Supported e-text: Assistive technology through text transformations

To gain meaningful access to the curriculum, students with reading difficulties must overcome substantial barriers imposed by the printed materials they are asked to read. Technology can assist students to overcome these challenges by enabling a shift from printed text to electronic text. By electronic text it means textual material read using a computer or some other electronic device such as Palm, iPod, or even a LeapPad. Yet, in spite of its inherent possibilities, electronic text by itself is rather limited in its usefulness to readers and learners. In order to really take advantage of its potential as an assistive technology, an electronic reading environment that intelligently transforms text into something that supports comprehension and extends meaningful learning is required. In this article, the authors feature supported electronic text or supported eText, and discuss how the concept of supported eText was developed and its impact on students' reading comprehension and content area learning. The authors also outline four research topics related to supported eText as an assistive technology for students with disabilities. These four research topics: (1) Research to determine effective forms and delivery modes for each resource type and subtype; (2) Research to identify and evaluate powerful combinations of eText resources; (3) Research to identify appropriate levels of student control and access to individual eText supports or combination of supports; and (4) Research to investigate interactions between texts, resources, tasks, and students, are presented with a brief overview of the central issues and a list of sample research questions on each topic

Anderson-Inman L., Horney M.
Reading Research Quarterly, 42(1), 153-160.
Related Research
Content Area: 
IDEA Disability Category: 
emotional disturbance
major-other health impairment
specific learning disability
speech or language impairment
Instructional Support: 
electronic references and resources
multiple formats of text and notation
National Reading Panel Standards: 
English Language Arts: 
Reading: Foundational Skills
Reading: Literature
Reading: Informational Text