frequently asked questions
To learn how a slanted work surface can help you read and write better, view this short video: Slant boards Video
The Slant Board reduces stress placed on the optic system and promotes “Vision Hygiene” when reading and working. An effective sloping work surface must be tilted at an angle between 20 and 23 degrees from the horizontal. The Slant Board rests at 22 degrees, the research-proven optimum angle. Remember when all school desks were slanted? They were designed this way for the very reason we have mentioned.
When reading on a slanted surface at the appropriate angle the whole page of text is put in focus. This allows for less fatigue when reading, as the eyes do not have to refocus as you read down the page. This leads to easier and better tracking of the lines of text. Additionally the text characters remain consistent in presentation.
Pioneering research by Dr. Darrel Boyd Harmon and subsequent research by Drs. John Pierce and Steven Greenspan clearly prove a reduction of stress and improved performance when conditions are arranged properly for near-point visual activities such as reading and writing. It has been determined through research and practical use that 22 degrees to be the optimum angle.
As shown by research, the appropriately slanted work surface will present all text characters at the same prospective. This allows the brain to spend less time trying to figure out what it is reading and spend more time understanding what it has just read. Additionally by using the Slant Board it naturally inducing the user to move into the proper position to achieve the Harmon Distance.
The “Harmon Distance” is the optimal distance from the eyes to the working surface. It is the distance from the elbow to the first knuckle. This can only be assured with a proper chair height to desk relationship.
The Slant Board in combination with the proper sitting height allows you to naturally move into a posture that is conducive to better learning environment. You will naturally sit more upright and bend your head less. As research has shown this will lead to a reduced heart rate, a more regular and deeper breathing pattern and reduced neck muscle and overall body tension. Additionally your eyes are less strained as the whole page is in focus and the text characters are all in the same perspective.
Reading and writing are derivatives of vision and speech. As such there are numerous factors that cause difficulties. The symptoms vary, however there are key indicators that will be indicative of reading difficulties. Some of which are, Red, sore, or itching eyes, Head tilting, closing or blocking one eye when reading, Avoidance of near work, family history of literacy learning problems. Please refer to our section titled “SYMPTOMS OF PROBLEMS THAT LEAD TO READING DIFFICULTIES” for a more complete list.
20/20 eyesight represents only a very small part of the vision process. Behavioral optometrists differentiate between the terms “sight” and “vision”. “Sight” is the ability to see and the eye’s response to light shining into it. “Vision” is the ability to interpret and understand information that comes through the eyes.
The only reliable way to determine if your child has a “vision” problem is the evaluated by a Developmental Optometrist. A Developmental Optometrist can be found for your local area by referring to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) website, www.covd.org or Optometric Extension Program Foundation (OEP Foundation) website at www.oepf.org