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Sociocultural Factors of Assistive Technology Adoption among Individuals with Reading Disabilities

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Title: Sociocultural Factors of Assistive Technology Adoption among Individuals with Reading Disabilities


1
Sociocultural Factors of Assistive Technology
Adoption among Individuals with Reading
Disabilities
  • Katherine Deibel
  • Computer Science Engineering
  • University of Washington

2
What is this talk (and thesis) about?
  • Understanding and supporting the usage and
    adoption of assistive technologies by people with
    reading disabilities

3
Why does it matter?
  • Reading is a critical skill in an information
    society
  • 7-15 of the population have reading disabilities
    (e.g., dyslexia)
  • Computer-based assistive tools can provide
    successful accommodations
  • A tool is only helpful when it is used

Refs Sands Buchholz,1997
4
Abandonment of Assistive Technology
  • 35 of all assistive technologies purchased are
    abandoned
  • Waste of resources, time, and funds for users and
    disability services
  • Bad experiences lead to disillusionment about
    assistive technologies

Refs Phillips Zhao, 1993 Martin McCormack,
1999 Rimer-Reiss Wacker, 2000
5
Research Questions
  • What technologies are helpful to people with
    reading disabilities?
  • What technologies are used by people with reading
    disabilities?
  • What technologies get abandoned by people with
    reading disabilities? Why?
  • What helps make a technology adoptable?
  • How can we use this knowledge to make better
    technologies?

6
A Multidisciplinary Effort
Insights from many research areas
  • Computer science
  • Reading on computers
  • Digital literacies
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Education
  • Technology adoption
  • Reading sciences
  • Assistive technology

7
Sociocultural factors
  • Various social and cultural factors affect
    research and development of assistive
    technologies for reading disabilities
  • Understanding these factors allows for better
    future research

8
Outline
  • Motivation and Introduction
  • Short Background on Reading Disabilities
  • Current Research and Its Gaps
  • Assistive Technologies for Reading
  • Assistive Technology Adoption Studies
  • Sociocultural Factors Understanding the Gaps
  • Summary

9
What is a reading disability?
  • Profound difficulty with learning to read and the
    act of reading
  • Phonological processing deficit
  • Letter and word misidentification
  • Impacts reading comprehension
  • Visual stress
  • Letters and words move and blur together
  • Difficulty sustaining reading

Refs Sands Buchholz,1997 Dickinson et al.,
2002
10
Social aspects of reading disabilities
  • Poor reading is socially associated with poor
    intelligence
  • Individuals with reading disabilities experience
  • Self-doubt, low confidence, and feelings of
    isolation
  • Teasing from peers
  • Expectations from others to fail
  • Viewed as lazy or attempting to fraud the system

Refs McDermott, 1993 Edwards, 1994 Williams
Ceci, 1999 Zirkel, 2000 Cory, 2005
11
Invisible nature of reading disability
  • Disability not visually apparent to others
  • Allows individual to hide as normal
  • Avoid disability stigma
  • Limit knowledge to trusted others
  • Delay asking for help

Refs McDermott, 1993 Edwards, 1994 Cory, 2005
12
Outline
  • Motivation and Introduction
  • Short Background on Reading Disabilities
  • Current Research and Its Gaps
  • Assistive Technologies for Reading
  • Assistive Technology Adoption Studies
  • Sociocultural Factors Understanding the Gaps
  • Summary

13
Researched technologies
  • Technologies
  • Text windows / Single word displays
  • Semantic line breaking of text
  • Text display (colors, font, size, etc.)
  • SeeWord
  • Studied briefly then research moves on
  • Rarely developed into commercially available
    products

Refs Elkind et al., 1996 Sands Buchholz,
1997 Dickinson et al., 2002 Laga et al., 2006
14
EXCEPTION Text-to-Speech Software
  • Listen to text read aloud by a computer
  • Bypasses phonological processing deficit
  • Improves word identification and speed
  • Many commercial versions available
  • Heavily researched with variations

