Abstract: There is limited literature assessing the usability of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in the field of low vision rehabilitation. This lecture focuses on the use of VR and AR technologies in visual rehabilitation. Focus-group discussions involving people with central field loss and peripheral field loss were organized based on 3D virtual scenarios that were designed, developed and validated on people who were normally sighted.  A composite score was created to understand the visual performance while performing real-life activities.  An AR head mounted display was also used to test the visual functions of people with low vision. Participants were grouped into three categories: central field loss, peripheral field loss and overall blurred vision. The usability and perceptual experience of this AR device was studied while performing daily living activities.  

Bio: Dr. Sarika Gopalakrishnan is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow with the Envision Research Institute, which investigates different methods of providing augmented reality assistive technology for people who are visually impaired. In 2008, Sarika completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Optometry from the Elite School of Optometry, Sankara Nethralaya, in Tamil Nadu, India. She then joined Sankara Nethralaya as an Optometrist and initiated a low vision care department, serving as director for 14 years. She has initiated comprehensive rehabilitation services and multidisciplinary management of patients with visual impairment in Sankara Nethralaya. She has received ‘Knight of the Blind’ award on Helen Keller Remembrance Day in June 2011 from Lion’s Club International. She has also been trained in evaluating approaches to functional vision assessment and has been responsible for selecting the Indian Blind Cricket team for the World Cup according to the World Blind Cricket Council (WBCC) criteria.   


Friday 25 August 2023 (AEST)