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Paper or Digital Text: Which Reading Medium Is Best for Students with Visual Impairments? — JVIB Abstract

Abstract: Introduction: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the differences in silent and oral reading speed, reading comprehension, and reading errors in two formats, large print paper and the iPad2, for students with visual impairments (that is, those who are blind or have low vision). Methods: A single-subject alternating randomized treatment design was used with three participants. The intervention consisted of instruction on the use of an iPad. Data regarding reading speed, reading miscues, and comprehension were collected. Data were analyzed visually and descriptively. Results: All participants demonstrated a slightly higher reading speed, equal comprehension rates, and decreased error rates using the iPad2 compared to paper. Discussion: Results indicated that using an iPad for reading may have an effect on reading fluency and comprehension for students with low vision. Implications for practitioners: Students with low vision, particularly those with more severe vision loss, may benefit from the use of electronic tablets that allow one to adjust font size, style, color, and contrast. Users should be taught how to manipulate the visual display of text and be allowed time to adjust to an electronic medium.

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