Refs Elkind et al., 1996 Sands Buchholz,
1997, Laga et al., 2006
15
Summary of assistive technologies
  • Most technologies never go beyond the research
    stage
  • Commercially available technologies are primarily
    text-to-speech

16
Outline
  • Motivation and Introduction
  • Short Background on Reading Disabilities
  • Current Research and Its Gaps
  • Assistive Technologies for Reading
  • Assistive Technology Adoption Studies
  • Sociocultural Factors Understanding the Gaps
  • Summary

17
Studies of assistive technology adoption
  • Phillips and Zhao (1993)
  • Elkind et al. (1996)
  • Jeanes et al. (1997)
  • Wehmeyer (1995, 1998)
  • Martin and McCormack (1999)
  • Riemer-Reiss and Wacker (2000)
  • Koester (2003)
  • Dawe (2006)
  • Shinohara and Tenenberg (2007)
  • Comden (2007)
  • Deibel (2007, 2008)

18
Studies of assistive technology adoption
  • Phillips and Zhao (1993)
  • Elkind et al. (1996)
  • Jeanes et al. (1997)
  • Wehmeyer (1995, 1998)
  • Martin and McCormack (1999)
  • Riemer-Reiss and Wacker (2000)
  • Koester (2003)
  • Dawe (2006)
  • Shinohara and Tenenberg (2007)
  • Comden (2007)
  • Deibel (2007, 2008)

19
Studies of Assistive Technology Adoption
Types of Assistive Technologies
Focus on Reading Disabilities
20
Studies of Assistive Technology Adoption
Adoption of specific assistive technologies
Types of Assistive Technologies
Focus on Reading Disabilities
21
Studies of Assistive Technology Adoption
No studies of general technology adoption
Types of Assistive Technologies
Focus on Reading Disabilities
22
Studies of Assistive Technology Adoption
Do not report differences between disability types
Types of Assistive Technologies
Focus on Reading Disabilities
23
Studies of Assistive Technology Adoption
Text-to-Speech abandonment rate of 50-100
Types of Assistive Technologies
Focus on Reading Disabilities
Refs Elkind et al., 1996 Comden, 2007 Deibel,
2007 Deibel, 2008
24
Summary of adoption studies
  • Only specific technology studies for users with
    reading disabilities
  • No studies of general technology usage among
    people with reading disabilities
  • Multiple disability studies do not report
    findings by disability type
  • Text-to-speech has a high abandonment rate (small
    n studies)

25
Outline
  • Motivation and Introduction
  • Short Background on Reading Disabilities
  • Current Research and Its Gaps
  • Assistive Technologies for Reading
  • Assistive Technology Adoption Studies
  • Sociocultural Factors Understanding the Gaps
  • Summary

26
The Gaps
  • Assistive technology development mainly
    restricted to text-to-speech despite frequent
    abandonment
  • Adoption studies often cover other disabilities
  • Reading disability adoption studies limited to
    specific technologies

27
Sociocultural factors
  • Various social and cultural factors affect
    research and development of assistive
    technologies for reading disabilities
  • Factors include
  • Nature of reading disabilities
  • Social views on disabilities
  • Educational policies and philosophies
  • Available technologies
  • Technology practices

28
Text-to-Speech and Display Technologies
  • Text-to-speech developed in 1990s
  • Most work conducted on desktop machines with CRT
    displays
  • Displays known to be non-conducive to vision-only
    reading
  • Developers made best use of technologies
    available at the time
  • Insight
  • Explore potentials of portable computers (PDAs,
    tablets, etc.) that are better designed to
    support reading

Refs Farmer, 1992 Gujar et al., 1998 Waycott
Kukulska-Hulme, 2003
29
Assistive Technologies and Medicine
  • Early AT adoption studies conducted by
    rehabilitation doctors
  • Focused on disabilities they treated
  • Reading disabilities are not treated medically
    but through education
  • Insight
  • Consider the different policies, laws, funding,
    philosophies, etc. between medical and
    educational treatment of disabilities

