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HomeLearning DifficultiesAssistive Technology

Reading machines for students with LD

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GreatSchools Blog

By Marshall Raskind, Ph.D.

Putting it in perspective

There is no intention to suggest that handheld units are superior to desktop systems, or vice-versa, but, rather, that each technology must be considered relative to the needs of the specific individual, task, and setting. For example, there are individuals who may need almost every word read to them aloud, an operation that is easier to perform on a desktop unit. Or, a person might use a more portable OCR device if he needed to use the technology in multiple settings. Other factors such as cost, compatibility, ease of use, technical support, and reliability should also be considered when selecting any assistive technology.

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References

  1. Bruck, M. (1988). "The word recognition and spelling of dyslexic children," Reading Research Quarterly, 23, 51-69.
  2. Bruck, M. (1993). "Component spelling skills of college students with childhood diagnoses of dyslexia," Learning Disability Quarterly, 16, 171-185.
  3. Holligan, C., & Johnston, R. (1988). "The use of phonological information by good and poor readers in memory and reading tasks," Memory and Cognition, 6, 522-532.
  4. Lundberg, I., Frost, J., & Petersen, O.P. (1988). "Effects of an extensive program for stimulating phonological awareness in preschool children," Reading Research Quarterly, 23, 263-284.4.
  5. Olson, R.K., (1985). "Disabled reading processes and cognitive profiles," in D. Gray & J. Kavanagh (Eds.) Biobehavioral measures of dyslexia, (pp. 215-244). Parkton, MD: York Press.
  6. Stanovich, K.E. (1988). "Explaining the differences between the dyslexic and garden-variety poor readers: The phonological-covariable-difference model," Journal of Learning Disabilities, 21, 590-612.
  7. Torgesen, J.K. (1994). "A longitudinal study of early intervention in phonological awareness," Journal of Learning Disabilities, 27, 276-286.
  8. Wagner, R., & Torgesen, J.K. (1987). "The nature of phonological processing and its causal role in the acquisition of reading skills," Psychological Review, 101, 192-212.
  9. Daneman, M., & Carpenter, P.A. (1980). "Individual differences in working memory and reading," Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 2, 280-385.
  10. Lundberg, I., & Leong, C.K. (1986). "Compensation in reading disabilities," in E. Kjelmquist & L. Nilsson (Eds.), Psychological Compensation and Technical Aids (pp. 171-190). Piorth-Holland: Elsevier Science Publishers B.V.
  11. Perfetti, C.A. (1975). "Language comprehension and fast decoding: Some psycholinguistic prerequisites for skilled reading comprehension." Paper presented to the Development of Reading Comprehension Seminar of the International Reading Association, Newark, Delaware, July, 1975.
  12. Swanson, H.L. (1992). "Generality and modifiability of working memory among skilled and less skilled readers," Journal of Education Psychology, 84, 473-488.
  13. Aaron, P.G., & Phillips, S. (1986). "A decade of research with dyslexic college students: A summary of findings," Annals of Dyslexia, 36, 44-65.
  14. Gough, P.B., & Tunmer, W.E. (1986). "Decoding reading and reading disability," Remedial and Special Education, 7, 6-10.
  15. Elkind, J., Cohen, K., & Murray, C. (1993). Using computer-based readers to improve reading comprehension of students with dyslexia. Annals of Dyslexia, 43, 238-259.
  16. Elkind, J., Black, M.S., & Murray, C. (1996). "Computer-based compensation of adult reading disabilities," Annals of Dyslexia, 46, 159-186.
  17. Higgins, E.L., & Raskind, M.H. (1997). The compensatory effectiveness of optical character recognition/speech synthesis on the reading comprehension of postsecondary students with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 8, 75-87.
  18. Higgins, E.L., & Raskind, M.H. (2005). "The compensatory effectiveness of the Quicktionary Reading Pen II ® on the reading comprehension performance of students with learning disabilities," Journal of Special Education Technology, 20, 31-40.

Reviewed February 2010

Marshall H. Raskind, Ph.D., is a learning disability researcher. He is a frequent presenter at international LD conferences and is the author of numerous professional publications on learning disabilities. He is well-known for his research on assistive technology and longitudinal studies tracing LD across the life span.

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

03/4/2010:
"Back in the 70's the Federal government provided 'controlled reading machines' through TITLE ??? funds. It was an actual piece of equipment with a view finder that a student looked into. It was a progressive program starting with identifying one letter at a time then two-letter words, three-letter words. The student progressed to phrases, short sentences, longer sentences, paragraphs, etc. Somehow the student was able to increase the speed of reading as their comprehension improved. Audio was also included. I remember a 5th grade boy in my son's class was so excited that he was able to read and understand what he was reading for the first time in his life. Does anyone know if such a device still exists and if so where could I get it? The computer programs sound good. But, I know someone who is easily distracted. The viewer on the reading machine blocks out distractions. "
05/15/2009:
"Dear Great Schools, In addition to Bookshare and the other resources you list there is also Recording for The Blind & Dyslexic. RFB&D is a 61 year old non-profit specializing in human-read (no synthesized voices here!) textbooks. Two of my children are dyslexic and simply could not listen to the automated voices. Once we found RFB&D their world changed. RFB&D has textbooks and literature in all subjuects from k-post grad. Plus, unlike bookshare, your child does not need to be on an IEP or ILP to qualify, just documentation from a professional that they qualify for the services. Another thing I like about RFB&D is they provide customer service and training. And, for individual students they are offering a free membership to their downloadable library. I am sure I am just scratching the surface with what they have to offer but I wanted to make sure other parents knew about this great service!"
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