— Sharon Yarbrough, South Carolina
AceReader has tools and resources designed specifically for individuals with disabilities and unique challenges. Special features can help those individuals read faster, improve comprehension, and increase productivity.
AceReader has solutions for just about any challenge!
AceReader is a Reading Efficiency software program that promotes effective reading habits in students with a wide variety of special needs. An effective assistive technology tool, it is also known as a Productivity or Self-Improvement Educational Reading Tool; Reading Improvement and Assessment Software; Reading Fluency Software; Vision Training Software; and Speed Reading Software.
The Educational Research Institute of America (ERIA) reviewed four independent studies of the AceReader program to determine if the results provided valid evidence of its instructional effectiveness. While using different age groups and training levels, each of the studies provided evidence that:
The studies documented improvements with students at the elementary through the adult levels, as well as at a variety of ability levels. Perhaps most impressive was that the students' scores exceeded expected gains in both the experimental groups and the general school populations.
The list below contains a number of common physical, behavioral/emotional, and learning disabilities and describes how AceReader can help meet each individual student's needs. It also contains strategies for students who already read well but want to improve their speed even more, as well as improve their overall comprehension and retention.
Definition: A physiological/behavioral disorder characterized by inattentiveness or short attention spans, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and disorganization.
How it affects vision/reading: Students have difficulty focusing on material and are often careless with instructions or printed words when they do.
How AceReader can help: AceReader helps ADD/ADHD students by engaging them in interactive exercises (i.e. Drills and Games), by focusing on one task at a time, and by allowing the students to view reading material at a faster rate. Because they are engaged, and because they can adjust the text's parameters to meet their needs, they may feel a sense of accomplishment at being able to do the work. Some instructors have found that using AceReader for a short period in the morning led to improved behavior and performance overall throughout the school day. (You can find a testimonial from an AceReader customer with ADHD on the "Testimonials" page or at http://www.acereader.com/testimonials/index.html).
Definition: Asperger's syndrome is a developmental disorder similar to autism, and it is included in a group of disorders called pervasive developmental disorders (PDD). The symptoms include difficulty interacting with other people effectively, and the individual may display rigid or socially awkward behavior. In addition, it may be combined with one or more additional disorders such as ADHD and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), further restricting the child's ability to learn effectively.
How it affects vision/reading: People with Asperger's syndrome may have short attention spans and difficulty focusing on written material or verbal instructions, as well as a compulsive tendency to repetitively re-read words and phrases.
How AceReader can help: As each person displays his or her own variety of symptoms, it is important to tailor the work to the student's needs. From font options to importing selected text, the AceReader program is designed to encompass all levels of learning, as well as a variety of special needs, and it helps students to learn by offering a structured daily regimen of reading tests, drills, and games. By engaging students in interactive exercises and focusing on one task at a time, it can help them learn to view and process reading material at a faster rate. And since they can adjust all the text's parameters to meet their needs, they may feel a sense of accomplishment at being able to do the work. In addition, with its built-in tracking options and graphical displays, AceReader allows teachers and parents to monitor and track progress in a tangible way; this can help parents augment the efforts of the work the child does in the classroom setting.
Definition: Disabilities that interfere with the recognition and comprehension of auditory information and a way to measure students' abilities.
How it affects vision/reading: Readers with auditory disabilities often have trouble recognizing or interpreting words and sounds that are important for the reading process.
How AceReader can help: AceReader has a Text-to-Speech Add-on, ideal for helping those with auditory discrimination problems. With the TTS feature, students hear the words at the same time the program flashes or highlights the same words on the screen, and the two proceed in sync throughout the text. As a result, students learn to associate the sound of the words with the written versions. Students can also use this feature to test their listening skills. Selecting the "Take Comprehension Test (Forced Speed/Mode)" feature, they don't read but only listen to the passage; they then skip directly to the Comprehension Test to determine their comprehension rate.
Definition: A language communication disability, which may include any or all of the following: speaking, listening, reading, spelling, and/or writing. Individuals often have higher-than-average IQs and can be extremely creative. They tend to excel in tasks that require visual and spatial integration.
How it affects vision/reading: Dyslexics have trouble translating written language into verbal form, and vice versa. As a result, they display poor reading comprehension, difficulty identifying words, and poor spelling.
How AceReader can help: Dyslexics learn best when forced to use simultaneous, multi-sensory techniques (i.e. visual, auditory, and tactile-kinesthetic). Dyslexic AceReader users can adjust the text's presentation speed as well as regulate the amount of text to be displayed (or burst) at one time to meet their specific needs.
