The present study assessed the compensatory effectiveness of four assistive software tools (speech synthesis, spellchecker, homophone tool, and dictionary) on literacy. Secondary-level students (N = 93) with reading difficulties completed computer-based tests of literacy skills. Training on their respective software followed for those assigned to the Assistive Software and the Microsoft Word Control groups. Posttests revealed an improvement for the Assistive Software group on reading comprehension, homophone error detection, spelling error detection, and word meanings. The Microsoft Word Control group also improved on spelling error detection and word meanings, but performed worse on homophone error detection. A Full Control group showed no significant improvements on any of the measures. Overall, results indicate a significant assistive value of the four software tools (from the software package Read & Write Gold, 2002) across several domains of literacy, including reading and writing.
Assistive software tools for secondary-level students with literacy difficulties
Journal of Special Education Technology, 21(3), 13-22.
IDEA Disability Category:
major-other health impairment
specific learning disability
speech or language impairment
electronic references and resources
opportunities to learn concepts
practice and reinforcement activities
National Reading Panel Standards:
English Language Arts:
Reading: Foundational Skills
Reading: Informational Text