Topics:

Key Elements of a screen reader
Classes in reading fluency with a screen reader
Who can be helped by using a screen reader
Working with students with little or no computer skills
Testing and Evaluating Progress

Setting up a classroom/lab area
Eligibility and Copyright Laws
Scanning Books

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Testing and Evaluating Student Progress

For those of your students without a visual impairment, have you noticed any correlation with when they auditoraly read, do their visual reading scores go up?

Yes, we have seen this correlation between reading fluency with a screen reader and reading fluency with vision. Several studies have confirmed this relationship based on brain development and actual reading scores. The visual reading improvement occurs a few months after reading fluency with a screen reader begins. Of course, the most pronounced improvements always happen with those students who read the most... and read for fun and enjoyment.

This improvement is not based on the person actually following or using their eyes with the screen reader. It is based on brain development and improved reading skills. We have not performed any study on the numbers of people who either decide to read visually or continue with screen reading. But, our informal observation is that most people want to continue with a screen reader and read visually when needed.

Do you find that when they increase their reading speed, their comprehension goes down?

No, we have not seen this happen. What we have seen is the reverse. After a month of reading with a screen reader, we will often notice a student slowing down the rate of speech, saying that they are having difficulty understanding and staying focused on the material. When coached to speed up the rate faster than they had previously been reading, the student finds their enjoyment and understanding has actually improved. The slower language rate had decreased their comprehension.

I understand why you donít do the basal reading rates when they first come in, but after, when they get into stage 2, do you ever test their reading rate without a screen reader? Do you notice that their reading without a screen reader improves?

No, we do not test their visual reading rates. We do not encourage the myth that reading with the eyes is preferable to reading by listening. If the student is making progress learning to read fluently, is enjoying the reading, and becoming confident in their learning abilities, why should we do anything that may discourage this progress? The test at this point would be mainly for the instructor's sake; to support their biases.