Students with special needs (e.g. Low Vision, LD, and ADHD), in addition to those who are deaf or hard of hearing, are often denied full participation in formal and informal educational activities due to the lack of appropriate and effective access services. Continuing advances in technology have the potential to expand availability of real-time display of text and non-text information that could reduce communication and educational barriers that can impede effective learning. Our study with 108 student participants who are deaf or hard of hearing was initiated to provide effective options and data-based guidance for students, teachers, employers, and service providers to reach the goal of full participation in educational environments and the world of work. Data from the study demonstrate that automatic speech recognition (ASR) combined with a unified field of vision is an effective access service, both educationally and cost wise. In addition, ASR provides direct exposure to the vocabulary of science and technology, which is critical for interactive participation in STEM disciplines and conceptual understanding. We will share the lessons learned about what works or doesn’t work when displaying multiple inputs of text and non-text information to enhance student participation and learning in STEM disciplines.
This research was supported by the National Science Foundation, Award Number 0622854.