Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Department or Program

Occupational Therapy

Department or Program Chair

Ruth Ramsey, EdD, OTR/L

First Reader

Kitsum Li, OTD, OTR/L CSRS

Second Reader

Ruth Ramsey, EdD, OTR/L


This critically appraised topic explores the functional task performance of adults with low vision utilizing tactile vision substitution systems, specifically tongue display units (TDUs). TDUs are a novel assistive device that functions to provide artificial vision to those with low vision. TDUs pixelate images captured on a camera the person wears and the images are translated via electronic stimulation on the tongue to paint a picture. Two studies that measured functional task performance utilizing a TDU with adults with low vision were explored. Examples of functional tasks measured include word recognition, object recognition, and orientation and mobility tasks. The studies concluded that with skilled training, the TDU may significantly improve functional task performance in tasks previously impossible for the participants,.. Use…. Use of technology such as a TDU can improve functional task performance to enhance overall quality of life for adults with low vision of light perception or less. The results indicate the need for skilled training by professionals such as occupational therapists to best utilize a TDU.