The Impact of Word Prediction Software on the Written Output of Students With Physical DisabilitiesBy Mirenda, Pat; Turdolo, Kristen; Journal of Special Education Technology, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 5-12
Publication Date: Summer 2006
Study conducted to evaluate Co:Writer, which is a word prediction program from Don Johnston, Incorporated. The program was designed to provide spelling and writing assistance to both emerging and experienced writers. The main feature of Co:Writer is word prediction, in which a numbered menu of words appears after the user types the first letter of a word. If the word the user is looking for is on the list, the student simply types the word’s corresponding number. A total of 24 students with physical disabilities that affected their ability to write shorthand participated in the study. Ten-minute writing samples were taken from students during handwriting, word processing, and word processing with Co:Writer. Also, surveys were completed by participants and adult supporters or teachers in schools. The results indicated that 50 percent or more of the adults believed that Co:Writer was beneficial to the students, as they could spell better, use a wider range of words, write faster, produce work that was easier to understand, and use better grammar. The program also allowed the participants to write more and longer without tiring, while they also experienced significantly less frustration. Analyses of the writing samples did not yield a significant increase in the number of words produced in a ten-minute period, though the percentages of legible words, correctly spelled words, and correct sentence sequences were significantly improved. Implications for future research are discussed.
Assistive Products Discussed: CO:WRITER 4000
Published by: Exceptional Innovations (Website:http://www.exinn.net)
Technology and Media Division (TAM) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) (Web Site: http://www.tamcec.org )