An “Assistive Technology Device” consists in “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities” (Assistive Technology Act, 2004). This kind of technologies in the schools setting is not only useful but often indispensable to allow disabled people to reach their educational goals. Objectives. In this paper, we review how assistive technologies can be a powerful means for people who have reading difficulties and in particular dyslexic children to meet their particular problems. Furthermore we analyze their use in educational settings in Developing Countries focusing on opportunities and problems in these particular contexts. Materials and Methods. We analyzed a set of devices and programs specifically built to help dyslexic children or adapt to their deficits, providing a description of these technologies and practical examples. In the analysis we took into consideration several factors, including the integrative and support roles of Assistive Technologies in building inclusive educational settings (see e.g. Hasselbring. Bausch, 2006). We also investigated educational and sociocultural problems and opportunities related to dyslexic people and available technological faced by Developing Countries. Results. We analyze separately compensatory technologies and rehabilitative technologies for dyslexia. Compensatory technologies - like text to speech software, voice recognition and orthographic editors - consist in computer applications that help dyslexics to access the content of the different subject matter, despite their difficulties, while rehabilitative technologies are devised to develop and strengthen reading, from the basic orthographic units to words reading and text comprehension - thanks to specific reading trainings. The key feature of rehabilitative technologies is their reliance on combined educational and motivational goals through animated and game-like apps to help children to improve their reading skills. In general, technologies that rely on multidimensionality and allow fine-grained integration of multisensory information of different sensory modalities and through different media seem to be the most effective. Thus, the rapidity of information processing and large memory size, proper of technologies, can be used to compensate difficulties in these processes, proper of dyslexia. Finally, technologies may increase motivation and curiosity, alleviating learning difficulties and fatigue, and they may also be functional in stimulating need for autonomy by encouraging an active role during learning in and out of the classroom. Unfortunately, economic, technical, and sometime cultural problems mitigate the positive role of assistive technologies in the Developing Countries. Conclusions. Technologies are useful tools for helping children to both acquire reading abilities and to overcome some of the problems typical of developmental dyslexia and reading difficulties. A challenge for the educational setting is to integrate such technologies into the educational practice, and for technologies to be tailored to the need of the individual learners. In addition to these, the use of such technologies in the Developing Countries faces obstacles of various kind.
Assistive technologies for reading disabilities: opportunities for developing countries / Cerni, Tania; Job, Remo. - (2015). ((Intervento presentato al convegno Les Actes de la troisième Conférence internationale sur Les application de l'ergonomie dans les pays en voie de développement tenutosi a Algeris nel 26-27 october 2015.
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|Titolo:||Assistive technologies for reading disabilities: opportunities for developing countries|
|Autori:||Cerni, Tania; Job, Remo|
|Titolo del volume contenente il saggio:||Les Actes de la troisième Conférence internationale sur Les application de l'ergonomie dans les pays en voie de développement|
|Luogo di edizione:||Algeris|
|Casa editrice:||Université - Laboratoire de prévention et d'ergonomie|
|Anno di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Citazione:||Assistive technologies for reading disabilities: opportunities for developing countries / Cerni, Tania; Job, Remo. - (2015). ((Intervento presentato al convegno Les Actes de la troisième Conférence internationale sur Les application de l'ergonomie dans les pays en voie de développement tenutosi a Algeris nel 26-27 october 2015.|
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