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D'Andrea, Frances Mary (2010) PREFERENCES AND PRACTICES AMONG STUDENTS WHO READ BRAILLE AND USE ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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An increased emphasis on the use of technology and the focus on "multiliteracies" in the classroom has great implications for both teachers and students regarding the expectation that all students will become skilled and critical users of computers and other technology for literacy-related tasks. Students who are braille readers use assistive technology not only to engage in literacy tasks (such as creating print documents) but also to access the general curriculum. For all of its acknowledged importance, there is little research on the ways that technology has changed the reading and writing practices of students who use braille, nor is there much research on how assistive technology is learned by students with visual impairments. A mixed methods study was conducted to investigate current use of paper braille and assistive technology among students aged 16-22 who read braille, and the students' attitudes toward braille and technology as tools for classroom learning in high school and college. The first phase of the study consisted of 12 semi-structured interviews of students around the United States. These interviews were coded for themes, and quotes from the interviews were used to create a Likert-scale survey. In the second phase of the study, 77 students participated in the survey, indicating their agreement or disagreement with the statements on the survey. Survey data were analyzed for frequencies and percentages of responses, and relationships between variables such as grade level, age, primary medium, and other factors were explored. Results of the study indicated the changing nature of how students use various tools and select approaches to completing their class work, and the importance for students of being able to make choices regarding tools and strategies. Implications for teacher preparation and suggestions for future research are discussed.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
D'Andrea, Frances Maryfmd22@pitt.eduFMD22
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairZimmerman, George Jgjz@pitt.eduGJZ
Committee MemberGodley, Amanda Jagodley@pitt.eduAGODLEY
Committee MemberLemons, Christopherlemons@pitt.eduLEMONS
Committee MemberKucan, Lindalkucan@pitt.eduLKUCAN
Committee MemberHolbrook, M.
Date: 20 September 2010
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 15 June 2010
Approval Date: 20 September 2010
Submission Date: 20 July 2010
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: blindness; education; literacy; special education; visual impairment
Other ID:, etd-07202010-144626
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:52
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:46


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