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How Technology Supports Empowerment, Equality, and Efficiency

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Title:
How Technology Supports Empowerment, Equality, and Efficiency Voices of Students with Dyslexia
Creator:
Jordan, Adam Matthew
Place of Publication:
[Gainesville, Fla.]
Florida
Publisher:
University of Florida
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Language:
english
Physical Description:
1 online resource (106 p.)

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Curriculum and Instruction
Teaching and Learning
Committee Chair:
Dawson,Kara Mariehopkins
Committee Co-Chair:
Mccray,Erica Djuan
Committee Members:
Antonenko,Pavlo
Puig,Ana
Graduation Date:
12/13/2019

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
assistive-technology -- dyslexia
Teaching and Learning -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
born-digital ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Curriculum and Instruction thesis, Ph.D.

Notes

Abstract:
More students diagnosed with dyslexia are entering higher education than ever before (Bjorklund, 2011). However, few studies examine the experiences of post-secondary students with dyslexia (MacCullagh, Bosanquet, & Badcock, 2017). This qualitative study illuminates these experiences through the voices of students with dyslexia who use assistive technology (AT) in their post-secondary courses. Defined as any device or system that increases capabilities of individuals with disabilities (ATA, 2000), assistive technology types used by the student participants in this study are examined to provide supporting context to the overall purpose of this study: capturing the student voice. Understanding and reporting student experiences with AT may shape how AT is used for future populations of post-secondary students with dyslexia. Focusing on AT use in undergraduate English and writing classes, in this narrative inquiry study, I interviewed a convenience sample of four currently enrolled post-secondary students at a large southeastern university in the United States. This population includes male and female students who self-identify as having dyslexia. Data were analyzed using a version of Polkinghorne's (1995) narrative mode of analysis. The findings are presented in narrative format, and expanded through coded themes that were identified in the data. Overall, the findings indicate that AT creates efficiency for students with dyslexia in school work related tasks, it empowers them to complete their academic work, and helps them feel equal to their classmates that do not have dyslexia and do not use AT. ( en )
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2019.
Local:
Adviser: Dawson,Kara Mariehopkins.
Local:
Co-adviser: Mccray,Erica Djuan.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Adam Matthew Jordan.

Record Information

Source Institution:
UFRGP
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
Classification:
LD1780 2019 ( lcc )

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HOW TECHNOLOGY SUPPORTS EMPOWERMENT, EQUALITY, AND EFFICIENCY : VOICES OF STUDENTS WITH DYSLEXIA By ADAM JORDAN A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2019

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© 2019 Adam Jordan

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To Micah, whose boundless creativity, selfless heart, and passion for life has brought me u n speakable joy.

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First and foremost, I give thanks to God. Without Him I would have not made it this far. I put my faith and trust in Him and believe it was by his strength that I was able to complete this study, and all of my previous schooling. I have an abudance of gra titude for Dr. Kara Dawson and Dr. Erica McCray. I am so thankful for all the time they spent with me, pushing me, challenging me, and guid ing me along the way. As a part time student and full time employee, this dissertation seemed, at times, insurmountab le. However, Dr. Dawson and Dr. McCray provided personalized care and support thoughout the way that turned this life long goal into reality . I am incredibly thankful for the support given to me from Dr. JoCynda Hudson, Calvin Mos le y , and Tanja Philhower . As supervisors, they all created a space for me to continue my educational path and never once questioned the importance of it. Through showing a genuine interest in my studies, they gave me the confidence to push through stressful times, while also allowing me to take personal time to read and write. I will never forget the conversations we have shared. A very special thank you goes out to Gerry Altamirano and Carly Osborne. Without their support and access I would not have been able to collect any data! I am grateful for their help, ques tions, respect , and advocacy for their student s , and their belief in me and the need for my study . I extend a huge and warm thank you to my family: my parents, Wil and Mira ; in laws, Dave and Diane ; and sisters and brother, Dana, Erica, and Mike. Each of them has always seen the best in me , and expressed it graciously over the past seven years I was enrolled in my graduate program . They have supported me through the highs and

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5 lows, and have given me courage to p ress on. My children, Micah and Ar ia, have reminded me d aily of what it means to grab life, take the best things from it, and enjoy the ride along the way. Their u nconditional love has given me the drive to continue. Finally, my most heartfelt thanks is e xtended to Mary. She is my rock; she is my heart . She has sacrificed so much for me to complete this project. Her warmth and selflessness, coupled with her encouragement and belief in me , have filled me with me the confidence to cross this finish line. I c annot imagine having done this project, or much of anything else in life, without her by my side .

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6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 9 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 10 LIST OF DEFINITIONS ................................ ................................ ................................ . 11 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 14 Problem Statement ................................ ................................ ................................ . 14 Purpose Statemen t ................................ ................................ ................................ . 15 Research Question ................................ ................................ ................................ . 16 Significance ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 16 Dyslexia ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 17 Assistive Technology ................................ ................................ .............................. 17 Organization of the Study ................................ ................................ ....................... 18 Delimitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 18 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 19 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 20 Chapter Introduction ................................ ................................ ............................... 20 Overview of Literature Reviewed ................................ ................................ ............ 21 Dyslexia ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 22 Complexity ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 22 Long term Effects ................................ ................................ ............................. 23 Students with Dyslexia ................................ ................................ ..................... 24 Assistive Technology ................................ ................................ .............................. 24 Redefining Assistive Technology ................................ ................................ ...... 25 As sistive Technology Types ................................ ................................ ............. 26 How AT Supports Individuals with Dyslexia ................................ ...................... 26 Synthesis ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 27 Conceptual Framework ................................ ................................ ........................... 27 Themes ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 30 Purposeful AT Selection ................................ ................................ ................... 31 Mix of AT ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 32 AT Use and Stigma ................................ ................................ .......................... 33 AT Use Affects Self efficacy ................................ ................................ ............. 33 Improper AT Use Affects Learning Outcomes ................................ .................. 34

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7 AT Assimilation and Selection ................................ ................................ .......... 35 Implications for Future Research ................................ ................................ ............ 35 Software Variability ................................ ................................ ........................... 35 Laws and Policies ................................ ................................ ............................. 36 Key Takeways ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 36 K 12 Focus ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 36 Parental Consideration ................................ ................................ ..................... 37 Gaps in the Research ................................ ................................ ............................. 37 Student Voice ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 37 Instructor Voice ................................ ................................ ................................ 38 Compliance ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 38 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 39 3 METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 40 Chapter Introduction ................................ ................................ ............................... 40 Research Design ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 40 Research Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 41 Setting ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 41 Participants ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 42 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ . 43 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 43 Interview Protocol ................................ ................................ ............................. 45 Trustworthiness ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 46 Four Domains ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 47 Member Checking ................................ ................................ ............................ 47 Researcher Reflexivity ................................ ................................ ...................... 48 Difficulti es ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 49 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 50 4 FINDINGS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 51 Chapter Introduction ................................ ................................ ............................... 51 Participant Narratives ................................ ................................ .............................. 51 Sadie ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 51 Arthur ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 56 Maggie ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 59 Abigail ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 62 Assistive Technology Types ................................ ................................ ................... 65 Courses ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 67 Findings Related to the Conceptual Framework ................................ ..................... 68 Time Management ................................ ................................ ........................... 68 AT offsets time consuming assignments ................................ .................... 68 AT helps students work more efficiently ................................ ..................... 69 Motivation ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 69 AT mostly welcomed by instructors ................................ ............................ 69 AT empowers students ................................ ................................ .............. 70

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8 Information Processing ................................ ................................ ..................... 71 AT supports deeper learning ................................ ................................ ...... 71 Findings from Thematic Analysis ................................ ................................ ............ 72 Hidden AT for a Hidden Disability ................................ ................................ ..... 72 Leveling the Playing Field ................................ ................................ ................. 73 Co occuring Disabilities ................................ ................................ .................... 73 Telling Their Stories ................................ ................................ ......................... 74 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 75 5 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 76 Intrepretation of the Findings ................................ ................................ .................. 76 Ti me Management ................................ ................................ ........................... 77 Motivation ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 78 Information Processing ................................ ................................ ..................... 79 Interpretation of New Findings ................................ ................................ ................ 80 Hidden AT for a Hidden Disability ................................ ................................ ..... 80 Leveling the Playing Field ................................ ................................ ................. 82 Tellin g Their Stories ................................ ................................ ......................... 82 Implications for Practice ................................ ................................ .......................... 83 Teacher and Instructor Preparedness ................................ .............................. 83 Learning Management System Integration ................................ ....................... 85 Limitations and Recommendations for Future Research ................................ ........ 85 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 85 Recommendations for Future Research ................................ ........................... 87 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 89 APPENDIX A INTERVIEW PROTOCOL ................................ ................................ ....................... 92 B INTERVIEW PROTOCOL ALIGNMENT ................................ ................................ . 95 C EMAIL TO POTENTIAL PARTICIPANTS ................................ ............................... 96 D IRB APPROVAL ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 97 E INFORMED CONSENT ................................ ................................ .......................... 98 LIST OF REFERE NCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 100 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 106

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9 LIST OF TABLES Table page 1 1 Themes. This table represents a breakdown of the themes that were uncovered in the literature. ................................ ................................ ................. 30 4 1 AT Types. This table represents the types of AT used by the four participants. AT types are not defined more than once. ................................ ..... 66 4 2 Courses and assignments. This table outlines the courses and their requirements for each of the English and writing courses participants completed. ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 67

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10 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 Conceptual framework.. ................................ ................................ ...................... 29

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11 LIST OF DEFINITIONS Assistive Technology with a disability by enabling them to complete tasks more (Blackhurst, 1997, p. 43) Dyslexia diagnosis that affects all aspects of literacy: reading, spelling, writing, as well as affecting short term memory and phonological & Passenger, 2006, pp. 87). Dyslexics People with dyslexia. Post secondary students College or Univer sity enrolled undergraduate students. Stigma (Parette & Scherer, 2004, p. 21 7 ). Instructor College or University level teach ing assistant or professor. Lack of standardization Standardization represents uniquely customized assistive technological devices. Use of multiple assistive technological devices. Absence of assistive technology, when applicable. Learning Specialist Professional staff member in the Disability Resource Center

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12 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy HOW TEC HNOLOGY SUPPORTS EMPOWERMENT, EQUALITY, AND EFFICIENCY: VOICES OF STUDENTS WITH DYSLEXIA By Adam Jordan December 2019 Chair: Kara Dawson Cochair: Erica McCray Major: Curriculum and Instruction More students diagnosed with dyslexia are entering higher education than ever before (Bj ö rklund, 2011). However, few studies examine the experiences of post secondary students with dyslexia (MacCullagh, Bosanquet, & Badcock, 201 7 ) . This qualitative study illuminates these experiences through the voices of students with dyslexia who use assistive technology ( AT ) in their post secondary courses. D efined as any device or system that increases capabilities of individuals with disabilitie s (ATA, 2000 ) , assistive technology types used by the student participants in this study are examined to provide supporting context to the overall purpose of this study: capturing the student voice . U nderstand ing and report ing student experiences with AT m ay shape how AT is used for future populations of post secondary students with dyslexia. Focus ing on AT use in undergraduate English and w riting classes, in this narrative inquiry study , I interview ed a convenience sample of four currently enrolled post s econdary students at a large southeastern university in the United States. This population include s male and female students who self identify as having dyslexia. Data were The

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13 f indings are presented in narrative format, and expanded through coded themes that were identified in the data. Overall, the findings indicate that AT creates efficiency for students with dyslexia in school work related tasks, it empowers them to complete t heir academic work , and helps them feel equal to their classmates that do not have dyslexia and do not use AT .

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14 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The number of undergraduate students with dyslexia who use assistive technologies (AT) is increasing, and the type of support they need is not standardized because students with dyslexia have differing needs (Bj ö rklund, 2011). A va st majority of literature related to AT and dyslexia focuses on students at kindergarten through 12 th grade (K 12) level (Bouck, 2016; Khakhar & Madhvanath, 2010) or fails to acknowledge any particular academic demographic ( Lo p resti , Bovine, & Lewis, 2008; Mpia Ndombo, Ojo, & Osunmakinde, 2013; Ramus & Ahissar, 2012). Further, t hese studies tend to employ quantitative methods to explore the effectiveness of a particular AT for students with dyslexia ( Draffan, Evans, & Blankhorn, 2007 ; Lange , McPhillips, Mulhern, & Wylie, 2006 ; Perelmutter, McGregor, & Gordon, 2017 ).There are many studies that explored overall experiences of university students with disabilities, but few that focused on AT and undergraduate student s with dyslexia , and even fewer studies using qualitative research methods to understand the experiences of undergraduate students with dyslexia who use AT ( MacCullagh, Bosanquet, & Badcock, 2016 ). Problem Statement There is a dearth of r esearch exploring the experiences of undergraduate students with dyslexia who use AT. T he lack of AT standardization for students with dyslexia makes clear the need for such research (Bj ö rklund , 2011). Literature that addresses students with dyslexia focuses on varied experienc es of people with dyslexia, the stigma that surrounds their use of AT (Parette & Scherer, 2004), their rights in and outside of the classroom (Day & Edwards, 1996), and a need for individualized AT training programs (Bj ö rklund , 2011) ; h owever, the voice s o f students

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15 with dyslexia and their use of AT in their classes is currently absent from the literature (Van Manen, 2016). Therefore, this study investigates the voices and experiences of undergraduate students with dyslexia as they use AT to support the ir u nique learning needs . To date , roughly half of the articles related to dyslexia in journals such as the Journal of Research and Special Needs , Computers and Education, Learning Disabilities , and Assistive Technologies , are empirical studies , while the remainder are comprised of literature reviews ( Forgrave, 2002 ; Lo pres t i , et al., 2008) and opinion pieces (Sampath , Sivaswamy, & Indurkhya 2010 ; Edyburn, 2000 ; Duhaney & Duhaney, 2000 ) . In empirical studies, most of the subjects and participants were K 12 students , and the articles often highlighted a specific type of AT ( Madeira , Silva, Marcelino, & Ferreira, 2015 ; Khakhar & Madvanath, 2010 ) . Many of the literature reviews discussed AT and how it relates to dyslexia, and those that did not focus ed more broadly on learning disabilities (Parr, 2012 ; Lewis & Lewis, 1998 ; Lang e et al., 2006). T hrough narrative inquiry , I will address th is absence of the student voice in the knowledge base . Purpose Statement The purpose of this narrative inquiry was to understand the experiences of post secondary students with dyslexia who use AT in English and w riting based courses at a large university in the southeastern United States . University students with dyslexia fac e considerable learning challenges ( MacCullagh et al., 201 7 ). Therefore, examining their AT use in courses with increased reading comprehension and writing assignments illuminated how they approached these challenges.

