Week 3

September 28, 2021 1 By Allison Preble

I sent out my teacher survey at the beginning of last week. Since then, I have been researching online about how to build understanding and advocacy for students with learning differences. I’m specifically trying to find information from other students’ perspectives. I realize that as I research about how other students’ learning differences affect them, my Dyslexia is actively affecting how I research. Reading scholarly and lengthy articles is not easy for me. I have trouble remembering and retaining the information that I read. Because of this, I have to re-read information multiple times until I fully understand the material. Research that takes students without learning differences 1 hour, takes me at least 2 hours. Even as long as this research is taking me, this research is very meaningful.

Last week, I researched assistive technology. Assistive technology is technology that can help accommodate students’ learning and attention differences. The more I read, the more I realize how much assistive technology could help many of my struggles in class. For example, an assistive technology tool that reads text aloud(aka text to speech function) would help me retain and process information quicker. One assumption that many people have about students with learning differences is that we can’t learn information. This is untrue, we just learn differently. When I was diagnosed with Dyslexia, the learning specialist explained to my parents that I had a high IQ, but I was significantly Dyslexic. My learning difference was masking my ability. Assistive technology would help people like me pull back the curtain and show teachers our capability. For students with Dyslexia and Dysgraphia, the assistive technology of speech recognition could be very beneficial for schoolwork. It would allow students who often struggle to get their ideas onto paper, speak into devices that would then write down their spoken words. Other assistive technology tools are: proofreading programs, electronic math worksheets, and abbreviation expanders. As I begin to receive feedback on my teacher and student surveys, I will assess whether there feedback gives me the inclination that assistive technology could be helpful in our community.