2006 Conference General Sessions






Joan Hodapp

Area Education Agency 267

9184B 265th Street

Clear Lake IA 50401

Day Phone: 641—357—6125
Fax: 641—357—3201
Email: jhodapp@aea267.k12.ia.us


Presenter #2

Cinda Rachow

Area Education Agency 13
P.O. Box 1109
Council Bluffs Iowa 51503
Day Phone: 712—366—0503
Fax: 712—366—3431
Email: crachow@aeal3.org

Presenter #3

Sandi Dimmitt
Area Education Agency 15
2814 North Court

Ottumwa Iowa 52501
Day Phone: 641—682—8591
Fax: 641-682-9083
Email: dimniitt@aeal5.kl2.ia.us

Presenter #4
Clair Judas
AEA 267.k12.ia.us
Street Address: 3712 Cedar Height Drive
Cedar Falls IA 50613

Day Phone: 319—273—8200
Fax: 319—273—8275
Email: cjudas@aea267.k12.ia.us

Presenter #5
Cindy Munn

AEA 12
1520 Morningside Avenue

Sioux City IA 51106

Day Phone: 712—251—0699
Fax: 712—274—6115
Email: cmunn@aea12.k12.ia.us


In Iowa’s attempt to find effective interventions to close the achievement gap between students with disabilities and their non-disabled peers, the Iowa Assistive Technology Text Reader project was developed. The Iowa Assistive Technology Text Reader Project used a descriptive and correlational design to look at the relationship of student reading (fluency and comprehension) and the use of text reader software with embedded study skills.

During the 2004-2005 school year training was provided to participants on Kurzweil 3000 with embedded study skills and the study’s data collection strategies. Data were 9athered on 73 students in sixth or seventh grade students with readin9 disabilities who scored non-proficient on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. Eighty four percent of the students had mild disabilities while 16% had moderate disabilities. The average time spent in general education environments was 62%. Twice a month their reading skills were tested. The results showed growth in both reading speed and comprehension. The data show a positive trend in reading fluency. The average reading rates improved by 16 words per minute.

Fuchs, Fuchs, Hamlett, Walz, & Germann (1993) report that the realistic weekly improvement rate in reading fluency for sixth grade special education students is .3 words. At that rate students should have improved an average of 7 words per minute instead of the average of 16 words they accomplished. This resulted in an average increase of .75 words per week. With this rate of improvement, one could conclude at this rate students could meet aggressive reading goals.

Concurrently the data showed a positive trend in the comprehension scores over the 23 week period. The average comprehension score improved by 13% per student.

Implementation data indicated there was a highly significant relationship between levels of use of the program and reading rate. One possible explanation is that as teachers’ skills and use improve, student academic achievement improves. A small but significant relationship between levels of use and comprehension scores also was found.

Forty-three students (59%) completed an online survey assessing their impressions of the project and the impact of the text reader software. 95% liked the software. 91% thought it was pretty easy or very easy to learn. 93% reported it helped them with their reading. 72% reported it helped them stay on task. 86% reported it helped them work better independently. 79% reported it helped them earn better grades on tests. 56% reported it helped them have better attendance at school. 77% reported it helped them feel better about themselves. 75% reported it helped interest them in what they were learning. 84% reported it helped them understand what was written in their books. 81% reported it helped them get their work done. 58% reported it improved how well they wrote.

Nine teachers (45%) completed the online survey assessing their impressions of the project and the impact of the text reader software. 100% liked using the Kurzweil text reader. 78% said it was easy to use. 33% thought it was somewhat difficult to use while none said it was very difficult to use. 100% reported it helped their students read. 100% reported it helped their students stay on task. 100% reported it helped their students work independently. 88.9% reported it helped their students get better grades on tests. 22% reported it increased attendance at school. 89% reported it helped students feel better about themselves. 89% reported it improved students’ interest in what they are learning. 100% reported it helped students understand what is written in their books. 100% reported it helped students complete their work. 55% reported it helped students improve how well they wrote.

Fuchs, L., Fuchs, D., Hamlett, C.L., Walz, L., & Germann, G. (1993). School Psychology Review, vol. 22, 1-30.

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