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16 Research Question The overarching question driving this study is: What are the experiences of undergraduate students with dyslexia who use assistive technology in English and w riting based classes ? Significance The impetus for the research question is informed by three conside rations that drive this study and its design : amplifying student voice, focusing on a specific disability, and highlighting AT types specific to dyslexia. As established in the problem statement, student are absent from much of the dyslexia r elated literature ; to this end, this study captures their voices . The focus solely on dyslexia is two pronged: firstly, because of the complexity of its diagnosis , and secondly to avoid drawing attention away from the student participants and toward multip le diagnoses. Similarly , this study parameters are specific to post secondary students who use AT in English and w riting courses because dyslexia affects reading and writing. As explored in the literature review, the research contains a heavy focus on the K 12 student population. Therefore, engaging with post secondary students in this study adds knowledge to the research base which currently lacks in this area. Based on the im portance of student voice in the research (Van Manen, 2016), I argue that investigating the experiences of post secondary students with dyslexia will be a catalyst for deeper, enriched , student informed questions for future researchers , as well as for inst ructors of students with dyslexia , enabling them to more effectively educate this population and understand how their students use specific AT devices that aid in learning.

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17 Dyslexia Research on dyslexia makes clear that it is a unique diagnosis which presents challenges not only for students, but also for instructors who utilize AT in their classrooms. As the clinical definition outlines, dyslexia affects multiple areas including reading that change how postsecondary students learn ( Terrell & Passenger , 2006). Because it is sometimes difficult to identify , dyslexia may go undiagnosed until late adolescence or adulthood for some learners (Mac d onald, 20 10 ) . Additionally , research suggests dyslexia is o ften comorbid, or existing in concert , with additional diagnoses . These may include as anxiety and depression (Haft, Duong, Ho, Hendren, & Hoeft, 201 9 ) or diagnoses related to mathematics or writing (Lyon , Shaywitz, & Shaywitz , 2003) , which may further complicate the learning experience . complexity, participants were considered eligible to participate based on self identification of the dyslexia diagnosis . Assistive Technology In the context of this study, assistive technology r epresents the tool or tools used to aid the participants in the English and/or writing based classes. The campus disability center that serves the participants in this stud y offers two types of AT that aid students with dyslexia. They are Kurzweil 3000 Fi refly and Dragon Naturally Speaking. These AT types will be briefly described in Chapter III. Moreover, any additional AT, such as personal devices, that the participants use separate from those offered in the disability center will be discussed. The pur p o se is not to expand on AT types, or discuss points such as AT effectiveness or satisfaction, but to acknowledge how they are use d while keeping the focus on the student participants themselves.

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18 Organization of the Study As educators, it is imperative that we effectively serve ( teach, guide, lead ) our students . Further, for students with disabilities, we must examine the appropriate and best conditions for technology integration. to understand soc & Wobbrock, 2011, p. 705) . A s an educator, I believe this goal of understanding should extend to the classroom, particularly for students with disabilities and the devices they use. The issues faced by students with disabilities, specifically students with dyslexia, are vast and varied. Delimitations Prior to outlining this study, I was intentional to avoid research scope creep ; in other words, allowing this project to grow outside of the bounds of my research question. I set specific limits identifying what I did not plan to research, literature I did not read, population s I did not plan to study, and methods I purposefully avoided. In the scope of this study, I did not explor e types of AT. Types of AT were captured and defined , but not examined, compared, or analyzed. As long as the AT fell within the scope of definition it was captured within the study, but nothing more was detailed . I also did not gather or report any grades or test scores. The focus of the study is experience, not performance. Lastly, because much of the research I have found is solely on the K 12 population , to add depth to the current focus is exclusively on the experiences of students at the undergraduate level .

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19 Summary In C hapter 1 I provided an overview of the research problem and approach to how it will be addressed in this dissertation. It also include d definitions and key terms, a discussion on the signi ficance of the topic, and gaps in the literature that establish the necessity of expanded on its purpose. The remainder of this dissertation includes four additional chapters, a reference section and appendices. The literature that supports the claims in Chapter 1 is presented in Chapter 2 . Chapter 3 includes a detailed description of the methodology and details of the design. The findings and analysis are outlined in Chapter 4 , and Chapter 5 details the data interpretation , limitations, recommendations for future research , and conclusion . The dissertation concludes with references and appendices.

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20 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Chapt er Introduction Chapter 2 includes literature relevant to this study. I begin with a n overview of the and then move into a summary and synthesis of the literature. Next, I present th e conceptual framework that provide s a foundation for my study. Penultimately , I highlight salient themes that emerged from the literature. Finally, this chapter concludes with a look at what gaps exist in the literature, implications for future research, and a summary of new understandings . Literature in this review includes three book chapters and 4 9 peer reviewed articles from 3 3 journals Journal of Learning Disabilities , to the Journal of Assistive Technologies , to the Journal of Cognitive Neuropsychology and more . The volume and variance in journal s utilized for this literature review parallel the complexity of dyslexia itself. As stated in Chapter 1 , defining dyslexia an d categorizing it is not a simple task. Therefore, gathering as much information that relates to post secondary students with dyslexia and their experiences with AT, whether it be from an educational viewpoint, special education viewpoint, science and tech nology viewpoint, or other, is imperative. In my review of the literature, it was not uncommon for research on dyslexia and AT to overlap . Often a n article focused on students with dyslexia would also discuss types of AT they use d (Draffan, Evans, & Blenkh orn, 2007) . Alternatively, articles

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21 primarily focused on AT would describe dyslexia and other disabilities, ( e.g., Edyburn, 2000). Several authors discussed the impact that dyslexia has , not only on reading and writing, but also on ( Hatcher , Snowling, & Griffiths , 2002, p. 131 ). Additionally, several of the articles discussed stigmatization of students with dyslexia . Lastly, a few of the articles touch on how the success of a student with dyslexia is related to more than just their comfort with and use of AT devices, but also the responsibility of the educational institution to understand and provide appropriate support structures. Specifically, Lange and colleagues (2006) emphasize the importance of the need for AT tools to be subject to Overview of Literature Revie wed Eighteen of the 4 9 articles reviewed in this chapter were empirical studies ; others were comprised of literature reviews , and several fell into the category of opinion pieces. In the empirical studies, subjects were typically K 12 students , and the research often examined a specific type of AT that was used. Many of the literature reviews discussed AT and how it relates to dyslexia, and those that did not focused more broadly on learning disabilities overa l l ( Lang e et al., 200 6 ; Lewis & Lewis, 1998 ; Parr, 2012) . However, an emphasis on the student voice was absent throughout most of the literature. The articles reviewed were published between 19 87 and today; the summation of the literature reveals both how the landscape around dyslexia and AT has changed over the last three decades, as well as how many aspects of the disability, technology, and student experience are timeless.

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22 Dyslexia The term dyslexia is a . While the roots of the word are well agreed upon, d efining dyslexia is not a simple task . Contributing to the complexity to the definition are the facts that the diagnosis that has varying degrees (Bj ö rklund, 2011) , and that can be undiscovered for years , yet remains . Depending on who m you ask, the definition varies : a neurologist may define dyslexia as a brain related disability, whereas the International Dyslexic Association defines it as a specific learning disability (Lyon et al . , 2003, p. 2). The definition selected for the purposes of this study is education ally framed and most closely relates to how dyslexia affect s post secondary students . As mentioned in the Key Terms section, d literacy: reading, spelling, writing, as well as affecting short term memory and & Passenger, 2006, pp. 87). Complexity Even multiple definitions of dyslexia collectively fail to fully examine the complexity of the diagnosis. To understand the hardships of the sample population one must look at how they are affected on a deeper level. One of the contentious issues that has surrounded dyslexia beyond its definition is the q uestion, which part of the body holds the disability? Is it an auditory, visual, or cognitive deficit , or something else? Over the past 100 years, researchers have oscillated on which area dyslexia falls into. It was not until the early 2000s that many researchers began to agree that dyslexia should be categorized as a phonological (i.e., related to how our brains organize sound in language) disorder (Ramus & Ahissar, 2012).

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23 Defining and categorizing are crucial to unde rstanding how this population of students learns best. However, another equally pressing issue relates to performance. the greatest stumbling block for any theory of dyslexia is to explain both cases where dyslexic individ uals perform poorly and cases me, a researcher, with insight on how I view ed the data received from my student participants. Keeping my focus removed from academic perfo rmance and more on learning experience allowed me to explore this issue in a more balanced manner. Long term E ffects The effects of dyslexia extend beyond the classroom. In the teaching and learning process, a lack of effective literacy skills not only g reatly impacts the ability of learners to perform effectively in their study programs at primary, secondary and higher education institutions , but also impedes their opportunities to obtain better employment in the marketplace (Graham , Harris, & Macarthur, 1991; Tzouvelli, Schmidi, Symovonis, & Kollias, 2005), because the ability to write and read is a crucial component of navigating the job search and securing career growth (Shanahan, 2004a ; Shanahan, 2004 b ; Yang & Li, 2010 ). To combat these issue s , many s chools have shifted to use of assistive technology tools , such as Kurzweil 3000, a reading and writing tool to aid students with dyslexia as they learn ( Mpia Ndombo et al., 2013). Another unique factor of this diagnosis is that there is no link between dyslexia and intellectual ability ; dyslexia merely affects processing ( Mpia Ndombo et al., 2013). Supporting post secondary students with dyslexia through proper assistive technology is imperative, and may help them better portray themselves as viable candidates and secure more desirable work opportunities (Tzvouvelli et al., 2005) .

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24 Students with Dyslexia The literature that I have explored examines diagnoses, experiences, and interve ntions for people with dyslexia. Most of the literature focuses on children and the learning struggles they endure, or adults and the difficulties they have in day to day activities. The research does not include a dive deep into the experiences of post se condary students with dyslexia. Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects many different types of people, particularly children ( Mpia Ndombo et al., 2013) , as it is less common for adult diagnoses given their years of exposure and experience with writ ten language (Gus & Samuelsson, 1999). H owever, the higher education community cannot ignore the increase of college aged students with dyslexia (Bj ö rklund, 2011) , or the lack of longitudinal research that examines the children studied in said research as they become adults . Assistive Technology Just as there is no clear definition for dyslexia, parameters for what defines and constitutes assistive technology var y as well. Technology itself is widely adopted ; for people without disabilities it makes life easier , and for people with disabilities it makes life possible (Bryant & Bryant, 20 11 technology anchors this study : individuals with a disability by enabling them to complete tasks more effectively, In this study I explore the experiences of students wi th disabilities and their use of AT including the potential need for students to use technology to make their experiences in classes possible at all (Bryan & Bryant, 20 11 ) . Given that the participants in this study are using AT devices, it is necessary to understand what

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25 assistive technology means in this context. Assistive technology is not solely connected to the dyslexia diagnosis, nor is it solely related to education. Some people use AT for day to day life tasks, such as text to speech applications on mobile devices. Others use text magnification programs to aid in reading. For the purpose of this study, AT will refer to any device or program that aids in the reading comprehension or writing processes for post secondary students with dyslexia. As Bj ö rklund (2011) mentioned, AT standardization is absent in the literature, so this study does not focus on any device in particular. This allowed participants to share what works and what does not work in terms of supporting their English and writing based learning which will contribute to the larger literature conversation around standardizing use of AT. Redefining Assistive Technology useful to the educational setting. How been questioned in more recent scholarship ( Edyburn, 2004; Vanderheiden, 2007). Vanderheiden (2007) argues that, in the future, AT devices may not be considered ( p. 155) unless they allow an individual to do things that they would not be able to do otherwise. Further, Edyburn (2004) of AT and declares it is unclear, muddled, an d leveraged as a legal mandate to force schools to buy devices. For the purposes of this dissertation, the goal is not to explore what AT is or what it may become, but to acknowledge its existence and potential usefulness in the educational context , with a much more substantial focus on the experiences of the student participants who use these technologies.

