2002 Conference Proceedings

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A COMPARISON OF READING EFFECTIVENESSS IN LARGE-PRINT MATERIALS AND LOW-VISION SOFTWARE FOR STUDENTS WITH LOW VISION IN TAIWAN

Su-Chen Chuang
Associate professor
Special education department
National Taichuang Teachers College, Tawian
E-Mail: Chuang@mail.ntctc.edu.tw

Large print was first produced in the Cleveland public schools by Irwin in 1913. Since than, large print was widely used by students with low vision and highly recommended by visually impaired teachers. However, the value of the large print for access print has been questioned by scholars based on its cost and effectiveness (Syes, 1971; Sloan & Habel, 1973; Corn & Ryser, 1989; Gardner & Corn, 1984; Barraga & Erin, 1992; Koenig & Holbrook, 1993; Koenig, 1996). In addition, Skyes (1971) found that large print offered little advantage for students with low vision.

Large print was also highly recommended by Taiwanese teachers and widely used by Taiwanese students with low vision. However, there are some problems regarding the use of large-print materials. One of the problems is that the students cannot have large print textbook at the beginning of the semester until the mid-term. In addition, large print textbook is heavy for the young children to use and the cost of that is not high...and so on. Nice view, one of low-vision software's, is found to be beneficial for students with low vision and seems can solve the existing problems regarding the use of large-print textbook. In order to improve the quality of education in the area of educating students with low vision in Taiwan, the effectiveness of Reading in large-print materials and the low-vision software, nice view, need to be evaluated.

Six primary school low-vision students were tested individually. The reading behaviors were observed in different reading mode and the effectiveness of reading were analyzed qualitatively. The results indicated most of students still prefer to the use of large-print materials than the use of low-vision software. However, one of the students indicated that he preferred to use the low-vision software than the large-print materials. The results show that most of the students demonstrated higher level of reading rate by using large-print materials than the use of low-vision software.


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