Benefits of Assistive Reading Software for Students with Attention DisordersBy Hecker, Linda; Burns, Liza; Annals of Dyslexia, Vol. 52, No. 1, pp. 243-271
Publication Date: 2002
Article discussing a study on how Kurzweil 3000, an optical character recognition and test program with voice output, affected the reading performance of a group of 20 post-secondary students with a diagnosis of attention disorder. Kurzweil 3000 scans printed documents, recognizes the characters on the page, speaks the text to the user through a speaker or earphones using a speech synthesizer, and simultaneously displays the printed page on the computer monitor. As the computer speaks a word, it is highlighted on the computer monitor, providing a synchronized auditory and visual presentation of the text. The students used Kurzweil 3000 for most of a semester to read assignments for an English class and in testing sessions. Comparisons were made between unassisted reading and reading assisted by Kurzweil 3000. Attention measures, reading speed, comprehension scores, and attitude questionnaire responses were obtained during these sessions. The findings were that Kurzweil 3000 allowed the students to attend better to their reading, reduce their distractibility, read with less stress and fatigue, and read for longer periods of time. Kurzweil 3000 helped the students to read faster, and it did improve comprehension for those whose comprehension was poor. The study results show that assistive reading software should be considered as a significant intervention to assist students who have attention disorders as an academic accommodation.
Assistive Products Discussed: KURZWEIL 3000 FOR MACINTOSH
KURZWEIL 3000 FOR WINDOWS
Published by: International Dyslexia Association (Website:http://www.interdys.org/index.jsp)