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26 Assistive Technology Types The types of assistive technology vary by what Lewis (1998) describes as or those that are generic and often available to the general public include white boards, reading magnifiers, and page flags. Medium level AT examples include calculators and timers. Finally, high level AT examples those that are specifically designed for people with d isabilities include slide show software and text to speech programs. The type of AT a student with dyslexia may use often depends on the complexity of their dyslexia diagnosis. Variables include how long the student has been diagnosed, how comfortable they are with AT types, and what type of aid they receive when using AT. Further, it is important to consider the fact that some types of technology are not con are used more for everyday life purposes (Erickson, Temple, DeCoste, Okolo, Kopke, Edyburn, Winters, & Cheeseman, 2013 ) . Peterson Karlan and Parette (2005) discuss cultural dimensions within technology use and explore how millennial students with disabilities use technology inside and outside of the classroom. They have grown up accustomed to technology use (2005). Therefore, the line that separates what is or is not considered assistive is blurred. How AT Suppor t s Individuals with D yslexia It is important to explore the relationship between assistive technology and dyslexia. Without expanding further on the definition of AT or different types and for the purpose of this project , I view this relationship from a broader sense. For exa mple, Lewis and Lewis (1998) propose individuals with learning disabilities capitalize on their diagnosis, and bypass, or

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27 Forgrave (2002) discusses three widely used AT types for students with learning disabilities which include speech synthesis programs, organizational software, and voice recognition software (p. 122). What the literature explores is that AT selection need s to be based on the student rather than the disability. Therefore, even though dyslexia can be categorized as a learning disability, this does not imply that one of Forgrave three AT types will be effective for a student with this diagnosis. T his lack of relationship reinforces that educators must focus on the student, not the disability, in order to be successful in AT selection and use. Synthesis Prior to discussing the major themes found in the articles, I examine three minor themes that were uncovered among several of the articles. First, many of the articles outlined the impact that dyslexia has not only on reading and writing, but also across subjects and disciplines (Hatcher et al., 2002) . Second, seve ral of the articles explored stigmatization of students with dyslexia; however, Mac d onald (2010) argues that the diagnosis does not stigmatize, rather symptoms that are associated with learning cause stigmatization and attach labels. Lastly, several of the articles examine how the success of a student with dyslexia is more than just his or her comfort and use of AT devices, but is also dependent on the s chool providing appropriate support structures (Lange et al., 2006). Conceptual Framework To provide a comprehensive paradigm for exploring my research question , I have modeled my conceptual framework on t wo empirical results from two studies specific to post secondary students with dyslexia: Learning and Study Strategies, and Student Approaches to Learning. Learning and Study Strategies (Entwistle and Waterson, 1988)

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28 assess cognitive strategies students use with application to learning contexts. Through use of self report questionnaires and observational methods, this study attempts to uncover how students understand and what they believe about their learning (Kirby, Silvestri, Allingham, Parrila, & La Fave, 2008). Learning and Study Strategies examines stive technologies (Kirby et al., 2008 , p. 87 ) . Student Approaches to Learning (Biggs, 1987) explores the interaction between the student and the learning context, in addition to the beliefs students hold about learning. A more objective and precise approach, it examines what predispositions students ma y have about their learning (Kirby et al., 2008). Student Approaches to Learning examines understanding during the tactic and strategy usage process. Combined, both models present a robust look at the academic side of the student experience and c reate room for exploration surrounding how a diagnosis, such as dyslexia, coupled with technology , may influence or alter said experience. Empirical results from Learning and Study Strategies and Student Approaches to Learning greatly informed the creati on of my conceptual framework. With a focus on undergraduate students, Entwistle and Waterson (1988) used the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) to assess learning characteristics and examine Student Approaches to Learning. They are characteri zed by will including Attitude, Motivation, and Anxiety, self regulation including Concentration, Time Management, Self Testing, and Study Aids, and skill components of strategic learning including Information Processing, Selecting Main Ideas, and Te st Taking Strategies (Kirby et al, 2008). Further, Entwistle and Waterson (1988) created a balanced questionnaire of data

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29 collection with observational methods. However, this quantititative study was not explanatory and did not capture the essence of the s tudent experience, specifically as it relates to assistive technology usage. As seen in Figure 1 1, modifications to the output of the Learning and Study Strategies and Student Approaches to Learning criteria were made to focus more on the influence assi stive technology has on the student experience. The student experience is categorized by a criterion from each of the three LASSI components will, self regulation, and strategic learning. Within the will component exists the motivation criterion, within the self regulation component exists the time management criterion, and within strategic learning exists information processing. I argue that each of these three criteria create a balanced structure to capturing genuine and detailed feedback on the student Figure 2 1 . Conceptual framework. This figure is a visual representation of the conceptual framework driving the study.

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30 Themes Many themes emerged from the literature. Table 1 1 outlines the major and minor themes that I found in the articles. The sections following will review them in greater detail. Table 1 1. Themes. This table represents a breakdown of the themes that were unc overed in the literature . Purposeful AT Selection Mix of AT AT Use and Stigma AT use affects self efficacy Improper AT use affects learning outcomes AT type choice must be learner centered (5) Unique settings per student (7) Certain types of AT are more comfortable to use in private than public (5) Improves overall confidence and motivation (4) Lack of training (4) Schools must put in the research (5) Comb ination of AT is required; No standard combo (6) Age affects the type of AT used (1) Quality of life use of tools outside of the classroom; self expression (2) Better tech support from manufactuers is needed (2) Exploring tech barriers is needed (2) Increase in independence (1) Technophobia (1) Brand name and equipment supplier (1) AT improves confidence in reading (1) D yslexia diagnosis occurs at different ages (1) Poor device selection (1) Unrealistic expectations of AT (1) Equitable distribution of tech resources (1)

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31 Five major themes emerged while reading the articles ; u nder those five , 19 minor themes that were uncovered. In Table 1 1, the major themes are located on the top row and the minor themes, or sub themes, are categorized underneath. Additionally, the number in the pare nthesis next to the minor theme represents how many articles mentioned this theme. Some articles mentioned more than one theme. Therefore the total number of minor theme mentions , including those repeated, is greater than the total number of articles revie wed. Lastly, the minor theme information is listed from greatest to least (top to bottom) to illustrate how prevalent some themes were in comparison to others . Purposeful AT Selection The selection of AT types for students with dyslexia must be purposeful . Five articles argued that this process is unique to each student and that a proper needs assessment must be conducted if a device is necessary, and how to choose the combina tion of technologies and paper based ideas are needed to help with time ö rklund (2011) argues that educators should allow students the choice of what kind of support they need to avoid p resti and colleagues (2008) refocus this major theme back to the students and argue that the needs of students with disabilities cannot be met unless educators assess what those need s are and determine what type of tec hnological barriers exist. Overall, this particular theme emerged as foundational in that the other major themes could not exist without it. Further, its minor themes : AT distribution, device selection, and brand name , were important, but each were only id entified in one article .

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32 Hatcher, Snowling, and Griffiths (2002) examined how students with dyslexia in higher education assess problems cognitively. The research leveraged a comparison study in which a group of 23 post secondary students with dyslexia wer e compared to a control group of 50 post secondary students without dyslexia at the same institution. The participants completed tests that focused on IQ, spelling, reading, phonological processing, and speed of verbal fluency. Findings indicated that stud ents with dyslexia had deficits in reading and writing; however, they did not differ in cognitive ability. Mix of AT Anothe r salient theme that emerged from synthesis of the literature is that in order to best serve students with dyslexia, or other disabilities, assistive technologies must be intentionally paired. Under this major theme, two minor themes were identified : uniqu e AT device settings per student is important, and a combination of devices, while no standard combination exists, is required . Despite only hav ing two minor themes, the three major themes in this area support one another seamlessly. Draffan and colleagues (2009) study on AT use for post ö rklund (2011), nts with dyslexia have disparate and complex needs that may require a , but that a mix is not the final solution . This relates to the first major theme in that even though a mix is suggested , that mix must also be spe cific and unique to the needs of the student using it .

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33 AT Use and Stigma S tigma surrounds AT use for students with dyslexia, and students with disabilities overall (Parette & Scherer, 2004) . This conclusion was identified in five of the 4 9 articles . Specifically, students who use unique AT in the classroom setting feel embarrassed or less intelligent as one student from the Parette and Scherer (2004) Student a ge and certain type s of AT device s use d is related to AT stigmatization as well. For example, a nother student discussed how she did not want to wear a hearing aid because she was only 19 years old and that she believed it was something for an elderly person. Additionally, a 40 year old interviewee with cerebral palsy expressed relief that, after neck surgery, that (Parette & Scherer, 2004) . The types of AT discussed hearing aids, cervical collars, wheelchairs may not be what first comes to mind when considering experiences in the classroom. However, t his enters the territory of social acceptability (Parette & Scherer, 2004) and, for use in a classroom As mentioned earlier, however, types of devices are not the fo cus of this study. AT Use A ffects Self efficacy One of the more empowering major themes that emerged was the idea that proper assistive technology use can improve self efficacy and self regulation in learning, and improve the overall quality of life of the user. Two of the largest factors related to

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34 disabilities discusses a specific speech synth esis, or text to speech, program and states Although not a minor theme, but still related to self efficacy, Kurth and Mellard (2006) discuss the notion of process for students at post secondary institutions. One of their participants reported that he did not feel connected to his classroom after he had to leave to take his exams with Disability Services. The authors argued that Disability Services may offer the of (p. 81) in the accommodation selection process when students are not feeling a connection to their classroom or classmates. This type of response further reveals a lack of confidence and motivation, albeit related Disability Services, which may be impactful for students with dyslexia who may require that type of service. Improper AT Use A ffects Learning Outcomes F our minor themes that emerged from the data can be categorized under the Improper AT Use major theme. They include: instructors lack of training when it comes to helping students with disabilities use their AT, technophobia among instructors , absence of technical support from the AT manufacturer, and highly variable stages of experiences of AT use among college students with dyslexia base d on the fact that students are diagnosed with dyslexia at vastly different points in their academic careers . Among four (instructors) be trained to use assistive

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35 400) captures the criticality of instructor training and how much of an influence this group has on students meeting their academic goals a nd learning outcomes. AT Assimilation and Selection Although not a major or minor theme, Peterson Karlan and Parette (2005) introduced an interesting point regarding how millennial students utilize AT. The authors acknowledged that researchers are largely unaware of AT assimilation, in addition to how millennial students with disabilities choose AT and use them in the classroom. Further, they . I f certain types of AT allow for virtua l interaction , w hy do we consider this to be important? has the potential to impact the selection of AT, the ways in which the students interact with the AT, the amount of instruction the students will need in the use Karlan and Parette, 2005, p. 32). Understanding their choice, preferred usage of AT, and how they interact with their peers while doing so provides vital experiences. Implicati ons for Future Research Software Variability Various implications for future research were discussed throughout the literature . However, only a few were broadly discussed and not specific to the confines AT tool, K 12 students of the study. The first major implication is from Forgrave (2002) study. She argues that the current research does not sufficiently explore AT softwa re ranges Software range may not solely mean one device, but also, as Draffan and colleagues (2007) co nclude , it is also related to the appropriate needs of the student. The literature synthesis makes clear

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36 that student needs extend beyond number of AT, and also include type and combination . Laws and Policies Under the major theme Purposeful AT Selection, the minor theme of AT school research and preparedness arose five times. Additionally, this connected to a major implication for future research . Bj ö rklund (2011) recommends that universities should stay up to date on AT usage practices, in addition to law s and policies that surround AT usage. She argue s that laws and policies have high expectations and demands from educational programs serving students with disabilities, so staying current in the laws and policies areas greatly benefit s students. Further r esearch in this area could provide more insight on how to ensure that students with dyslexia are best served , particularly when expectations at the legal and policy levels are high . Key Takeways K 12 Focus Much of the literature focuses on students at the K 12 level. Specifically related to writing, Martinez Marrero and Estrada Hernandez (2008) implore researchers to explore the writing skills of post secondary students with learning disabilities , because was clearly directed toward the K 12 population. Even in the 11 articles that had a focus on post secondary students with dyslexia, or learning disabilities, the authors mentioned research that touched on dyslexia in students of varying ages. I believe this to be a phenomenon directly related to the complexity of the diagnosis. There were no indications of dyslexic level disparities among age group s; in fact, i t was defined as a diagnosis that affects many ages and in varying degrees. Greater understanding of the

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37 diagnosis in specific age groups may help scholars and educators alike craft more explicit and appropriate studies and educational strategies . Parental Consideration As stated above , most of the articles reviewed involve students between the K 12 levels. Because of this, I expected to read more about parental involvement. Further, I expected to read little, if any, about parental involvement at the post secondary level. Reid , Strnadová, and Cumming , (2013) highlight parental consideration when they state r many K 12 students with dyslexia, their instructor or aid e works closely with the parent, or that person is the parent. Therefore, students who enter into a post secondary program very likely have support from their parents or guardians . There is no curr ent research, however, that explores the level or impact of familial support when students with dyslexia previously or newly diagnosed enter into a post secondary education program and still benefit from the use of AT devices. Gaps in the Research Student Voice A comprehensive review of the literature revealed several gaps that this study is poised to address. First , and what I consider to be the most critical , is that almost every study lacked a student voice. Only two articles , of the 4 9 in total , included feedback and direct quotes from student participants. In order to be purposeful about how our society teach es and support s students with dyslexia through use of AT, student voices must be centered and heard . As detailed in Chapter 1, t he problem this study addresses is that while the number of post secondary students with dyslexia is increasing , there still is not

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38 standardization or guidelines for which types of AT are most appropriate for their use. This study helps to address this gap with thick, rich descriptions of experiences from post secondary students with dyslexia directly affected by this problem. Instructor Voice In addition to the voices of the students who are affected, there was also a deficit in feedback from the instructors who teach students with dyslexia who leverage AT in their classrooms. While s everal of the articles emphasized a need for schools to be well informed an d up to date on appropriate AT practices, none of the articles provided direct input from the instructors who work with this population of students. Compliance Of the 4 9 articles and three book chapters considered in this chapter, only one article throro ughly unpacked the legal issues related to AT. Several articles made me n tion of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1988 to note how this legislation influenced education systems in grant ing students with disabilities free and fair pu blic education. Typically, the act was mentioned as a cause in AT becoming more prominently used in classrooms around this timeframe . However, only one article discussed AT as a legal mandate. Martinez Marrero and Estrada Hernandez (2008) explored IDEA and discussed how specific components of this act helped with the transition of students with disabilities to traditional classrooms . Additionally, these authors discussed the 1973 Rehabilitation Act , which prohibits disability discrimination ; the 1988 Assistive Technology Act , which provides funds for AT development ; the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act , which prohibits disability discrimination in employment ; and the 1996 Telecommunications Act , which provide s students with disabilities m ore access to assistive technology .

