Technology and Dyslexia

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The recent ice storm provided a great opportunity to snuggle up with a good book and read. In the recent edition of Perspectives on Language and Literacy, from the International Dyslexia Association, I read the article, “Reading and Assistive Technology: Why the Reader’s Profile Matters” by Karen Erickson. This article discussed the importance of supporting reading through the use of technology such as electronic text.  But, not every student with reading disabilities will need electronic text or text-to-speech solutions. It is important to look closely at the student’s profile of strengths and weaknesses as well as skills for silent reading and listening comprehension in the absence of technology. If the text difficulty exceeds not only the student’s silent reading ability as well as listening comprehension skills, text-to-speech will offer little support. Several studies were done in the 90’s confirming this conclusion. So to summarize, committees need to start asking themselves, “Which students benefit from text-to-speech as a support for reading disabilities such as dyslexia?”

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia Gonzalez, State Dyslexia Consultant is housed at Region10 ESC. Virginia has been an educator in Texas for 22 years, and worked as an educational diagnostician, special education teacher and dyslexia therapist. Virginia's years of teaching experience also include working with English Language Learners (ELL). "Mi casa es su casa."

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