We design, develop, test and distribute technologies to help increase awareness and provide access to all communities about the importance of functional vision in children’s learning.

Education & Awareness

Tutorials & Training for school personnel, doctors, parents, and community leaders. This involves the center website, a companion website for public education and activism revolving around the issues of children's vision and ongoing conferences, video development and news articles.

Software Technologies

Student's and faculty are involved in the development of software applications that can assist in vision screenings, vision therapies, and research in usability and clinical efficacy.

Community Access

Technology can assist in bringing intervention solutions for children's vision issues into the smaller communities that may not have easy access to specialists found in bigger cities.

Design, Develop, and Distribute

Do you have a vision related software idea. The EYE Center can assist in its design and develop a prototype. Our goal is also to assist in the distribution of such apps to communities and professionals that can give them a try in real world situations.



Educating Young Eyes, led by Prof. William Erdly, is a project that focuses on children’s vision assessment and treatment using latest software technologies. We aim to develop effective screening and therapy tools that are easily accessible to schools, doctors and other parties, and to increase the awareness of importance of functional vision in children’s learning. This project is based on existing research work on childhood vision issues and their impacts, and touches a variety of technical and non-technical topics, such as:
  • Game Design
  • Distributed Web Service Architecture
  • Software Engineering
  • Education and Child Development
  • Psychology, Social Justice, Law, Public Health, ... and more


  • Teachers and parents may not recognize why children cannot perform well in their studies. Sometimes, the reason is that dysfunctional vision does not allow them to read properly.
  • This might be caused by near vision problems, such as ocular motor dysfunction, amblyopia, strabismus, convergence insufficiency, or others.
  • When this happens, children may have headaches, fatigue, and other eyestrain problems.
  • Unfortunately, 25% of all schoolchildren in the United States may have some form of near-vision problems undetected by regular eye exams.

This is what they see


How to Join?

Simple! If you are interested in our work, or related topics such as cloud computing, game design and development, digital art, children’s research, social justice awareness, content development, etc., please send an email to one of following contacts, and we will get in touch with you!
  • Dr. William Erdly (Faculty Public Health Advisor,
  • Longfei Xi (Research Assistant,

What are we doing?

We help increase awareness and provide access to all communities about the importance of functional vision in children’s learning. We also started many projects for the purpose of research and development, ranging from single-page survey web apps to well-polished mobile games.

Here are some apps we created:

Alphabet Hero
(Unity / Mobile)


A mobile game that helps children improve their vision processing skills. This game was developed and polished based on various research on user interaction.

Near Vision Toolbox
(Unity / Mobile)


A mobile app that is designed for school nurses to perform vision screening activities more accurately and efficiently, using a set of visual measurement methods and tools.

CISS Survey (Web / Mobile)


CISS (Convergence Insufficiency Symptom Survey) is a web and mobile app that asks a set of questions to help quickly discover children who suffer from convergence insufficiency, an anomaly of the visual system.

Red Flags (Web / Mobile)


A web and mobile app that presents simple activities that children can perform to detect vision problems that cannot be caught by traditional vision screening.

Signs and Problems of Improper Vision


Limitations of Normal Vision Screening

Everyone knows this:      But passing it possibly means: EYE EYE




Did you know...

...studies have shown that 61% of parents mistakenly believe that they would know if their child were having difficulty with their eye sight? The only way to know for sure is to have an Eye Exam by an Eye Doctor.

SOME Traditional Screening Tools

Test for Refractive Errors
Shine a bright light into the eye and observe the reflection off the retina
Corrective lenses are used to determine the correct prescription needed
Screener must be highly trained
Considered a gold standard examination

Eye Charts / Optotypes (Snellen et al.)
Tests of Visual Acuity
Patient is asked to read symbols from chart
LEA symbols (see left picture) used with preliterate children
Results vary widely

Welch Allyn SPOT Vision Screening Device
5 second test, requires no patient response
infants and children
populations with language barriers
populations with reduced intellectual capacity
Screens for refractive errors and some eye turning
List price is over $7,000 per unit

Teaming and Vergence Tests
Tests for convergence insufficiency, strabismus
Eye teaming and tracking tests using pencil or other small object
Current screenings are subjective, reliant on screener judgment
Convergence Insufficiency Symptom Survey

New Screening Tools Developed By Us

The Near Vision Toolbox
A mobile app that designed for the school nurse to do the vision screening activity. Aim to replace some real tools and make the screening process more efficient and accurate.

Unique Features:
EYE Near Vision Acuity
This is an equivalent form of near vision charts. It is to check if children can cope with tasks that need near-looking.
The size of left letter will change based on the correctness of their choice and distance between camera and children.

EYE Stereopsis
Stereopsis is a term to refer to the perception of depth and 3-dimensional structure obtained on the basis of visual information deriving from two eyes by individuals with normally developed binocular vision. Have the child put on red/green glasses to identify the shape “popped out” from the left image.

EYE Near Point of Convergence
Near point of convergence defines the amplitude of convergence or the closest point in space where the patient can hold fusion to see one target.
Use red/green glasses to see how many circles in the middle of the screen. For children seeing only one circle, adjust the screen-nose distance to recheck.

Prototyping and Iterative Design Process

Most of our apps and games in EYE project went through multiple design and review iterations. We aim to ensure our design of apps and games meets the needs of their users.


We all know children like to play:-) Accordingly, we know the vision screening tools for children need to be:
  • Engaging
  • Free to fail
  • With timely feedback
  • Fit to interest curve


Alphabet Hero is a perfect example of our iterative design process. As you can see, the latest version is totally different from the prototype. During the design process, we did:
  • Separate UI from gameplay systems for easy changes
  • Use one-handed permanent controls to make the game easy and fun to play
  • Use focused layout to make gameplay mechanism natural
  • Use mature design patterns and styles to make the game look professional and consistent


We understand the importance to make screening tools easily accessible. This is why we focus heavily on making responsive user interfaces. We use a variety of methods to refine our design:
  • PACT Analysis: People, Activities, Context, Technologies
  • MoSCoW Analysis: Must have, Should have, Could have, Want / Wish to have
The web version of CISS (Convergence Insufficiency Symptom Survey) app went through several design iterations. The 2016 version used Bootstrap to make UI mobile responsive. However, it was based on the basic theme without additional styling, which makes it look like a prototype website. The 2017 version improved the font size and spacing to make it display better in mobile devices.

Creating Cloud-based Research Environment

One of the goals the Center for Children’s Vision, Learning, and Technologies aims for is to create an ecosystem to support various activities of different roles for children’s vision assessment and therapy. The following architecture shows how we combine different types of computer technologies to meet the needs of both vision care and research.


Possible Roles:
  • System Admin / School Admin: Manage system / school data; Approve new users
  • Child / Parent: Edit personal information; Check history results
  • Teacher / Volunteer: Perform vision assessments; Enter assessment results
  • Doctor / Nurse: Provide detailed vision diagnostics and treatments
  • Researcher: Download anonymous data for further analysis, research, and development