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39 Because the aim and scope of this research project is to center the voices of students with dyslexia who leverage AT in their postsecondary classrooms , in this study I do not plan to conduct research with instructors or examine law or policy implications in depth . However, I believe findings of project s that include th ese approach es would be nefit the research and practice communities alike. Conclusion Throughout this literature review I have posed a problem, offered a re search question, and discussed varied peer reviewed articles and book chapters that provide insight as to how I answer ed question. As a researcher, I subscribe to the constructivism epistemology, specifically social constructivism, and this has informed my conceptual framework and research methods. As mentioned previously, the study I conducted uncovered the thoughts , opinions , and reflections of students with dyslexia who use AT by listening to them describe their experiences directly. Through a qualitative approach I conducted semi structured interviews with a sample of post secondary students with dyslexia enrolled in English and w riting based classes at a large southeastern university . In Chapter 3 , I disclose detail s about my methods and methodology. Through this, I hope to share student experiences that serve as a catalyst to more, in depth studies. Per them not only in the accommodation process, but also in the process for systemic

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40 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Chapter Introduction This chapter begins with a brief overview of the research design, and includes a detail ed description of my research methods : specifically, information about the participants, the setting of the study, how data were collected, and how they were analyzed. To highlight rigor, I discuss my approach to increasing trustworth iness and potential pitfalls of the study. This chapter concludes with ethical considerations. Research Design In order to better understand the AT experiences of undergraduate students with dyslexia , this study leverages n arrative inquiry. N arrative inquiry intertwines the researcher with his or her participant(s) through interviews to tell their unique stories . Telling stories about lived experiences is not new ; it is something to which humans are accustomed. However, narr ative methodologies in social science research is relatively new. The technique was f irst used by Connelly and Clandinin (1990) to tell stories of instructor and narrative inquiry has since grown. At its core, this methodology highlights the moment to moment negotiation of relationships between the researcher and participant s (Clandinin, 2006) . Sharing the student voice in this study is paramount to the design , and the qualitative approach of narrative inquiry illuminate s important and untol d experiences. As outlined in the research question, the purpose of this study was exploration of experiences and perspective . Through this study I unearth ed unique, student disclosed experiences that were both engaging and informative. This qualitative ap proach was inductive and subjective in its search for meaning, with student participants offering

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41 tremendous insight with implications for research and practice alike . The design of this study appropriately align s with the purpose and research question. Moreover, given the sensitive and private nature of the topic , I honored the stories of the pariticipants through narrative inquiry and unravel ed the untold stories of the lives of the participants (Maple & Edwards, 2010) . Research Methods Setting Over 52,000 students attend the large southeastern university at which this study was conducted . Many of those students utilize the services in Disability Resource Center (DRC). The DRC manages thousands of student visits each semester and offers a wide range of support for students with disabilities, including technologies that aid in the learning and comprehension processes for students with dyslexia. Comprised of 16 colleges, this university offers 100 undergraduate majors. Across campus, there are 105 unique undergraduate English and w riting based classes. Additionally, each undergraduate student at this university is required to complete a Per this requirement students must take and earn at least a and w riting based classes that are categorized as Gordon Rule and collectively meet the level of 24,000 words in order to graduate . Situated in this context, as the population of undergraduate students with dyslexia continues to grow, and the classes th at they are required to take will, at some point, be English and w riting based, it is imperative to better understand th eir experiences relate d to potential assistive technology devices used .

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42 Participants F our participants were identified using a convenience sampling strategy . In the Spring of 2019, I met with the director of the DRC to discuss my study and to gain access to this population . At his suggestion , I planned to attend a students with dyslexia support group at the DRC to build rapport, introduce my study, and recruit participants. Unfortunately, I learned that this group was inactive during the summer due to low enrollment. Because I was interested in beginning data collection that summer, the group meeting would not work. I nstead , a DRC staff member assisted and sent an emailed message on my behalf to a listserv of students registered with the DRC , in comp liance with FERPA and HIPAA regulations . (See Appendix C . ) Initial c riteria to participate include d the following: the participants must be diagnosed with dyslexia, enrolled in one of the 72 English and writing based classes offered during the summer at the university, and utilizing one or more AT types to help with the work in these classes. Dyslexia diagnoses were verified through the professional staff at the disability center and through self reporting of the participants . I received eight responses f rom students interested in participating which yielded a 4.7% response rate. Five of those eight met my criteria and I scheduled individual interview sessions with the four who had the earliest availability. The interviews were conducted in a private room at the DRC. I received help from DRC staff with scheduling that space for each student. The interviews lasted one hour, on average. The shortest lasted 30 minutes and the longest lasted one hour and 30 minutes. Each interview took place seven to ten days apart during the summer. Once completed, analysis began.

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43 Data Collection Prior to starting data collection, I completed the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process. As part of the IRB process I created an informed consent form to be completed by each participant. Students completed this document at the start of the interview process. Verification of the IRB approval is in Appendix D and the informed consent form is in Appendix E . To align with the narrative inquiry method, semi structured interviews informed by the literature review and conceptual framework were used to capture data. The semi structured interview protocol (Appendix A) was designed to capture information about the participant and his or her experiences. Appendix B outlines how the questions were developed. Divided into six parts , the protocol includes questions related to the diagnosis, AT, and class experience , each of which were informed by the literatu re review, research question , and conceptual framework . Its design was influenced , (2017) study that included a robust interview of Title I school administrato rs . Further , field notes were taken to accompany the protocol questions. Each participant in this study was interviewed once . Data analysis began after the conclusion of data collection and member checking . Data Analysis Polkinghorne (1995) breaks down analysis of narrative inquiries and categorize (1985) types of cognition. These groups are paradigmatic type of narrative inquiry and narrative type of narrative inquiry. Parad igmatic type of narrative inquiry incorporates paradigmatic cognition (Bruner , 1985), which is a skill used to organize personal experiences to collect stories for data

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44 (Kim, 2015) . Data analysis is achieved through paradigmatic mode of analysis which arra nges findings into themes that are common across the stories collected (Kim, 2015). Alternatively, n arrative type types with which this research analysis aligns places greater focus on gathering information related to events and ha ppenings as data. In this study, the narrative mode of analysis ( i.e., narrative analysis) was used . The data organization in this case, responses to interview questions create d stories with the events and happenings shared by participants. were included to add depth to the storytelling. The purpose of the created story is to help the reader understand how and why things are happening , and to uncover reason s . After conducting the interviews, I test ed for sensemaking this means reading to see if a person who knows little about dyslexia or AT understand s these data when they read it . In this review, t here were a few statements in the data that did not make sense, so I asked the participants for clarification, which is part of the member checking process explained later. Then, I r eview ed the data which include d the responses to the interview questions as well as my field notes . In reviewing the individual participant responses and field notes, I made note of any events or happenings in my findings , as (1985) alignment. Next, I noted any common themes that were identified across two or more participants for presentation in my findings . The events or happenings found provide d individuality and depth experience , while the common themes provided breadth. After making note of those

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45 themes, I categorize d them under one of the three a priori codes outlined in my conceptual framework Motivation, Time management, and Information processing. This method, Pr The se three codes represent strategies or approaches to learning (Entwistle & Waterson, 1988) within the student experience. C onsistent with Protocol Coding, a priori codes were applied to qualitative data (Onwuegbuzie et al., 2016), or in the case of this study, themes. Themes represent occurrences related to the codes. There were no new emergen t codes to expand the criteria that feed into the s tudent e xperience. However , there were five new themes that emerged that did not fit within the coded criteria of this conceptual framework . The se findings are presented in Chapter 4 in narrative format and tell fo ur individual stor ies of the student experiences . Interview Protocol Informed by my research question, literature review, and conceptual framework, t he semi structured interview protocol is designed in six parts, including an introduction. Part 1 is a rap port building section. Parts 2 through 5 are comprised of sections that focus on dyslexia itself, assistive technology, use of assistive technology in classes, and a wrap up. examples including prompts purposeful follow up questions that may be used to e licit questi ons are open ended and invite the participant to verbally walk the interviewer through a tour of something with which they are familiar. Leech (2002) argues that even well in the intervi ew.

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46 Consistent with this argument, language throuthout the protocol has been included to sound more conversational . For example, in place of the term interview I use intimidating . Additionally, the protocol was piloted prior to study implementation with three postsecondary students. Two current , post secondary, senior level female students , and one graduate level male student , carefully reviewed the protocol document. Each volunteer took no longer than one day to review the instrument. Feedback was given on grammar, question phrasing, and organ ization . For example, one of the female volunteers made edits to the grammar in Part 4 to make questions sound clearer and more direct. All the edits are included the in current version of the protocol . Parts 2 through 5 are comprised of sections that foc us on dyslexia itself, assistive technology, use of assistive technology in classes, and a wrap up. The protocol was also method of asking for specific examples including prompts purposeful follow up questions that may be used t o illicit further detail in combination invite familiar with. The protocol is Appendix A . Trustworthiness To achieve trustworthiness in this study I four criteria of evaluating qualitative research. Further, I implemented member checking; thick, rich descriptions; and researcher reflexivity (Creswell & Mill er, 2000) .

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47 Four Domains Lincoln and Guba (1985) contend the following four criteria bolster qualitative research methods: Credibility, Dependability, Confirmability, and Transferability. Throughout my methods I acknowledged each criterion. Credibility refers to the truth of the data ( Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Cope, 2014) voices and my experiences described in C hapter 4 support credibility in this study. Dependability is achieved in this study through provi ding consistent conditions to each participant throughout the process. Cope (2014) states not biases outlined in my ref lexivity section below c reate a solid confirmability foundation within this study. Finally, the interpretation of the findings in C hapter 5 present meaning to individuals outside of this study, the criterion Lincoln and Guba ( 1985 ) argue supports transferability in qualitative re search studies. Member Checking Member checking a llow s participants to view raw data to see if what the researcher captured made sense and rings true. comments and answers to questions (Creswell & Miller, 2000). At the concl usion of each interview I informed each participant that I would be sharing their responses with them and requesting feedback on clarity and overall message . Participants were invited to provide me any edits or omissions they felt were necessary. Their own individual responses were sent to them via their secure university email address. Three of the four responded with feedback that the data and field notes accurately captured what they had hoped to share during their interviews . Despite three email outreac hes, the fourth participant did not respond.

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48 Researcher Reflexivity As a researcher, it is important for me to dig to the root of an issue through credible and rigorous methods. As a student myself , it is imperative that the voices of student participants in my research studies are uncovered and understood through the data I gather ed . I am aware that it is critically important to understand my positionality as it pertains to the participants , the da ta , and my interpretations and reporting (Bourke, 2014). Therefore, I continually reflect ed on the variables such as my race, age, education, work history, and student interactions as part of the positionality that shapes the data collection and analysis p rocesses. Participants included three White females and one White male . All were from the same state in which their university is located and were of a traditional post secondary student age . I recognize that I am an African American male researcher from a northeastern state, who is approximately 15 years older than each participant. My perspectives on students with disabilities, specifically dyslexia, were mostly shaped by my experiences as a post secondary student and by the literature. Further, as an emp loyee of the same university , who works closely with the post secondary student population including those registered with the DRC, I recognized my relationship with t his particular group and endeavored to remain open to their responses. I remained open to the data and strive d for trustworthiness, specifically member checking giving the interpretations and data back to the participants to confirm credibility (Creswell & Miller, 2000) which aligns with the narrative inquiry research method. Also consistent with narrative inquiry, I transcribed my data and reported them as a retelling of stories that include themes that emerged across participants (Maple & Edwards, 2010).

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49 My own experiences have shaped my desire to explore and better understand th e experiences of students with dyslexia using AT. I openly share my reflexivity in an effort to increase my research credibility. I entered into this research study with the goal of illuminating answers related to its guiding question, but also identifying new paths for further investigation . As Hostetler ( 2005 ) questions do not end things but offer new circumstances for explori My hope is that my research both identifies important themes and ignites additional scholarly classroom. My approach was student centered and focused on eac needs , and member checking, reflection on my role as a researcher, and thick, rich descriptions presented in Chapter 4 . That said, I recognize d that process required substantial undertakings in research and preparedness . I believe th at in order to prepare instructor s of students with dyslexia to educate this population and use specific devices that aid in learning, the voices of students themselves are par a mount . A robust understanding of their experiences is principal to creating pathways to solve this problem and to direct further research exploration . Difficulties One was access to participants. The DRC serves a large populatio n of undergraduate students, some of who have dyslexia. DRC staff shared my study call for particpants via email to a listserv of 170 students registered with their department. However, that listserv was comprised of students who had a diagnosis any diag nosis not specifically students with dyslexia. W ithout direct

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50 knowledge of how many students with dyslexia who also use assistive technology and who are registered with the DRC , it was a blind outreach and somewhat difficult in accessing this population. Additionally, I encountered an issue with my criteria for participant requirements. because one criterion changed prior to data collection. After outreaches v ia email began, students who were interested in participating indicated that they were not currently enrolled in any English or w riting based classes. Therefore, I altered my criteria to participate to allow for students who had taken any English or w ritin g based classes since the Fall semester of 2018 (i.e, within the past year) . T his allowed participants to speak more broadly about their experiences , as opposed to more narrowly about experiences in an English or w riting class that they may have just begun during the summer term that I collected data. Summary In Chapters 1 and 2 , I presented a problem and the research that circles but does not address that problem . In Chapter 3 , I present ed a breakdown of how my study addressed that problem. Chapter 3 examined the research design, methodology, and methods of the study. It included an overview of how and why narrative inquiry was used, outlined the setting, participants, data collection and anal ysis, and concluded with trustworthiness and difficulties that were encountered. In Chapter 4 I present my findings from the data collection and analysis which include themes that emerged from the data.

