7. Children with special needs benefit from technology-assisted reading instruction
Assistive technology devices and services can be used to help children with special needs access and comprehend text more successfully. Assistive technology devices should be selected based on the reading tasks in the classroom and the special needs of children. Assistive technology services should be provided to ensure that devices are obtained and training given in how to use the devices. Some possible assistive technology devices include:
- Computer-assisted instruction that features specialized software that provides pop-up menus for key vocabulary, modeling of fluent reading, and many opportunities for children to practice word recognition skills independently.
- Computer software that includes speech synthesis capabilities so that children can hear directions, hear the text read, and have words pronounced.
- Computer software programs that require children to give frequent responses and that provide corrective feedback.
- Books on tape paired with teacher-facilitated comprehension strategies so that children can access text.
- Tools that spell and define vocabulary words.
- Specialized input devices (e.g., modified/enhanced keyboards, switches) to allow children to use computers
- Voice input devices to help student make words and create stories.