Thursday, March 20, 2014

Assistive Technology for Reading

The webinar, Assistive Technology for Reading, explains the differences between text readers and screen readers and why using assistive technology for reading is important.  For example, a text reader is used for students with a reading disability who has adequate reading, where as a screen reader is used primarily for students with visual impairments. You're probably wondering why.  Text readers have the ability to read text to students, however information such as menus, buttons, and dialogue boxes are not read aloud, making the student read them on their own.  If a student has a visual impairment, they are unable to read some documentation, as well as navigate the reader.  For that reason, screen readers are more likely to benefit learners with both visual and reading disabilities.

When using a screen reader, the student has the ability to control the rate of the reading, modify how the program reads (whether in full sentences, chunks, or by one word at a time), look up words using a built-in dictionary, and highlight words or sentences for future reference.  Websites such as, allow students to read files directly from the website and use all the materials that can be found on a screen reader.  By having access to an online library that allows students to have control over what and how they are reading, allows them to read for pleasure and for school, while gaining access to many features that are not available through the use of other software.


Golden, S. (n.d.) Assistive Technology for Reading. Retrieved from

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