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51 CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS Chapter Introduction This chapte r includes findings from t he data collection portion of this study, and begins with the four individual stories from the student participants . Written in narrative format and employing pseudonyms to protect their confidentiality, this first section overvie ws their responses , including examples of any events and/or happenings that arose (Bruner, 1985) . Following their stories, assistive technology types used by the participants are identified, as well as specific courses in which participants were enrolled. Finally, themes identified from the data analysis are presented . Participant Narratives Sadie Sadie was eager to participate in this interview and to learn more about the research project. She asked questions about the purpose of the study and seemed to have a genuine interest in the research. Prior to beginning, she showed me a list of notes she c ompiled for herself. The purpose of these notes was twofold: one, to help her be clear in what she wanted to convey in her interview; and two, she said that writing notes helps with recall, a difficulty related to her dyslexia diagnosis. Although she was b orn in Michigan, Sadie moved to the southeast when she was 6 months old. She grew up watching sporting events with her family and cheering for a university her parents and aunt attended. Growing up, she did not expect to attend the university at which this study was conducted; specifically she cited affinity for her family out of state tuition costs . Once she made the

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52 decision to attend her institution the same that her older and younger brother s attend she chose c ivil e ngineering as her major. Prior to enrolling, she wondered if her disability was legitimate enough to secure accommodation. Fortunately, Sadie said, she had a positive and s e amless experience coordinating documentation and logistics for her accommod ation even before she arrived on campus. [The institution] is so large that you never know. Once I got in, I was really happy. I had already set up accommodations [with the DRC] in my senior year in high school and felt much better Sadie shared that she had not often experienced this level of support over the course of her educational career: I was really young when I was diagnosed. It was elementary school. I remember sitting in class and the teacher would post tasks on the board. I remember everyone being done and I was sitting there. It was some type the third grade I had a horrible teacher. S he taught to the top half of the be Word recognition was difficult for Sadie , and not everyone in high school was helpful. In her high school classes, s he said she would The support she sought out for help with word recognition was through the Disability Resource Center. She knew the D isability R esour ce C enter space well . , and I have a great relationship with my Learning Specialist. Sadie described the support of the DRC as critical to her performance and success in her chal lenging academic program .

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53 w riting based classes have been generally positive during her time as a post secondary student. However, she described a repeated issue in one of her w riting classes. Sadie said she felt frustr ated and struggled with discussion posts and written assignments with minimum word count requirements . She also she said that this course and required her to , . Sadie also reported that this was the only class in her higher education career that required an exam in a greenbook a blank composition book in which students answer prompts in essay format. Describing her experiences in a different w riting based class, Sadie discussed the challenges and opportunities related to taking this type of course in a fully online environment: One of my classes had a billion and a half assignments. Some were like, re hard, but they just took longer than they should have. There were discussion posts that were long, and we had weekly readings. I needed extra time to manage completing everything. When I read , I feel like I My l earning disability made the assignments take longer. Thus far, Sadie has taken three w riting classe s while in college. In these courses, s he relied heavily on assistive technology devices and software. Sadie uses extensions integrated software that provide user customization for her internet browser in addition to a voice to text program through her feels more comfortable with reading aloud. Sadie noted that assistive technology integration has felt very simple and innocuous as a college student; she said that in middle and high school , however, using AT was more of a big deal

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54 People were looking curiosity. Coming to a large university, e xtended time has been the only thing to raise questions o is disabled. At this university, students like Sadie who have an exam accommodation for extended time or private location, and may elect to take tests at the DRC . T his may raise questions among students do not see other students in class during exam sessions . The DRC uses the Accomodated as Sadie describes it . P rovided they have the appropriate accommodation letter and request use of this service at least four business days i n advance , students may take their exams in a testing space at the DRC . Sadie described an event where one of her instructor s declined to upload the exams into ATRS for Sadie, despite Sadie discussing this request with the instructor on the third day of th e semester . According to Sadie, the instructor felt it was too cumbersome. Sadie said she has found that some instructors are a lot more helpful than others, and she believes factors such as age and where they grew up may play a part in their approach . Ba sed on her experiences as an upper division civil engineering student , Sadie said with disabilities at this university are taking higher level science classes , and that therefore some instructors for these courses may not have substantial experience with these types of requests. Describing the diverse experiences and outcomes she has had securing appropriate accommodations, Sadie easier when someone reaches out to you th a

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55 Sadie also mentioned how AT specifically her portable dictionary boosts her confidence and o Sadie, AT creates a safety net that keeps her on task. these words in your toolbox you can read and pick up on paper. You have all these other words that you know use in speech but there is a lack of communication between the two gro However, she described a strategy which was also a happening she has employed throughout many of her classes, not just English and w riting based courses, to help bridge this divide . While reading digital textbooks, Sadie employs a computing shortcut used to search and find within a document or on a webpage to locate specific terms . Although it is a standard feature available in many programs, t o Sadie , this is a powerful type of AT. Sadie was very candid and open throughout our interview. She was happy to share her experiences and to take ample time to elaborate as requested . While discussing AT use in her college [A T] comes in all shapes and Conversely, s he described how, in high school, peers would try to use her diagnosis to cut her down . know you. A couple times people in high school would try to use it as a weapon. You Sadie closed our interview by suggesting that the most important factor suppo rting the experiences of students with disabilities who use AT was support ive peers and instructors. She said that more than knowledge, fluency, or skills, a willingness to accept and learn about AT, as needed, were at the core of her most

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56 positive educati onal experiences. She said w hile you may not understand or be able to comprehend why, exactly, a student is using assistive technology, or how it helps their Arthur Arthur, the second student interviewed in this stud y, was b orn and raised in the southeast, and selected this university for its strong reputation in environmental science and research. The only transfer student I interviewed, Arthur has been at this university for one and a half years , but he has been usi ng assistive technology and accommodations for his dyslexia since he was nine years old. Arthur has also worked closely with the DRC for the duration of his time at the institution, and he said he that he would not have been successful without them. Over the course of his interview, Arthur juxtaposed the support and success he has experienced in college with descriptions of challenging elementary and secondary education experiences. E ven through his explana tions of how difficult it was to learn how to read , and to engage with reading activities even today , Arthur was very positive and enthusiastic about shar ing his experiences. Arthur came to the interview prepared with a wealth of information. He brought h is complete medical file that, according to him, documented all of his treatments, assistance, and accommodations related to dyslexia since he was diagnosed at eight or nine years old. Arthur shared that his father, grandfather, and great grandfather also had dyslexia . , At eight years old , Arthur recalled that reading was difficult, but math and science were , said, as he recollected on his childhood experiences. Even at a young age Arthur understood how important reading

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57 w ould be for his entire life . He remembers thinking not going to be a function tional person in society. Before engaging with AT at the post secondary level, Arthur had several accommodations and sources of support during his K 12 years : Learning to read was a huge undertaking. I met with an occupational therapist several time s a week, three to four hours a day , from third grade through sixth grade , who helped me with my handwriting . I worked with specialists who focused on my reading, I met with a small group five days a week, I spent two hours a day practicing reading fluency and writing, I practiced flash cards, hired a private tutor two to three times a week, and I worked closely with my mom on homework assignments. All of these helped me to manage my schoolwork. Arthur cited his endurance as a key component of his capacity to persevere through his challenges with dyslexia. He recalled that he learned to read by sixth or seventh grade, and credited this accomplishment to his absolute unwillingness to quit. Arthur described another formative experience that required h im to draw on his grit and endurance around that age. He acknowledged that he has always felt smart, but that in middle school when , his confidence was shaken wondered . Arthur said that when he was younger he struggled to fully unpack and understand his diagno sis . He also shared that he has a substantial IQ disparity; Arthur said his scores are very high for critical thinking and very low for w ord memory. As a senior in high school he had a documented fourth grade reading level. All the while, Arthur said, he persevered. he shared was that years . He deci ded to wri te the word 1,000 times , and as a result, he said,

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58 needed that rote type of learning. I had to endure this, and it was very taxing. I broke As an e nvironmental e ngineeri ng s ciences student, Arthur has taken just one w riting class , and it was specific to his major. He said the course taught him to be more proficient in different styles of communication specific to the engineering field. Arthur said he enjoyed the online environment for his w riting class, as it made AT use seamless. In this course and others, Arthur regards AT as . spelling is so bad that I need spell check in order to catch spelling mistakes. When I had Arthur leverages three types of AT to support his academic activities. The first is a program that allows his . He also uses spell check and records lectures. He emphasized how much listening helps him to learn . spell check Arthur also discussed his experiences with university classmates who know that he uses assistive technology. He opened up about a happening related to the stigma that surrounds AT use described by Parette and Scherer ( 2004) . A lot of time puts us [students with dyslexia] on an even playing field. Arthur has had mixed experiences with instructors in courses where he has used AT. He said some were welcoming and supportive , while some were not. He recalled that at least two instructors did not allow him to record their voice . He said he is unsure

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59 why, but that in both cases the instructors told him reminded him of of an experience in high school where he had to read a novel and was tasked with highlighting and annotating it. He asked his teacher if he could listen to it via audiobook , but was told no. rigid teaching styles, and I see their le in that [listening] format. Arthur described himself as very curious and someone who loves to learn. He with dyslexia, sometimes you just have to push through it . For Arthur, this means experimenting with different ways to learn in his English and w riting classes. He said he believes a proficient also made room for deeper learning. Ultimately, Arthur wants to become a n educator himself, and he said he will probably always continue to strive to improve his reading skills . At the end of the interview Arthur reflected on advice he would share with fellow students with dyslexia related to academic AT use: x i c s. It was probably the hardest thing I not graduate high school. In the third grade I was sat down with a family and I respectfully disagreed. I was not going to fail. I was going to learn how to read. I was going to graduate. Maggie Maggie was the third interviewee in this study and the only non science major of the four participants. She provided thoughtful reflections related to her experiences with dyslexia in and out of the classroom. Maggie , too, is from the southeast and she said she decided to attend this university to join her sister who is also currently enrolled at

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60 this institution . Maggie is a History major on the Pre law track, and has taken the most English and w riting based classes of the four participants. Although Maggie wa s not physically at the university for the Summer 2019 term, she shared that she was eager to support this research project and voluntarily traveled to campus to meet at the DRC, per the study parameters, and participate in this interview. She was happy to share openly about her experiences and even drove 2 hours to meet with me in order to do so. Maggie began by speaking abou t growing up with dyslexia. She said she struggled with spelling and reading, especially reading aloud. In the third grade she did Maggie said her mother was baffled , at age eight, she was tested and diagnosed with dyslexia . Following her dyslexia diagnosis M aggie said school felt similar ; the only difference was that she now had tutors. [Tutors] were teaching the exact same thing as in school. As I got older kids started correcting me in class. But I had to work 10 times harder. Maggie said she noticed and was thankful for the additional support she started to experience in high school wit ched from a public to private school , and the private school had a learning specialist and a student support plan with extra time for assignments . Support at home was strong as well. Maggie mother, who is a tutor and an advoca te for students with disabilities, was also diagnosed with dyslexia when she was held back in fifth grade. By the time she was read y to attend

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61 this university , Maggie felt that she had a str ong grasp on how to manage her disability and where to find support. Maggie working with the office She said she has been struck by the unwavering support she receives fr om the DRC staff . When she first asked for double time to complete exams , one of the accommodations she requires for her dyslexia diagnosis , she was told, Maggie said that this level of support has had a substantial impact on her overall academic experience. In addition to her double exam time accommodation, Maggie also uses several types of AT: Kurzweil 3000 , a tool for reading and writing literacy ; Gramma rly , an online writing assistant ; Learning Ally , an organization th at provides audiobooks ; and her personal computer to read text aloud. As a History major, Maggie is tasked with a lot of reading and writing, and similarly to Sadie, she use s Grammarly thro ugh extensions on her internet web browser. In total, Maggie has taken five English and w riting based classes , and is currently enrolled in a sixth. from her others because , Maggie said that her instructors have all been several instructors have made comments Overall, Maggie said, . However, Maggie expressed frustration with two separate events that took place in the testing environment:

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62 One time a proctor shut off my Gramma rly and I had to email the teacher to let him know why incorrectly . In one of my English classes, I was not allowed to use any technology for an exam, and wr ite while worrying about what someone will think when I mis spell a word that I should know how to spell. Maggie sees the value in AT use in her English and w riting think it makes me equal to everyone else, rather than having an advanta ge. I can see AT which she noted that is her norm for every class, not just English and w riting courses helps Maggie to work faster and focus more on content and l ess on spelling. The other major support it provides, s he said , is the opportunity to listen to text , because traditional . Maggie does not hesitate to use AT to reach her educational goals ; in fact, she encourages others to share their stories and embrace assistive technology with pride Abigail The final participant in this study was Abigail, a fourth generatio n attendant of this university who grew up approximately 30 minutes away from the campus . Abigail is a pre n ursing student who has been using DRC services for about one year. She describes accessing the services offered by the DRC as substantially easier t han her equivalent experience in high school, particularly when it comes to making an appointment and reaching a successful outcome . Abigail said that at the DRC she does not feel the need to explain herself ; instead, she is just accepted. Like each of the participants in this study, Abigail described opportunities and barriers related to her dyslexia diagnosis ; however, Abigail was the only participant to mention social skills as

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63 a major challenge. Like her peers, Abigail appeared genuinely interested in t he research process and outcome, and made clear that she was happy to talk candidly about her experiences with dyslexia . I was diagnosed in between second and third grade s . I did not know how to read; it was obvious I was different. My younger sister learned how to read before me and would sit with me to teach me . Even if she would hold the book upside down and backwards and I was able to recite reading assignments from rec ollection, but not actually know how to read them. Abigail recollected that one of the most stressful activities from her elementary school experience an exercise in which teachers would randomly choose students and ask the m to read a passage aloud . For me , math came easier because there were fewer letters. Abigail also shared that she endured bullying in grade school. Once she was diagnosed with dyslexia, schoolwork was easier ; h Later in elementary school, Abigail learn ed how to read. She had tested in to her magnet elementary school, but the to educating students with disabilities. Abigail said that there w as stigma from the teachers : Some of my teachers did not want to teach me because of my dyslexia. I ause of the bullying I refused accommodations in the fourth and fifth grade s . While the stigma followed Abigail throughout her secondary career, she believes that enrolling in her university afforded her a fresh start and the opportunity to freely use her assistive technology without bullying or isolation . Abigail currently uses a special keyboard and typewriter ; Grammarly ; Kurzweil 3000 ; Quizlet , an organization tool ; a microphone to record lectures into Microsoft OneNote ; and an extension for her web

