Adjustable
    • time limit
    • size
    • speed
    • bounce pattern
  • Convergence / divergence
  • Three color palettes
  • Graph of hits/misses

Color calibration
To calibrate the colors to your specific glasses and computer monitor, just follow the easy color calibration instructions. 

Fully adjustable
Adjust the size, speed, bounce pattern, and time limit to suit your needs. 

Convergence or divergence
This game can be used for convergence or divergence vision therapy exercises. Just adjust the settings in the menu. Note: the numbers in the convergence/divergence settings are NOT prism diopters. They are just arbitrary numbers, based on pixels measurements.

Three Color Palettes
You can play with Red Blue Black, Purple Teal Gray, or Red Green Orange graphics. ALL work with your standard anaglyph glasses. Try all the palettes, and see which work best for you.

Graph of hits / misses
As you play Spelling Bee, the game keeps track of your correct and incorrect answers (hits and misses). After the game is finished, you can see in what areas of the screen you are getting correct answers, and you can see in what areas of the screen that you are getting wrong answers. This can help you find your strong / weak areas of binocular tracking.

Options menu

Graph of correct answers

Vision Therapy Goals
My main goals for this game are:

  • Binocular tracking
  • Antisuppression

In conclusion
Try out my binocular tracking game Spelling Bee and let me know what you think. Good luck!

Play Spelling Bee here