Fayetteville State University
Today teachers are faced with many challenges in the classroom. Learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, can make it challenging for students to learn to read. With the use of assistive technology, teachers and students know how to create and improve student learning in reading. This can make learning an enjoyable experience.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau more than 54 million people have a disability, which represents 19% of the population or one out of every five Americans. The disabled represent the largest minority group in the nation and constitute the only minority group in which anyone can come to be included due to illness (Dove 2012). Disabilities can range from physical, mental, learning, and comatose. Dyslexia, is considered a learning disability in which people have difficulty reading. This disability affects children and adults with normal intelligence and vision (Mayo Clinic 2013). The cause’s lies somewhere in the brain (PBSparents 2013).
Dyslexia is a learning disability in reading. Students with dyslexia may seem like they are not putting forth effort in reading, but they usually have trouble with the following:
* Difficulty with accurate word recognition, decoding and spelling
* Pronouncing words, for example saying “mawn lower” instead of “lawn mower”
* May cause problems by reading comprehension and slow down vocabulary growth
* Result in poor reading fluency and reading out loud
* Neurological and often genetic
* Reluctant to read
The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) also points out that some Dyslexics have a hard time trying to express themselves clearly. Dyslexia is a lifelong challenge (NCLD 2013). However, with assistive technology and proper support students have the potential to become proficient readers and writers. Dyslexics have strong listening vocabularies and understand text when it is read aloud to them (PBSparents 2013).
Addressing dyslexia, for teachers and especially for new teachers can be frustrating. Teachers be required through the Individuals by Disabilities Education Act [IDEA], 2004 “to provide assistive technology”. Assistive technology refers to “any item, piece of equipment, product system, whether acquired, modified, that is used to increase, maintain, and improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability (IDEA, 2004). Hi-Tech items, as E-readers, iPad, iPod, Cell phone, Livescribe smartpen, Dragon Naturally Speaking for PC, are a few examples of tools that can assist teachers and students meet their goals in reading.
Dragon Naturally Speaking for PC aids in the learning process by “creating greater efficiency at the workplace.” (Yale 2013). All teachers would have to do is to load the software on to a PC, create a student profile, and have the student read for five