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ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES FOR DYSLEXIC STUDENTS

A. Adkins, C. Turman

University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNITED STATES)
Assistive technology provides students with learning disabilities opportunities to excel in academic environments. Technology can often provide assistance for these students in unique ways that help them overcome their learning difficulties. As technology becomes ubiquitous in the classroom it is consistently transforming the educational opportunities for students with learning disabilities. This research seeks to describe, using qualitative methods, how Dragon and Kurzweil, assistive technology programs assisted a graduate student with Dyslexia through a PHD program in Mathematics Education. The theory of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) will provide a framework for this research. UDL is a method of teaching that strives to meet each student’s needs in the classroom. These can be extremely helpful for students whom have learning or attention difficulties. These approaches can range from something as simple as posting learning goals or providing students with multiple choices on how to complete assignments. More sophisticated methods involve technologies that allow for text-to-speech or an audio reader for printed text (Gillis, 2014-2017). This research will descriptively narrate how the program Dragon was used with the text-to-speech feature. Additionally, Kurzweil included an audio reader which accommodates the graduate student with Dyslexia. Qualitative research is important for illustrating complex issues to create an understanding. The data is analyzed inductively, establishing emerging themes, categories, and patterns. The final report of the data encapsulates participant voices, researcher reflexivity, a complicated description and evaluation of the issue, and broadens the available research (Creswell, 2007). This data will depict frequently made errors in the writing process by the Dyslexic student and how these programs supported the student in correcting these errors. Therefore, this research will demonstrate how assistive programs can be beneficial for the learning process of special students.

References:
[1] Gillis, M. (2014-2017) 5 examples of Universal Design for Learning. Retrieved from https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/treatments-approaches/educational-strategies/5-examples-of-universal-design-for-learning-in-the-classroom
[2] Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative enquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. US: Sage publications Ltd.