Assistive reading technologies for struggling readers

Rebecca King

Abstract


The purpose of this research study was to identify how assistive technologies can be used in the classroom to assist elementary students with reading disabilities. The intent of this study was targeted towards identifying and exploring the different types of available reading technologies, their benefits, as well as the potential drawbacks that they inflict. This research draws upon examining findings from various literature reviews which focused on the placement and the impacts that assistive technologies present to students with learning challenges. Additionally, interviews with experts in the fields of inclusive education, early literacy, technology, and English language learners were conducted to further these findings. A survey was sent out to inquire Mount Royal University teacher candidates, educational faculty, and various elementary school teachers regarding how they have seen technology used to assist readers. The results of this research study indicated that assistive reading technologies have the ability to propel readers to reach higher levels of success and self-efficacy, enable readers and nonreaders to engage with literature, increase comprehension, and decrease learning gaps between students. These findings are significant and useful for current and emerging facilitators as they serve to provide an awareness of reading technologies that are available and the benefits that they present to readers. However, it is essential to recognize that not every reading tool will produce the same results for every child and that assistive reading technologies should not solely be relied upon by students or teachers.


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