From vision to citizenship: types of tables to assess reading in special education

Abstract The importance of reading hability has already been greatly shown throughout time and has been studied and understood through scientific research. In the case of people with low vision, reading can be the guarantee of access to education and, consequently, to citizenship. Therefore, allowing good reading ability has become the object of study of several researchers. The challenge of ensuring good reading is even greater for people with low vision, and often optical and technological aids are needed to make reading possible and fluid. Several tables, such as MNRead, Radner, Bailey-Lovie, among others, have been used to evaluate reading ability, minimum letter size for fluent reading, and maximum reading speed in words or characters per minute. These tables have been developed and calibrated according to international standards, becoming standardized and suitable for the acquisition of data that can be used in reproducible scientific research anywhere in the world. The tables have versions in several languages, and the only table standardized and translated into Brazilian Portuguese currently available is MNRead-P. We discuss here the different tables, the importance of their calibration, and their practical use. The measurements obtained with the reading tables are of great importance for planning the treatment and follow-up of individuals with low vision, since the comparisons are made from an individual parameter, between the individual's measurements, at different moments, indicating improvement or worse reading quality. The literacy of visually impaired individuals is part of the full exercise of their citizenship. Education is the lens through which the person is seen and sees society. Educating people with disabilities is in itself a form of inclusion. Therefore, assisting low vision sufferers may be a differential in their development, allowing adequate composition of the individual's identity core.