Posted: Fullerton, CA, March 13, 2012
Former SCCO Associate Professor Howard N. Walton, O.D., D.O.S., (photo ca. 1965) passed away on February 25. Dr. Walton, born on September 2, 1917, was 94. A Memorial Service was held on March 5 in Whittier, California.
Of his friend and long-time colleague, SCCO Distinguished Professor Emeritus John R. Griffin, O.D., M.S.Ed., wrote, "Howard inspired me to study reading problems, particularly those caused by dyslexia. We worked together to develop several tests and screeners for dyslexia as well as co-authoring over a dozen reviewed journal publications. I will miss this good scholarly friend."
Dr. Walton was a graduate of the Northern Illinois College of Optometry, and earned a Master of Science degree from Chicago College of Optometry, and from this College was awarded the Doctor of Ocular Science for significant contributions to the science of optometry. While a member of the faculty of the latter college and in association with the Institute for Advanced Reading and Perception he was primarily responsible for the development, design, and teaching of a program in rapid reading. These courses were the prototype of programs used for college students and business and industrial executives.
In July 1953, he began what would become 35 years as an Assistant and Associate Professor at the Southern California College of Optometry, supervising in the Vision Therapy Clinic for learning disabilities and visual perceptual problems. He was a visual consultant to Fernald School, UCLA, 1969–71, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. He was a member for 18 years of the faculty of the Culver City Unified School District, with a specialty in reading. He conducted developmental and rapid reading classes for the school district (Adult School). Dr. Walton with Yolanda Lind initiated the district's diagnostic testing and training program for adults with learning disabilities. Dr. Walton is the co-author of seven tests for various aspects of dyslexia that are widely used by professionals in clinics and in public and private schools.
He was a contributor to the Dictionary of Terms and Concepts in Reading and to the Dictionary of Visual Science, a researcher and author of numerous articles in the field of vision, perception, and reading.
Dr. Walton taught courses for graduate students, educators, psychologists, school nurses, and nurse practitioners for certification to conduct vision-screening programs in California Public Schools. In these classes he provided the basis for the relationships of vision problems and learning disabilities.