[Athen] Literacy software
Schwarte, David M.
schwarte at purdue.edu
Sun Nov 20 15:03:14 PST 2016
Until recently, we used both RWG and K3000. We are now using RWG and a DAISy reader. I was fortunate to have student staff on both sides of this question a few years ago. I could really try to get an idea of why there was a difference of opinion. Students who are more easily distractible seem to prefer a closed environment, such as Kurzweil 3000. Everything the student uses in Kurzweil 3000 has exactly the same interface. Other students seem to prefer Read & Write Gold, since they can read text without moving it or opening it in another program. My observations are far from being scientific, but since we had the DAISy option for our students who have visual issues, I decided to actually talk with new e-text users, instead of just telling them what they should use. The students who are most concerned about distractions, complex formatting, lots of colors etc., seem to do better with the DAISy Reader with a more simple interface. I always leave the final choice up to the student. Students who I thought would do better with the DAISy reader, but decided to use Read & Write gold, usually come back to discuss their options later. I should mention that I am not part of a DSS office and I don’t have access to any information about a student’s disability diagnosis. Some students who tell me they have ADD or ADHD still do better with Read & Write Gold. I usually listen for comments like “I really hate books with lots of sidebars and multi-column text.”
I think of this similarly to the early days of text-to-speech systems, where they were all designed for people who had visual impairments. Some students who had other types of disabilities felt programs like Kurzweil 3000 and WYNN were great steps forward. I tried to make my life more simple by finding a compromise program that would work for everyone. I eventually decided I needed to support two programs. I think I am in the same boat again. Instead of the difference being a basic diagnosis, the dividing line between the two types of e-text readers will need to be based more on the specific user.
Assistive Technology Specialist
128 Memorial Mall Dr. Rm. 111
West Lafayette, IN 47907
E-mail: Schwarte at purdue.edu
From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Carolyn Dorr
Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2016 9:57 AM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Athen] Literacy software
(Sorry for cross-posting)
I’m looking for comparisons of Read&Write Gold and Kurzweil 3000. If your institution has provided both, which is preferred? Our campus currently provides RWG on all lab computers and also offers it for download for personal computers on our campus. Our Student Disability Services reports that some students are struggling with RWG and prefer Kurzweil 3000 that they used in high school. Any guidance is appreciated!
IT Accessibility Coordinator
Information Technology-Client Services
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0301
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