Increasing Functional Vision Skills Using "Toco Boo" App

As an Assistive Technology Specialist and Teacher of the Visually Impaired, I am regularly perusing apps geared towards students that are 3-7 years old developmentally. In order to ensure that I am using apps that are helping my young students with low vision increase the use of their functional vision skills, I have started rating each app using my own rating scale based on the functional vision skills all individuals with low vision need according to Low Vision Online.

According to Low Vision Online, these skills include:

  • Awareness of attention
  • Control of Eye Movements (tracking)
  • Control of Eye Movements (scanning)
  • Discrimination of Objects
  • Discrimination of details to identify actions and match objects. 
  • Discrimination of details in picture 
  • Identification and perception of patterns, numbers and words 

Based on the above criteria, I have been evaluating the app “Toca Boo” by Toca Boca. The app is appropriate for kids as young as 4 and kids as old as 11. The app’s lead character Bonnie wanders around the house dressed as a ghost and sneaking around her big, dark house dark house only to yell “Boo” at her family members.

Screenshot of Toco Boo app displaying a white post in a black room.

Here is how I have rated Toca Boo based on Lowvision.com’s visual skills:

Rating Scale:

5: Thoroughly integrates visual skills  

4: Somewhat integrates visual skills  

3: A few visual skills are present  

2: Very few vision skills are present

1: No vision skills are present

Awareness of attention

4: The black background and high contrast images make it an easy app to engage visual attention

Control of Eye Movements (tracking)

4: The user can move the characters from left to right, top to bottom and diagonally.

Control of Eye Movements (scanning)

3: There are pictures familiar objects in the app. If the child is able to create meaning out of cartoon pictures then this app will help with this skill. 

Discrimination of Objects

3: The visuals in this app range from low contrast to high. 

Discrimination of details to identify actions and match objects

Not applicable in app.

Discrimination of details in picture 

Not applicable in app.

Identification and perception of patterns, numbers and words 

Not applicable in app.

My two cents:

Overall this is a great app for a student who needs to be assessed on basic use of functional vision, contrast sensitivity and visual motor skills. Plus it’s humorous and engaging for older kids and adults.

Toco Boo for iOS

Toco Boo for Android

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