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  • 1.
    Lindeblad, Emma
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Staffan
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Gustafson, Stefan
    Linköping University.
    Svensson, Idor
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Assistive technology as reading interventions for children with reading impairments with a one-year follow-up2017In: Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, ISSN 1748-3107, E-ISSN 1748-3115, Vol. 12, no 7, p. 713-724Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    PURPOSE: This pilot study investigated the possible transfer effect on reading ability in children with reading difficulties after a systematic intervention to train and compensate for reading deficiencies by using applications in smartphones and tablets. The effects of using assistive technology (AT) one year after the interventions were completely studied. School related motivation, independent learning and family relations were also considered.

    METHOD: 35 pupils aged 10-12 years participated. They were assessed five times with reading tests. The participants, their parents and teachers were surveyed with questionnaires regarding their experience of using AT. The data from the assessments were analyzed with paired t-tests and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. The data from the questionnaires were analyzed using content analysis.

    RESULTS: The paper shows that using AT can create transfer effects on reading ability one year after the interventions were finished. This means that reading impaired children may develop at the same rate as non-impaired readers. Also, increased school motivation and an increase in independent learning and family effects have been shown.

    CONCLUSIONS: This paper provides implications in how to facilitate reading impaired pupils' learning process and realizes the need to challenge the concept of reading to change to fit modern means of gaining information. Implications for rehabilitation Children with reading impairment could benefit from assistive technology in regards of their reading development process and increase their chances of not falling behind peers. Assistive technology as applications in smartphones and tablets may aid children with reading impairment to have an equal platform for learning in school as their peers without reading difficulties. Assistive technology could facilitate the information gaining process and subsequently increase motivation to learn and increase interest in reading activities. Assistive technology had wider effects on its users: stigmatizing situations when leaving the classroom for special education were avoided and positive effects on family life were noted.

  • 2.
    Nordström, Thomas
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Staffan
    Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Gustafson, Stefan
    Linköping University, Sweden.
    Svensson, Idor
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Assistive technology applications for students with reading difficulties: special education teacher’s experiences and perceptions2019In: Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, ISSN 1748-3107, E-ISSN 1748-3115, Vol. 14, no 8, p. 798-808Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: Reading and writing applications (with text-to-speech, TTS and speech-to-text, STT functions), used as assistive technology (AT) for students with reading difficulties are increasingly used in education, however, research has not sufficiently enough evaluated its potential. The purpose of this study was to explore how assistive reading and writing applications were perceived to function with regard to students’ possibilities to assimilate (i.e., “read”) and communicate (i.e., “write”) text.

    Methods: Following a six-week app intervention, this follow-up survey contained 54 special education teachers’ perceptions of how the use of apps impacted student motivation, learning, and its usability in special education. A total of 59 students with reading difficulties from Grade 4, Grade 8 and from high school, were assessed. Analyses included quantitative and qualitative analyses of teachers’ responses and written material.

    Results: The results showed individual differences in how teachers perceived app usage for text-interaction purposes, including how app usage affected student motivation and autonomy for text-based learning. Eighty-two per cent of the younger and forty-seven per cent of older students continued to use the technology after the intervention, but in various degrees.

    Conclusions: Based on these findings, students with reading difficulties seem to be able to use AT in order to assimilate text (i.e., to read) and to communicate text (i.e., to write), and, thus, AT has the potential to promote participation in regular education. Future research should focus on how to customize assistive technology support in order to better utilize the potential.

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  • 3.
    Svensson, Idor
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nordström, Thomas
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Lindeblad, Emma
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Gustafson, Stefan
    Linköping university, Sweden.
    Björn, Marianne
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Pedagogy and Learning.
    Sand, Christina
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Almgren Bäck, Gunilla
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Staffan
    Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Effects of assistive technology for students with reading and writing disabilities2019In: Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, ISSN 1748-3107, E-ISSN 1748-3115, p. 1-13Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Assistive technology has been used to mitigate reading disabilities for almost three decades, and tablets with text-to-speech and speech-to-text apps have been introduced in recent years to scaffold reading and writing. Few scientifically rigorous studies, however, have investigated the benefits of this technology.

    Purpose: The aim was to explore the effects of assistive technology for students with severe reading disabilities.

    Method: This study included 149 participants. The intervention group received 24 sessions of assistive technology training, and the control group received treatment as usual.

    Results: Both the intervention and control groups improved as much in 1 year as the normed population did. However, gains did not differ between the groups directly after the intervention or at 1 year of follow-up.

    Conclusions: The use of assistive technology seems to have transfer effects on reading ability and to be supportive, especially for students with the most severe difficulties. In addition, it increases motivation for overall schoolwork. Our experience also highlights the obstacles involved in measuring the ability to assimilate and communicate text.

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