Refs Phillips Zhao, 1993 Clough Corbett,
2000
30
Education and the Medical Model
Medical model of disability A disability is a
flaw or defect that needs fixing or bypassing
  • Typical Education Research Approach
  • Phonological processing deficit
  • Listening to text read aloud bypasses deficit
  • Text-to-speech technology
  • Use text-to-speech for remediation

Refs Sands Buchholz, 1997 Clough Corbett,
2000
31
Educational Model of Disability
  • Person has education disability about X
  • Sub-skill Y is identified as lacking
  • If we remediate or bypass Y, X will improve
  • Efforts that ignore Y are not pursued
  • Insight
  • Consider interventions not involving
    phonological processing deficit

32
Repercussions of Educational Model
  • Focus on early reading
  • Emphasis on early interventions, K-5
  • Ignores transition from learning to read to
    reading to learn
  • Insight
  • Lack of support for more advanced reading skills
    and tasks

Refs Wineburg, 1991 Cunningham Stanovich,
1997 Peskin, 1998, Peer Reid, 2001
33
Repercussions of Educational Model
  • Focus on reading at school
  • Reading takes place outside of schools
  • AT often deployed only in the school labs
  • Insight
  • Current assistive devices not designed for use
    in multiple locales

Refs Laga et al., 2006
34
Invisible nature of reading disability
  • Disability not visually apparent to others
  • Allows individual to hide as normal
  • Avoid disability stigma
  • Limit knowledge to trusted others
  • Delay asking for help

Refs McDermott, 1993 Edwards, 1994 Cory, 2005
35
Invisibility and Technology Usage
  • Would text-to-speech be used in a.
  • lecture hall?
  • library?
  • study group?
  • in a dorm room with roommate?
  • in a dorm room alone?
  • Insight
  • Need awareness of different contexts and how
    they affect usage

36
Invisibility and Adoption Theories
  • Diffusion of Innovations is the seminal text and
    theory on technology adoption
  • Key aspect is communication of ideas
  • Social network of users and adopters

Refs Rogers, 2003
37
Invisibility and Lack of Diffusion
  • People with reading disabilities tend to
    tactically hide disability from others
  • Stealth usage of technology slows diffusion
  • Social network of users is sparse
  • Disclosure of disability also uncertain
  • Insight
  • Standard theory of technology adoption is not
    readily applicable

Refs Rogers, 2003
38
Outline
  • Motivation and Introduction
  • Short Background on Reading Disabilities
  • Current Research and Its Gaps
  • Assistive Technologies for Reading
  • Assistive Technology Adoption Studies
  • Sociocultural Factors Understanding the Gaps
  • Summary

39
Summary
  • Research literature on assistive technologies for
    reading disabilities is limited in scope
  • Various social and cultural factors have
    influenced previous and current research
  • Understanding these factors allows for better
    future research

40
Ongoing research
  • Case studies of people with reading disabilities
    emphasizing
  • Usage of technologies to support reading
  • The types and contexts of their reading
    activities
  • Identifying additional social and cultural
    factors
  • Development of new assistive technologies
  • Supports invisible nature of reading disabilities
  • Adjustable to multiple usage contexts

41
Acknowledgements
Completion of this work would not have been
possible without the influence of many people,
including
  • Alan Borning
  • Sheryl Burgstahler
  • Josh Tenenberg
  • Bill Winn
  • Jennifer C. Stone
  • Dan Comden
  • Hilary Holz
  • Cynthia J. Atman
  • Lindsay Michimoto
  • Literacy Source
  • John Bransford
  • Linda Shapiro
  • Steve Tanimoto
  • Ken Yasuhara
  • Richard C. Davis
  • Imran Rashid
  • Janet Davis
  • Jim Borgford-Parnell
  • Jason Deibel
  • Johannes Gutenberg
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