Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Granting Institution

Lynn University

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)

Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Kelly Burlison

Second Advisor

Jennifer Lesh

Third Advisor

Melissa Lehman

Abstract

Most K-12 post-secondary schools have shifted to exclusively providing a reading comprehension accommodation through assistive technology because it outweighs the burden of a tutor/reader. However, very little research has been conducted to examine the effects of assistive technology accommodations on reading comprehension and, of research conducted, there appears to be significant discrepancy of what accommodations are provided for specific diagnoses and how much these accommodations benefit the student. Hence, students are regularly provided accommodations that are not beneficial to them. Thus, a need exists to provide some structure in appropriately accommodating students with reading disabilities in a post-secondary setting. This study examined reading comprehension in three conditions using a quasi-experimental (ABC/BCA/CAB) alternating treatment design. The three conditions investigated subject reading to self (Condition A, baseline), using a person-reader (Condition B), and using text to speech technology (Condition C). Fourteen college students with independently diagnosed reading disabilities, participated in the study investigating the following research questions: How do different accommodations (reader, text to speech) influence college students with reading disabilities performance on reading comprehension tasks? What is the relationship between the IQ and achievement measures and specific accommodations on reading comprehension? How does student preference or experience impact accommodation efficacy? A within subjects ANOVA yielded no statistically significant difference between comprehension tasks (F(2,26) = 1.808, MSE = 3.016, p. = 184). A Pearson correlation coefficient indicated a statistically significant result in (r(12) = .76, p = .002) for reader and text to speech conditions, demonstrating a trend in performance in those conditions. A Pearson correlation coefficient was calculated for the relationship between participants IQ indices, passage comprehension subtests, and each of the three conditions (read to self, using a reader, using text to speech). A statistically significant correlation was found (r(13) = .665, p = .013) between PRI and reading to self. A statistically significant correlation was found (r(13) = .726, p = .005) between VCI and performance in the text to speech condition. Results regarding the impact of preference and experience indicated that students were not particularly adept at determining how best to accommodate their reading disability and that their experience did not influence reading comprehension. The author argues for individually specific accommodations, educating students what accommodation(s) work best for them and the inclusion of an assistive technology single subject design incorporated into all psychological evaluations.

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