Please see also our Sight-Sim Page where we explain what Sight-Sim is, and does.
The Sight-Sim website has detailed download instructions, but during testing we found some people had difficulties setting it up and using it for the first time.
We want everyone to benefit from Sight-Sim. We can't update or change it (it's not ours) but we can take you through every step and hopefully identify and help solve any stages you may find confusing.
In this guide we have tried to address everything that came up. Not everyone is going to have all the difficulties, so if anything is obvious, just skip it.
These instructions are in three sections:
Sight-Sim is a computer programme written in a language called Java. Lots of things are written using Java, including the popular computer game Minecraft. To run Sight-Sim you need Java on your computer or device. You may already have it installed, or you may have a version that needs updating. Java is free to download. Click here to link to the Java website where you can check if you already have it loaded, and download if needed.
You will need the images you wish to use, already saved on your computer. We have found it useful to create a file with the images to use, because when using Sight-Sim, you can scroll from one image to the next, if they are in the same file.
Remember that getting close means that things appear bigger and which makes them clearer. For example, you may want to see how clear everything is in your child's classroom, including how clearly the teacher and the work on the board can be seen. Remembering that these will look different depending on where in the class your child sits.
Sight-Sim is free and you can use it as often as you like, so you can always load more photos to review more images.
You will also need a credit card, or another card of the same standard size like a store loyalty card. There is no charge, this is just to hold up against your screen to mark the size.
You will be given a lot of options around different measurement. Not everyone has the exact measurements, particularly where contrast sensitivity is used - you may have just been told a person will benefit from greater contrast. For very complex children, they may never have been given an actual visual acuity measurement. You can still use Sight-Sim and see how different varying levels of clarity and contrast affect what different things look like.
We recommend everyone to ask their vision professionals for the measurements of visual acuity.
To load Sight-Sim you need to go to this page on their website, where there are three options:
Click on the option that is correct for your device, and follow the instructions.
Once downloaded onto your computer, you should get this screen (below). This is the Set-Up Screen. There are user instructions on the Sight-Sim website, click here to view.
Below, we go through each screen. At the bottom of this page is a demonstration video, from this first Set-Up Screen. If you prefer to watch the video first, just scroll to the end where you will find it.
The next thing your need to do is get a credit card, or card of the same standard size, and with one hand place it on the screen, with the top left corner against the white marker. Then, with the other hand, position the mouse where the bottom right corner of the card is, and double click, as shown on this short clip:
This is the programmers way of making sure that the simulations will be accurate for your screen.
Don't worry if you don't have all the measurements and are just wanting to have a bit of a play with Sight-Sim. Also, you may want to try different measurements, not just one. When using Sight-Sim you can change the measurements (shown on the demonstration video at the bottom of this page).
Visual Acuity is measured in different ways in different countries and by different professions. Sight-Sim gives you the options to use any one of the following measures:
To use your own photos / images.
Find below a video demonstration. It is good to familiarise yourself with the settings so it is easy to use regularly.
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