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  • 1.
    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.

  • 2.
    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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