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64 browser called OpenDyslexic , which utilizes a special font designed to be easier for people with dyslexia to read. Abigail prefers to use her own AT devices because of how comfortable she is with them and how easy they are to access. Abigail has taken two w riting courses to date, and has registered for a third. Abigail said that u sing AT in her completed w riting based classes has been both helpful mi noted the helpfulness of having tools like Kurzweil integrated into Canvas , learning management system for classes with online components . Specifically, she said, having that tool embedded in her e learning platform to read her tests to her makes a difference in her educational experience . In addition to the relatively seamless aspects of her experiences with AT integration , Abigail mention ed two separate challenging events she encountered relatin g to utilizing technology in her classes : I was once denied the ability to get extra time on my exams by a Teaching Assistant. This was rectified through the DRC but was really hard. Also, last semester my computer died. It was the beginning of the semeste r, so I difficult weeks of my life. Abigail explained that w ith assistive technology, everything is easier. I almost . Abigail said that at this point in her learning journey she is able to recognize specific areas o f her academic experience that almost demand AT integration . F or example , she explained that she struggles to keep handwritten notes . hat my mom calls, In addition to the ways AT supports her learning experience as a student with dyslexia, Abigail said she is also grateful for AT because it provides her with options for the realities of life, such as when she i s sick and has a difficult time focus in class , she is

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65 well versed in record ing lectures so that she can revisit them later. Universally, Agibail said, she feel s that w ith AT she is more productive and is empowered to individualize her learning in order to use her t ime more effectively . Abigail said that a more economical and efficient use of her time is not the only difference she has experienced between the higher education environment and the elementary or secondary classrooms. ssignments are no longer prolonged , she said, but the social experience of college has been radically different as well [use of AT in classes] all really cool , she also said that other classmates have reached out to her to see her n up being better . Abigail said that this dimension of college life represents a stark difference from the bullying she experienced several years ago. For students with dyslexia, , Abigail said . While she appreciates the opportunity to help others understand that everyone learns differently, and even to be seen as a source of information and a resource for her classmates, in the end i , she said . Assi stive Technology Types The four participants in this study used a varie ty of AT in their English and w riting based courses. The AT types represented in this study are are listed , defined, and categorized in Table 4 1 . First, technologies are organized by participant , in the order the y were discussed in that interview. Additionally, t he AT are divided into three categor ical types: physical devices ; computer software , including applications ; and we b brower based extensions. E medium, or high level framework, as outlined in Chapter 2. Briefly , low level AT types include generic types of technology that are often available to the public. Medium level

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66 includes devices such as calculators and timers that serve computational purposes. Lastly, high level AT types include software and devices specifically created for people with disabilities. Examples for this category include slideshow software and text to speech programs. Tabl e 4 1 AT Types. This table represents the types of AT used by the four participants. AT types are not defined more than once. Participant AT Used AT Type Definition Level Sadie Portable dictionary Grammarly Ginger Scribe Voice to Text Physical Computer Software Browser Extension Computer Software Computer Software Tool to look up definitions of words Online grammar, spell checking, and plagiarism detection platform Integrated browser tool used for checking for spelling errors Com puter program that highlights words Computer or mobile application that converts spoken audio to text Medium Low Low Low High Arthur Text to audio Spell check Microphone (lecture recording) Computer Software Computer Software Physical Computer application that converts text to spoken word Computer application that denotes incorrectly spelled words in documents Portable device for audio recording High High Medium Maggie Grammarly Learning Ally Kurzweil 3000 Text to audio Computer Software Browser Extension Educational reading application Web based learning solution for reading comphrehension and writing High High Abigail AlphaSmart Grammarly Microphone OneNote Kurzweil 3000 Physical Computer Software Portable word processing keyboard Computer program for free form information gathering High High

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67 Table 4 1 Continued. Participant AT Used AT Type Definition Level Abigail Quizlet OpenDyslexic Computer Software Computer Software Web based study tool that helps students learn through games Typeface designed to combat common reading errors associated with dyslexia High High Courses Table 4 2 lists and the define s the English and w riting based classes the four participants enrolled in from the Fall of 2018 through the Summer of 2019. This table also details any unique course requirements. Table 4 2 Courses and assignments. This table outlines the courses and thei r requirements for each of the English and w riting courses participants completed . Course Assignments required AMH2010: United States to 1877 One to three chapters of weekly readings; two exams in essay and short answer format AMH2020: United States Since 1877 Varied readings; Six quizzes; One 500 word essay; Two 1,000 word essays; One midterm; One comprehensive written final exam ANT2301: Human Sexuality and Culture Online quizzes; One exam; One research project and paper (Meets 6,000 words for Gordon Rule requirement) ARC1720: Survey of Architecture History Quizzes; One research paper; midterm, and final exam (Optional: Meets 3,000 words for Gordon Rule requirement) ENC1101: Expository and Argumentative Writing Five papers; Quizze s; Group assignments; Peer Review projects ENC1102: Rhetoric and Academic Research Six research based writing assignments ENC3254: Professional Communication for Engineers 10 quizzes; Four essays; One peer review writing project GEO2242: Extreme Weather Online course; Varied readings, quizzes, discussion posts and blogs IDS1161: What is the Good Life Blended course (both in person lectures and online assignments); Varied readings; Two essays; Three discussion activities

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68 Findings Related to the Conceptual Framework The narratives of the four participants provided impactful and detailed accounts of their individual experiences in English and w riting based classes. Chapter 3 provided a detailed overview of n arrative mode of analysis . Thus far, the following stages ha ve been capture d in this study : a test for sensemaking in the data ; a member checking process ; and a review of the transcribed data and researcher field notes for events and happenings, which were presented in the narratives. Next, I present the themes identified in the data. Five themes to capture the student experience were identified and categorized under three a priori codes Time Management, Motivation, and Information Processing . These five themes are AT Offsets Time Consuming Assignments, AT Helps Students Work More Efficiently , AT Mostly Welcomed by Instructors , AT Empowers Students, and AT Supports Deeper Learning. Further, four new themes , not categorized under the a priori codes, were also identified . N ew themes include Hidden AT for a Hidden Disability, Leveling the Playing Field, Co occuring Disabilities , and Telling Their Stories. These represent new findings and, as stated in Chapter 3 , there were no new emergent codes to illum inate the student experience. Time Management AT offsets time c onsuming a ssignments M anaging time is t he sole criterion within the self regulation component of Entwistle and Waterson (1988) Learning and Study Strategies and Student Approches to Learni ng framework . I n th is study, all categories of AT , including physical devices, software, and browser extensions , were discussed in detail by all four of the participants. However, two of the participants Sadie and Maggie mentioned that

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69 many assignments feel very time consuming when attempted without AT. Maggie mentioned how with AT she can , nd that AT allows her to quickly identify and correct spelling and reading errors. Both she and Sadie emphasized how the issue was not that assignments were challenging, per se , but demanding . Maggie to assignments that ask , those take substantially more time, especially without using AT. A T helps students work more efficiently A related theme was identified by Sadie and Abigail, who both noted that using AT helps them to effectively understand their workload, better manage their time , and overall complete academic work more efficiently . All the participants inter viewed are high achieving students who regularly take full courseload s , and Abigail and Sadie each specifically mentioned that they do not often have a lot of time . They both described strategies of employing AT around organizing and visualizing coursework . Abigail shared that she leverages her technology to make timesheets for herself and organize assignments. that overall she spends less time completing assignme nts. In addition the support AT provides within specific academic courses, this theme identifies AT as a personal time management tool that holistically supports the academic experience. Motivation AT mostly welcomed by instructors Each of the particpants discussed their experiences using AT in college classes as mostly positive , particularly when it came to instructor acceptance, acknowledgement, and support. I nstructors were described as really understanding

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70 and supportive. What she said s urprised her the most about using AT in her college Writing classes was the high level of support she received from instructors she perceived to be older than 45. While she expected support from younger instructors, rom the older generation of educators . Maggie even described one of the older instructors E ach participant described instructor support motivating them and driving them to w ork more diligently. a qualifier included in this theme because none of the participants reported a positive experience with ever y instructor . They each identified a few negative experiences and expected to have more in the future . Several par ticipants felt that they because dyslexia diagnoses are not universally understood , even within the education community . Maggie shared that students with disabilities have something that makes them different and there is such a negative connotation that comes with saying you have a disability. Having the [instructor] partic ipants, this type of action helps them to feel empowered, which supports the second theme that emerged under the Motivation code. A T empowers students This theme aligns with a minor theme identified through review of the literature AT Improves Overall C onfidence and Motivation . Three participants described how their use of AT empowered them in their academic journey. Sadie described how using AT motivates her and builds confidence . describing her use of technology . Abigail shared that she would be unable to complete many of her assignments without AT , but with it she experiences academic success .

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71 When asked to compare or contrast their academic motivation in these scenarios with classes in which they have not use d these tools , both Maggie and Abigail shared that they have not taken a college class without utilizing AT . These three participants described how AT makes them feel capable, and in turn, gives them the focus and drive to succeed in their courses . Information Processing AT supports d eeper l earning The third component of Entwistle and Waterson (1988) Learning and Study Strategies and Student Approches to Learning model s , strategic learning, encompasses the final coded criterion of my con ceptual framework: Information Processing. Plainly , this refers to how students with dyslexia process and understand English and w riting assignments with the use of AT. The single theme that was identified in the data was the notion that AT supports deeper learning of and meaning making for academic material. When Arthur described notes, [or] record the lecture and listen back, I comprehend more deeply When it comes to truly understanding and makin g meaning of course material , using AT makes , Each of the four participants touched on how knowledge and understanding of academic content has improved through use of AT in their English and w riting classes. For the three participants in science based majors , this difference has been particularly noticeable, as they each reported being more keenly aware of experiences outside of their academ ic comfort zone .

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72 Findings from Thematic Analysis The themes detailed below represent new findings. As indicated above, these themes were outliers and did no t fall within the codes of my conceptual framework. However, these themes were prevalent in the dat a and showcase important descriptions of participant experiences . Hidden A T for a Hidden Disability The participants made several remarks around the idea s of hidden technology or having hidden disabilities . In the early part of our interview, Maggie said she wondered if her disability was legitimate enough to warrant accommodations . She said she believed because her disability was not visible, it may not be perceived as sufficiently severe. Parette and Scherer (2004) discuss the stigma associated with looking disabled. Participants in this study de emphasized this issue, not just because of the imp roved social culture around disability that Abigail described, but also because of the discretion available to AT users. Many of the assistive technologies participants employ can be accessed from personal laptop comp uters, and since many students bring their laptops to class at this institution, AT use by a student with dyslexia often goes unnoticed. Maggie illu strated this point when she was unable to recall a college course in which she had not used AT. She different Finally , four out of the nine classes taken by the participants have online components, meaning some if not all of their assignments were completed and submitted in Canvas, which tended to be pri vate for the participants.

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73 Leveling the Playing Field Although each of the four interviews were conducted independently and no information was disclosed about what other participants shared, both Arthur and Maggie spoke an identical phrase : students with dyslexia on an even playing field . Abigail also noted that AT use was sometimes perceived as leveraging an unfair advantage, when in fact it is a necessity for her academic pursuits . Arthur does not believe he would have a passing grade poin t average (GPA) if it were not for the support of AT , and he proudly shared he currently has a 3.8 in e nvironmental e ngineering. As someone who was told in the third grade that he would never experience academic success , Arthur said he enjoys sharing his G PA, and believes AT created educational conditions comparable to those students without disabilities experience. Each in their own way, the participants shared that AT helps them to meet their academic goals by situating them on par with their classmates w ho do not have learning disabilities. Co occuring Disabilities Haft and colleagues ( 201 9 ) identify dyslexia as a condition that often occurs comorbidly. In other words, people with dyslexia frequently have other diagnoses that together create greater and more complex challenges for learning. This was reflected in three of the four participants in this study. Sadie and Maggie both shared that they have diagnosed ADHD (Attention deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and Abigail shared that she has been diagnosed high functioning Autism. Surprisingly, I did not probe for this information in the interview process. These three participants willingly shared their secondary diagnoses. Also of note is that in all three cases , the participants received the second ary diagnoses at the same time they received the diagnosis of dyslexia. The

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74 helped to uncover the fourth and final theme. Telling Their Stor ies In the rappor t building portion of each interview, I was clear with each participant that they sh ould not answer or discuss anything with which they felt uncomfortable. However, over the course of the four interviews t here was not one question that went unanswered or topic that went unexplored . Instead, participants willingly shared robust accounts of their educational experiences , openly including medical information, challenging and even painful experiences, and deeply personal stories from their academic journey s . Ar thu r smiled for the duration of our interview, and made several jokes about his experiences. As he described the highest highs and lowest lows of his educ ational journey, he also regularly expressed gratitude for the opportunity to tell me his story . At the end of our interview, Sadie asked me several questions about th is study she inquired about how many students I was interviewing, what I plan ned to do with the data, and how I planned to share my findings . Sadie asked to receive a copy of the final report and even suggested I listen to a National Public Radio program entitled , and excitedly told me the host slexia in a hand and experiencing this level of excitement and gratitude strengthened my belief of how important it is to tell their stories. Each of the participants shared that they had never before been asked to share their story . I feel honored to be able to provide them with this platform and amplify their voices in the educational technology knowledge community .

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75 Summary The purpose of this study was to explore experiences of students with dyslexia and their uses of assistive technology in English and w riting based classes. This c hapter presented the findings of this study through a narrative format paired with a discussi on of existing themes and new findings. Chapter 4 also included a breakdown of the types of AT used coupled with the classes the participants were enrolled in. The experiences and bring breadth and depth to the study. The themes that emerged within the coded criteria in addition to those categorized under new findings bolster the conceptual framework in addition to adding to the major and minor themes uncovered in the literatur e review. Next, Chapter 5 outlines the importance, meaning, and significance of the study, highlights recommendations for future research, limitations, and takeaways for the reader.

