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The effectiveness of assistive technologies for children with special needs: A review of research-based studies

Maor, DORCID: 0000-0002-0743-4755, Currie, J. and Drewry, R. (2011) The effectiveness of assistive technologies for children with special needs: A review of research-based studies. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 26 (3). pp. 283-298.

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Assistive technologies are often promoted to schools, parents and educators as tools to assist students with special needs by providing a compensatory value, to remediate learning problems and to promote personal independence. These technologies range from simple spellcheckers to more complex speech recognition systems and educational software. Many research projects have examined the effectiveness of these assistive technologies – primarily in terms of their remediation and assistive functions. This paper describes the results of a systematic search of research-based studies published in the last six years that examined the effectiveness of assistive technologies that have reading, writing, spelling and speech as their focus. After a rigorous process, 15 empirical research articles were selected based on the following criteria: empirical studies involved students who identified as having special needs; the assistive technologies had a literacy and speech focus; participants were in years K–12; and a clear skill or academic improvement was shown. Findings revealed that while some programs saw no improvement in spelling, reading or writing as a result of using the assistive technology, the majority of studies found consistently improved outcomes

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Publisher: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Copyright: © 2011 Taylor & Francis
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