Definition: A talent, as opposed to a disability, that can leave efficient readers feeling unchallenged and bored.
How it affects vision/reading: Some students in this category don't read often, since they feel unchallenged, and they often do poorly in school as a result. Others read voraciously, but the texts may contain highly technical or otherwise difficult material.
How AceReader can help: AceReader has grade-leveled Readings, Games, and Drills built into the program, and the readers can set the parameters (i.e. speed, rate of presentation, etc.) to test and expand their abilities, especially on the more difficult material. In addition, by using the program's "Expert Mode," students can load their own text via the clipboard from other sources, such as Web pages, e-mails, or e-books that they wish to read at their leisure. They can also import PDF, MS Word, and Text-only documents using the "Load File" option.
Definition: A deficiency in English language skills resulting from English learned as a second language or a deficiency due to physical speech/language problems.
How it affects vision/reading: ESL students may have difficulty configuring words due to an unfamiliarity with the language, and this slows their reading speed. Other, physical, disorders may include pronunciation and auditory problems, which can interfere with how our brains recognize and interpret words and sounds.
How AceReader can help: AceReader has a Text-to-Speech Add-on, ideal for help with early reading (grades 1-3) fluency and ESL problems. With the TTS feature, students hear the words at the same time the program flashes or highlights them on the screen, and the two proceed in sync throughout the text. The Add-on also allows users to change the words' presentation to meet their personal needs (i.e. slowing down on long words, pausing after punctuation, etc.), and it provides a multi-sensory approach that reinforces efficient reading techniques. In addition, the program accepts all languages using the ASCII character set; it can therefore be used to increase fluency in languages other than English, as well.
Definition: A disability that prevents individuals from viewing words clearly.
How it affects vision/reading: Low vision students often cannot see the "normal" size print on a page or font on a computer clearly or at all.
How AceReader can help: AceReader's "Expert Mode" allows users to specify the size and color of the font, the color of the background, the number of words displayed at a time, and the manner in which the text appears. It can therefore provide students an opportunity to read material that would otherwise be beyond their abilities.
Definition: The average reader, one who does not have any of the disabilities or talents specified in this section, but who wants to improve his/her reading skills.
How it affects vision/reading: The average adult reads at approximately 200 words per minute, with only about 50% comprehension.
How AceReader can help: AceReader contains Readings, Drills, and Games that help average readers improve their speed and their comprehension. AceReader uses Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) as one of its two modes of operation. In this mode, words appear in the central part of the screen (at a user-set presentation rate) so readers do not need to move their eyes to track them. Many people find this a more efficient way to read. In addition, the Comprehension Tests provide a means of establishing and tracking the readers' increased comprehension.
Definition: A physical disability that interferes with individuals moving their head, and especially their eyes, in a coordinated and efficient manner.
How it affects vision/reading: Individuals either paralyzed or with eye fixation problems are unable to track words efficiently across the screen or printed page and sometimes not at all.
How AceReader can help: AceReader uses Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) as one of its two modes of operation. In this mode, words appear in the central part of the screen, and users can set the speed of presentation; they do not need to move either their head or their eyes to see the words. (You can find a testimonial from an AceReader customer with eye fixation problems due to a brain tumor at the bottom of the "Testimonials" page or at http://www.acereader.com/testimonials/index.html).
Definition: A visual training tool for all types of readers.
How it affects vision/reading: Students using the program for this type of practice improve both their word recognition rate and their overall comprehension.
How AceReader can help: AceReader is similar to the early mechanical tachistoscope machines used to train airplane pilots, and it can be used as a pacing tool. Users can flash text onto the screen, adjusting the options (i.e. single word, multiple words, multiple lines, burst speed, scroll mode, etc.) to meet their personal needs and work toward greater reading efficiency overall.
Definition: Perception disabilities that affect the manner in which readers see and interpret visual information.
How it affects vision/reading: Individuals with a Visual Sequencing problem have difficulty ordering information sequentially, and they may see words, letters, and numbers in reverse; those with a Visual Discrimination problem fail to recognize the differences between similar objects, letters, and words. Individuals must stop, re-read, and sometimes read the material a third or fourth time before they can make sense of what's on the page or the screen.
How AceReader can help: AceReader contains Sight Word lists that can be accessed from the "Flashcard" Game. With repeated viewing, these words become easily recognizable. In addition, the Text-to-Speech Add-on allows users to hear the sound of the words as they are displayed on the screen; this multi-sensory approach reinforces the information and makes these and other words easier to recognize.