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76 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The purpose of this qualitative , narrative inquir y study was to explore the experiences of post secondary students with dyslexia and their use of assistive technology in English and w riting based classes. This chapter includes a discussion of the major findings, implications for practice, limita tions, recommendations for future research, and finally, it concludes with a short summary. Disc u ssion of the findings is centered on the following research question: What are the experiences of undergraduate students with dyslexia who use AT in English a nd w riting based classes ? As outlined in Chapter 4 , the post secondary students with dyslexia in this study use a varied range of virtual and web based AT in their English and w riting based classes. Most of the technologies they use are free and the students had been using them prior to enrolling at the university. Additionally, th e participants feel empowered to use their AT and believe it levels the playing field among their peers who do not have learning disabilities . Finally, all the participants presented unique experiences and struggles post dyslexia diagnosis that have shaped their beliefs on achievement and academic success. Intrepretation of the Findings T ogether, t he themes ide ntified in this study provide a rich picture of both the unique and shared experiences of the selected participants. Each of the five themes related to the coded criteria in the conceptual framework added depth to that design, in addition to expanding on the major and minor themes found in the literature. The n ew

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77 findings, which included newly identified themes unrelated to the conceptual framework, added breadth to the description of the student experience. Time Management In the context of this study, Time Mangement refers to how students with dyslexia effec tively or ineffectively manage their time through the use of AT in English and w riting based classes. Existing literature establishes that students with dyslexia 2008 , pp. 93 ) and that combining AT with paper based tools aid s management (Phipps & Seale 2002) . H owever, the findings of this study suggest that t ime management may be more nuanced. Specifically, the participant tha t their ability to leverage AT to manage their time well depends on the design of their assignments . Two of the participants said that while many of their assignments are not challenging, they have the capacity to be very time consuming . Maggie expressed a preference exploratory because her most successful strategies for employing AT better support that type of assignment design. The partic ipants preferred to not feel behind on their work, and they relied heavily on AT to stay on target . Participants distinguished academic rigor from amount of time required to complete assignments. While they expressed frustration with coursework that requir ed substantial amounts of time to complete, they also indicated that they d o not mind an academic challenge. In fact, they said that because their formative educational experiences were wrought with academic setbacks and hurdles, they expect , welcome, and are accustomed to it.

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78 Th is theme, that without AT assignments may be time consuming but not excessively challenging, relates to theme of working faster with AT . Fifteen years ago, Parette and Scherer ( 2004) found that students with dyslexia felt more comf ortable when they were able to exercise discretion around their disability, for example, avoiding using noticeable AT devices in public. However , in this study, participants higher priority was their ability to complete assignments speedily. Abigail discussed her need to balance her schedule often , and Sadie described having a lack of free time. The data revealed that students with dyslexia who use AT in English and w riting classes may manage their time more eff ectively, providing more time for other academic work. This aligns with literature stating that students with dyslexia are often less organized and may suffer from poor time management skills (Woodfine, Nunes, & Wright, 200 8 . ) Purposeful AT usage may be le ss stigmatic for students with dyslexia than is indicated by Parette and Scherer (2004), at least partly because it is a powerful tool in the critical area of time management . Motivation The second criterion within the student experience framework , Motivation , was discussed both indirectly and directly in the context of AT use in English and w riting classes. Forgrave (2002) discusses self efficacy and that AT use is directly related to confidence and motivation. The results of this study showed how s tudents with dyslexia are more likely to feel motivated to use AT and complete assignments if they have their support. Overall, the four participants indicated that most of their instructors were helpful. However, they each had clear memories of and much to share about the instructors who were not. Instructor support was identified as a key factor supporting motivation and , in turn, acade mic success .

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79 particpants also discussed academic empowerment . D ata revealed that assistive te chnology use coupled with supportive instructors created space for increased motivation and academic drive. Sadie comment ed that she wished one of her instructors was her grandfather because of his overwhelming kindness, acceptance, and support. She felt m otivated to succeed in his class and empowered to use AT openly . Further, Arthur, Maggie , and Abigail all mentioned how AT makes them feel on equal academic footing to their peers. Interestingly , this concept of equality is not represented in the current literature. Forgrave (2002) reported that AT empowers students to feel independent. In contrast, i ndependence was not mentioned by any of th participants , but the c onstruct of equality was described by three o f the four students . Instructor support and empowered AT use may support motivation by helping students find a sense of equality to their peers without learning disabilities. Information Processing Information processing, or understanding, was discussed by each participant in different ways, but each concluded that AT helps them to better understand. In the context of this study, information processing refers to a material and process information within the English or w riting based classroom setting, while using assistive technology. Entwistle and Waterson ( 1988) categorize information processing under strategic learning where students carefully manage their time to maximize their grades but the findings of this stud y connected information processing with the construct of Participants echoed that a ssitive technology is not a want but a need. Abigail spoke emphatically about how she has not taken courses in which she did not use AT, nor does she plan to. Arthur stated explicitly that

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80 he believes he would not be successful at this university without it. The remaining participants shared their own accounts of the criticality of AT in their learning journeys . Without AT, the data infer that there wou ld be little to no meaningful learning for these participants within English and w riting classes. , illustrates how technology supports them moving beyond their descriptions of struggling thr ough foundational academic activities. With tasks like course readings and notetaking facilitated by technology, participants indicated that AT helps them achieve deeper learning. Interpretation of New Findings Four t hemes, unreleated to my conceptual framework, were also uncovered. Each one provided a unique viewpoint to what the literature presents. Three of those four themes are interpreted below, and the fourth will be presented in a later section. Hidden AT for a Hidden Disability The 12 AT types mentioned by th participants included those categorized as low , medium , high level AT devices or software , per Lewis (1998) codifications. Two are virtual and/or web based , several are free or low cost, and the only visible device identified was a portable dictionary. This revealed that the level of AT does not mean that devices are more visible or less accessible, or that they are necessarily tools not employed by p eople without disabilities. L iterature from the turn of the century (Parette & Scherer, 2004) concludes that stigma surrounds AT use, particularly for students with dyslexia who use visible AT devices. However, . With AT and disability stigma , the operative term may be A potential explanation for participants

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81 perceived lack of stigma may be that many of their AT devices and platforms are hidden. Additionally, several participants shared that although th ey had the opportunity to be discreet about their use of AT and in turn their dyslexia diagnosis, they did not necessarily choose to. Abigail said that she was open about her AT use in college , and that her peers considered her class notes to be superior to their own. Another conclusion from the literature not reflected in this study is the recommendation the student teacher ratio [total classroom size] . In this st udy, t he size of the class did not matter , as most of the AT they used was not recognizable. Maggie , who leverages AT in some but not all of her classes, said that for the courses she does use this technology, she does not feel any different from her peer s also articulated that she does not believe she [s] disabled , decision to use or not use AT. Additionally, these types of hidden software and po rtable to Erickson et al. , 2013, pp.45) for students with dyslexia and blur the lines of everyday versus assistive technology for post secondary students. The struggles defined by each part icipant tended to lessen as they grew older and more people were understanding and accepting. in 2019, for these participants whose dyslexia and AT are largely hidden and who experience their post secondary peers as more accepting than the ir elementary and middle school aged peers were, the stigma described by Parette and Scherer in 2004 is substantially mitigated .

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82 Level ing the P laying F ield Among the most powerful statements from ass ertion that her use of AT in w was directness and honesty behind this statement, and it laid bare her need to feel on par with her classmates. As discussed in Chapter 4 , both Arthur and Maggie men tioned how AT puts them on an equal footing with their classmates ; and each employed the phrase This too relates to the theme of dyslexia as . Arthur and Maggie provided this metaphor to illustrate the impact of AT ; because what they are experiencing as students with dyslexia is not outwardly visible to their classmates, they desire that their peers understand how their AT helps them with specific academic tasks . The crux of their explanat ions was that AT level s but does not give an unfair advantage. Ab i gail also made a very direct comment on this topic when she emphasized that AT is not cheating. The struggle to define and understand dyslexia is a real and present challenge (Ramus & Ahissa r, 2012). I f scholars , educators, and scientists cannot agree on a unified or consistent definition (Lyon et al . , 2003; Terrell & Passenger, 2006) , then post secondary students may not fully understand what dyslexia is or how necessary AT use is for studen ts with this disability . Telling Their Stories The purpose of this study was to amplify student voice, addressing a specific void in the current literature base . individual narratives and a collection of new findings answer (2016) call for a research study of this nature. The eagerness of the participants to share, and to speak candidly about topics extremely personal and sometimes painful, with a stranger , further illustrate d the urgency for

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83 student narratives. This populati on of students may be seeking a platform to share their experiences , as very few have been given an opportunity to do so previously. Additionally, their narratives challenge key findings and paradigms for practice , particularly those regarding stigma relat ed to dyslexia and AT use in the higher education setting. The next chapter of this research area must be guided , at least in part, by the voice s of student s. Implications for Practice Teacher and Instructor Preparedness D ata analyzed from this study yielded several implications for practice. The first implication relates to preparedness . the K 12 classroom educator . Duhaney (2000) recommen ds that teachers should be train ( p. 400). One of the major themes found within the literature states that AT negatively affects learning outcomes. The data suggest that investing in t eacher training and preparedness could help to address this issue. Among th participants, teacher preparedness was discussed in three different ways. First, participants identified a lack of understanding of AT. Abigail stated that my high school English teacher learned so much from me and my AT despite resisting at first. Strategies teachers can employ to support a student with dyslexia include changing the environment or instruction, or estabilishing unique goals (Madeira et al., 2015). This type of understanding and flexibility is crucial to helping students meet their academic needs (Duhaney, 2000). P articipants in this study juxtaposed the struggles of their elementary and secondary te achers to understand and adopt

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84 classroom AT , with the relative ease, openness, and adaptability displayed by their post secondary instructors . The data suggest that training not only in skillsets, but also mindsets around AT, may be warranted at the K 12 l evel. Second, AT needs to be accepted in the higher education classroom. Although instructors outperformed teachers in terms of their knowledge and integration of AT into the educational experience, the impact to students wa s substantial when this did not occur. 2016, pp. 10). Two participants gave examples of being denied access to AT for exams desp ite having a documented accommodation from the DRC. I n both instances, the instructors did not understand why AT use is crucial to the success of a student with a learning disability . 1998, pp. 25). Third , data suggest that assignment variability plays a large role in the success of students with dyslexia . Each participant recognized that by their nature classes, instructors , and assignments vary. However, several students noted that one class, IDS 1161: What is the Good Life , focused heavily on lengthy reading and reading comprehension assignment s. The inability to use their AT to learn in different ways was challenging for participants in this particular course . They reported improved learning outcomes and academic success in courses with more diversity of assignments and learning opportunities.

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85 As indicated in my research reflexivity section, I am currently working as a professional employee at this institution. After identifying the three ways teacher and instructor preparedness were discussed in the data, this illuminated an advocacy issue I h ave experienced in my role as an employee in student affairs. Sharing this information with instructors in academic affairs would enlighten this group ; however, there needs to be advocacy for this population of students from campus partners students and staff to effectively transfer this data to a community of instructors. This could be the first step in transforming the findings of this study into actionable items. Learning Management System Integration Canvas , the learning management system (LMS) used at this institution, is a web based platform that provides secure access to coursework, assignments, exams, discussions, and communication with instructors . Canvas was only brought up once , by Abigail, but that i nstance was impactful because what she said connected to the all the participants use mainly web based AT software, there m ay be additional opportunities for other programs, such as Grammarly or Ginger, to be easily integrated into their LMS. This would proactively meet the needs of this population and allow for instructors to become more familiar with this softwa re as they are setting up their classes in Canvas. Limitations and Recommendations for Future Research Limitations Overall, narrative inquiry and narrative analysis were well suited to the goals of this study . Interviewing participants allowed for close, in depth conversations that

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86 yielded thick, rich data that answered the research question. However, there were several limitations that arose throughout the completion of this study. First, there were difficulties with access when it came to the participa nts. Working with the population of students with a disability is challenging as that information is protected by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and in this case, FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) because this s tudy took place at a n educational institution . Therefore, I was not granted access to a pool of potential participants, nor could I personally verify if they were, in fact, diagnosed with dyslexia or had been enrolled in English and w riting based classes. DRC staff supported recruitment among a population of students with a diagnosed disability; however , specific medical and educational information was otherwise self reported . That outreach highlights a second limitation: the methods by which outreach to potential participants took place. Originally, I had planned to attend a focus group of students registered with the DRC who had been diagnosed with dyslexia . However, as the di ssertation project progressed, it became clear that the data collection portion would need to begin during the summer months, a time where fewer students are present on campus, thus limiting my pool of potential candidates for in person interviews. Based o n lower enrollment, this support group did not meet over the summer, necessitating the email outreach described above . Lastly , revising the protocol questions would improve the study. With guidance balanced se t of questions. However, during the interviews I noticed that a lot of feedback was given in Part 2: Dyslexia Diagnosis. Unders ta nding the participants upbringing, K 12 experiences, and their

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87 academic life prior to and after diagnosis yielded rich data, b ut many of those data were not directly related to the research question. Adding more probing questions in Part 4: English and W riting Classes, may have yielded more directly related, and usable, data. Recommendations for Future Research Based on the r elative absence of student voice in the extant research (Van Manen, 2016), I proposed in Chapter 1 that investigating the experiences of undergraduate students with dyslexia would help illuminate deeper, enriched, student informed questions for future rese archers. Key areas for further scholarly exploration emerged, and are detailed in this section. The concept of comorbidity was established in the literature review (Haft et al., 201 9 ; Lyon et al., 2003) and reflected in the findings of this study. Unprompted, three of the four participants shared that they have other diagnoses Arthur did not share whether or not he had additional diagnoses, nor was this a question asked of him I recommend future research examine how types of AT rela te directly to dyslexia, other diagnoses, or a combination of both. A major theme in the literature on this topic is that a mix of AT is necessary for students with dyslexia (Bj ö rklund, 2011; Draffan et al., 2009). However, it is unclear if the recommendat ion for a combination of AT is related to fact that students with dyslexia are often comorbid (Haft et al., 201 9 ) or if it is a best practice for all people with this learning disability . As stated previously, the participants chosen were a convenience sa mple. Convenience was based on location, access, and availability. Four detailed narratives provided a unique look at the student experience. However, a more targeted approach to participants for example, one to three students from different class levels , or students who specifically experienced major challenges with AT could create a more

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88 rounded and robust study. I f conditions allow, selecting participants at random may also help to eliminate any bias introduced by a self selected sample. Access to a larger pool and the c apacity to choose participants at random may showcase voices of students who have had vastly different experiences. The data illuminated that each of the four participants had some continuity of experience using AT between academic levels (i.e., from high school to college.) Each participant utilized AT in the classroom prior to enrolling in higher education, and attributed some measure of their success to their level of comfort with AT integration, advocacy, and regular use . This study did not examine types of AT used prior to college; therefore, it may be helpful for future research to examine longevity of AT types used, particularly spanning key academic transitions. In Chapter 3 I stated that the interview criteria chan ged. Initially, a criteri on for participants was that they need ed to be currently enrolled in an English or w riting based class. However, after consideration of the data collection timing , and the lack of participants that met the criterion over the Summe r term , this requirement was revised to indicate that they should have completed at least one of these courses within the last academic year. An improvement to this model would be to interview participants immediately after the English or w riting class has ended. This would require the may allow for more fresh insights and reflections on experiences that just concluded . Several of my participants struggled to recall specific details of som e aspects of their experiences. Often this was attributed to the several months that had passed since their enrollment in that course .

