Jamie Martin, Assistive Technology Consultant for Students and Adults with Dyslexia
One of the most successful ways to help dyslexic children become better readers is to combine a proven remedial program with assistive technology (AT) use.
For many years, children with dyslexia have been able to improve their literacy skills through tutorial programs based on the Orton-Gillingham approach. Those programs include pure Orton-Gillingham, the Wilson Reading System, and the Barton Reading and Spelling System. A good tutorial program is based on phonics, and teachers trained in each approach are able to identify and address the particular needs of individual students.
In recent years, dyslexic students have also been able to utilize assistive technology in order to access academic material that exceeds their reading levels. In particular, text-to-speech technology can read electronic text aloud when students have difficulty doing it themselves. In addition, audio books with human narration can be synched to electronic text to give students a richer reading experience. One example is Learning Ally's VOICEtext books. By using AT, students can read on their intellectual levels and keep up with their classmates while continuing to improve their decoding and reading comprehension through remediation.
In this day and age, students who combine remediation and accommodation (AT) have the best chance at academic success.