Prescribing for Using the Computer

The easiest way to make print more visible on the computer screen is to make the print larger.  All browsers offer the ability to enlarge the print by holding down the command button while tapping the (+) key.  The more times you press the (+) key, the larger the print will become.  If it is too large, simply press the (-) key (while holding down the command button) and it will become smaller.

All operating systems also include visibility options in the ‘user settings’ section to change the character of the screen display to make it and the curser more visible.  Special programs are also available for purchase that make changing the display visibility convenient and offers additional options.  However, in most situations where the screen content is magnified, the user won’t be able to see all the information at one time.  Using the largest computer screen possible can help lessen this issue.

A bioptic telescope can also help computer users see the screen more easily, since they can keep the screen size closer to normal and use the telescope magnification to see the part of the screen of interest.  This is often helpful at work or when using other computers where screen-enlarging options aren’t available. Teachers and computer instructors also will also find using their bioptics in the classroom helpful, as they will be able to look over their student’s shoulder to see their computer screen more easily.  No matter what telescope or power is used it is unlikely that the telescopic view will allow you to see the entire screen at one time, however the further away you are from the screen the wider the telescopic field of view will become.

We suggest these steps to determine whether a telescope will be helpful for reading the computer screen.

  1. Determine the furthest distance that the individual can be from the computer screen—it can be further than arm’s reach if necessary.
  2. Choose a telescope power that provides ample magnification to achieve 20/40 (6/12) at distance.
  3. Position the telescope in front of their preferred seeing eye with their distance correction in place (if any)
  4. For focusable telescopes, adjust the focus for the distance determined in step #1. For SightScope telescopes choose a reading cap appropriate for the working distance in step #1.
  5. Determine whether the telescope provides enough magnification for the user to read the text on the computer screen.
    • If they can read it well, try a lower power device to gain a wider field of view.
    • If they cannot read it well, try either a higher power device, or enlarge to screen text size
  6. Determine if the field of view is wide enough for the user to read fluently.
    • If they cannot read fluently, try to increase the working distance to provide a wider field of view (and change the focus or reading cap power appropriately).