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89 Each interviewee discussed the impact o f their instructors response to their AT. said. Participants defined support as directly related to knowledge and perspectives of students with dyslexia and their use of AT. A suggestion to gain insight into this area is to interview instructors about their experiences utilizing AT in their teaching to support students with dyslexia . The purpose of this study was student voice; however, a future study centering the instructor voice to compare and contrast findings could identify areas of agreement and dissonance across groups, add ing depth to the overall understanding of this issue . Co nclusion This narrative inquiry study was created to explore experiences of students with dyslexia and their use of assistive technologies in English and w riting based classes . A voice s and memorialize them in the literature Understanding the lived experiences of this population further inform s research and practice. The literature related to this topic includes a wealth of information on types of AT (Lewis, 1998) , how important AT selection is to the user (Phipps & Seale, 2002), stigma associated with AT use (Parette & self efficacy (Forgrave, 2002), and how improperly using AT affects learning outcomes (Duhaney, 2 000). To this body of research , this study added a narrative directly from four post secondary students with dyslexia . Utilizing a narrative inquiry metho dology , individual interviews were conducted with each participant . Afterwards, I typed their respons es and added additional field notes notes related to the study and or situation, but not directly answering a question.

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90 Data were then analyzed through the narrative mode of analysis which yielded four detailed narratives outlining unique and shared expe riences, in addition to five themes related to a priori codes of conceptual framework , as well as four new themes . The major findings of this study were explained thematically . Post secondary students with dyslexia who use AT may take longer to complete assignments, but participants in this study did not indicate that they experienced particular challenges with the difficulty of any course content. They also reported that they believe AT increases the speed at which they are able to complete t heir English and w riting work. Participants said that they believe their instructors are mostly welcoming and accepting when it comes to their AT use, and this leads them to feel empowered and motivated to succeed . Lastly, they shared that AT provides easier, deeper learning for this subject matter . Additional findings unrelated to the a priori codes were also uncovered . First, participants believe their disability and their devices are hidden, offering a different perspective to the stigma argument presented by Parette and Scherer ( 2004). Next, p among them and their classmates who do not identify as having a disability. Without probing, three of the participants shared that their dyslexia is comorbid with an other diagnosis . Lastly, all four students were incredi bly eager to participate and tell their story. Conducting this study has allowed me to listen, deeply explore , reflect on, and understand the thoughts of a population not yet represented in the research base . From those in depth conversations stemmed thre e major takeaways. First, AT is necessary.

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91 done , presented by the four participants, though vastly different, reflect common threads . They each struggled early in their lives around the time they were diagnosed, endured bullying and embarrassment, and took p art in a number of after school treatments and programs . They all articulated desiring support and understanding from their classmates, but more importantly, their instructors . Finally, the participants were almost desparate to tell their story. Sadie ment because it was not something she had ever been able to do; no one was asking her what her experiences were like. This study served as a foundation for a larger next step in this area of research. In addition to affirm ing various aspects of existing scholarship , challenging others, and introduc ing new perspectives , it also gave four brave post secondary students the p latform to tell their important stories.

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92 APPENDIX A INTERVIEW PROTOCOL Students with Dyslexia and Assistive Technology Interview Protocol Introduction Hello, ________, thank you for meeting with me and participating in my dissertation research project. My name is Adam Jordan and I am a PhD student in the Educational Technology program here at the University of Florida. I am talking with university students to learn about experiences of students with dys lexia and their use of assistive technologies in English and writing based classes. In this project, assistive evice or service that enhance s the performance of individuals with a disability by enabling them to complete task s more effectively, efficiently, and independently than otherwise possible . What I learn from you will help me add to this field of research. In this conversation, your answers will be kept confidential and any identifying information, including your name and age, will be removed from the final report. During this conversation I will take notes and at the conclusion of the project I will destroy all notes taken. Do you have any questions about this project before we begin? Part 1 Rapport Building 1. Where are you from? 2. Why did you choose the University of Florida? 3. What are you studying? 4. How long have you been using the Disabilit y Resource a. What has that experience been like? Part 2 Dyslexia Diagnosis 1. Before finding out you had dyslexia, what was school like? a. What came easy? b. What was challenging? 2. When did you find out you had dyslexia ? 3 . Can you describe what school was like after you were diagnosed?

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93 4 . What kinds of support(s) did you receive in or out of school? a. How about at home, specifically? Part 3 Assistive Technology 1. What type of assistive technology do you use? a. Why? 2. How long have you used this type of assistive technology? 3. Can you talk about the assistive technology provided by the disability center? a. Are there any personal devices you use? b. How do they differ? Part 4 English and w riting Classes 1. What English and/or writing based classes are you currently enrolled in? 2. Can you recall how many of these classes you have taken since you started here as a student? been like using assistive technology in your English and/or writing based classes. a. How has your use of assistive technology shaped those experiences? ( probe on experience detail) b. How do other classmates react when they seeing you using it? ( probe on thoughts toward reactions ) 4. What has been the response of your instructors when you use assistive technology in their classes? 5. Are there benefits to using assistive technology in these classes? a. Are there challenges? ( prob e on challenges) 6. What does motivation look like for you when you use AT in these classes? motivation look like then? 7. How does your AT use relate to your time management? a. If so , c an you give me an example? 8. How does learning by use of assistive technology in these classes differ from classes where you do not use assistive technology?

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94 Part 5 Wrap up 1. Is there anything you would like to share with other students with dyslexia who use assistive technology and may read about your experience? How about instructors? 2. Is there anything else that you would like to share that you do not feel I captured in my questions? Thank you for your willingness to participate in this research project. I appreciate your time and responses. After your responses have been transcribed I will send you a digital copy to check for clarity and correctness prior to reporting the findings. If you have questions about this study in the future, p lease contact me.

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95 APPENDIX B INTERVIEW PROTOCOL ALIGNMENT Introduction Consistent with Leech (2002), use of common language to make it sound conversational introduction and throughout. Part 1: Rapport Building 2002) by building rapport and further explaining the study (e.g. defining Part 2: Dyslexia Diagnosis Use of open Use of follow up questions (Lee ch, 2002) Questions Part 3: Assistive Technology Use of open questions Part 4: Eng lish and w riting Classes Use of open 002) Use of follow up questions (Leech, 2002) Inclu s to conceptual framework related to conceptual framework Inclusion related to conceptual frame work Part 5: Wrap Up Questions focused on direct student feedback to be shared with other students and instructors which was absent from literature

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96 APPENDIX C EMAIL TO POTENTIAL PARTICIPANTS From: Sent: Thursday, July 11, 2019 9:04 AM Cc: Adam Jordan, M.A. < ajordan@ufsa.ufl.edu > Subject: DRC Research Study Hello! conducting a qualitative research study rega rding undergraduate students with dyslexia and their experiences with using assistive technology in enrolled English and/or writing based (meaning having assignments that are heavily focused on writing) classes! Below are some brief details of what you can expect: DRC. It should last approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour, total. It will not be recorded, but I will be taking notes, all of which will be destroyed after the complet ion of the study. Any identifiable information that you share like your name, or where you live, will be omitted from my final write up. hnological support you may use from phone apps to web browser extensions. Also, if you are interested in seeing the list of questions beforehand, I am happy to send them. I am looking to interview four students, so if you are interested, please email me at adamj@ufl.edu . In this research area the student voice your voice is absent. Telling your story is my aim. I appreciate your consideration! Thank you! Adam

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97 APPENDIX D IRB APPROVAL IRB201900299 has been Approved myIRB@research.ufl.edu Wed 6/19/2019 2:59 PM Ed Tech To: Adam Jordan, M.A.; University of Florida Institutional Review Board There has been an update to this IRB submission. ID: Revision 1 for IRB Study #IRB201900299 Title: AN EXAMINATION OF EXPERIENCES OF STUDENTS WITH DYSLEXIA AND THEIR USE OF ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES PI: Adam Jordan Description: Please review the updated information. To navigate to the project workspace, click on the above ID. The Foundation for The Gator Nation An Equal Opportunity Institution Confidentiality Notice: This e mail message, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s), and may contain legally privileged or confidential information. Any other distribution, copying, or disclosure is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recip ient, please notify the sender and destroy this message immediately. Unauthorized access to confidential information is subject to federal and state laws and could result in personal liability, fines, and imprisonment. Thank you.

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98 APPENDIX E INFORMED CO NSENT R ESEARCH P ARTICIPANT I NFORMED C ONSENT F ORM Please read this document carefully before you decide to participate in this research study. Your participation is voluntary, and you can decline to participate, or withdraw consent at any time, with no consequences . Study Title: AN EXAMINATION OF EXPERIENCES OF STUDENTS WITH DYSLEXIA AND THEIR USE OF ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES Person(s) conducting the research: Adam Jordan, AJordan@ufsa.ufl.edu , 352 846 4848 Housing and Residence Education Purpose of the research study: The purpose of this study is to solicit experiences of four undergraduate students diagnosed with dyslexia, and their use of assistive technologies in English and Writing classes. What you will be asked to do in the study: Participate in a one on one interview that asks questions about student experiences in specific classes as those experiences relate to a self reported diagnosis of dyslexia. Time required: I expect this one time interview to last no longer than one hour. Risks and benefits: There are no more than minimal risks to your participation and there are no direct benefits of participation for you. ************************************ Confidentiality: Interactions with study participants will be conducted in a private room within the UF Disability Resource Center. The following identifiable information will be collected: age,

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99 current major, and hometown. Name will be omitted from data collection and analysis, and w ill not be included in the final dissertation. Compensation: There is no compensation for participating in this research study. Withdrawal from the study: You are free to withdraw your consent and to stop participating in this study at any time without co If the participant withdraws, that collected data will be discarded. Further, the researcher does not reserve the right to withdraw a participant without his or her approval. If y ou wish to discuss the information above or any discomforts you may experience, please ask questions now or contact one of the research team members listed at the top of this form. If you have any questions regarding your rights as a research subject, plea se contact the Institutional Review Board (IRB02) office (098 PSY Bldg., University of Florida; Box 112250; (352) 392 0433 or irb2@ufl.edu.) Agreement: I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in the procedure and I have received a copy of this description. _____________________________________________ Participant Name _________________________________________________ _________________ Participant Signature Date _________________________________________________ Name of Person obtaining informed consent __________________________________________________ __________________ Signature of Person obtaining informed consent Date

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100 LIST OF REFERENCES Alliance fo r Technology Access, ATA. (2000). Current laws and legislation. In Alliance for Technology Access (Eds). Computer and web resources for people with Alameda, CA: Hunter House. Biggs, J. B. (1987). Student Approaches to Learning and Studying. Australia : Radford House . Blackhurst, A. E. (1997). Perspectives on technology in special education. Teaching Exceptional Children , 29 (5), 41. Björklund, M. (2 011). Dyslexic students: success factors for support in a learning environment. The Journal of Academic Librarianship , 37(5), 423 429. Bouck, E. C. (2016). A national snapshot of assistive technology for students with disabilities. Journal of Special Education Technology , 31 (1), 4 13. Bourke, B. (2014). Positionality: Reflecting on the research process. The Qualitative Report , 19 (33), 1 9. Bruner, J. S. ( 1985 ). Actual minds, possible worlds . Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Bryant, D. P., & Bryant, B. R. (2011). Assistive technology for people with disabilities . Pearson Higher Ed. Center for History and New Media (2008). Scribe. Retrieved September 7, 2019, from http://chnm.gmu.edu/tools/scribe/index.php Clandinin, D. J. (Ed.). (2006). Handbook of narrative inquiry: Mapping a methodology . London: Sage Publications. Clandinin, D. J. (2006). Narrative inquiry: A methodology for studying lived experience. Research studies in music education , 27 (1), 44 54. Clandinin , D. J., & Connelly, F. M. (2000). Narrative inquiry: Experience and story in qualitative research. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Connelly, F. M., & Clandinin, D. J. (1990). Stories of experience and narrative inquiry. Educational Researcher, 19(5) , 2 14. Cope, D. G. (2014 ). Methods and meanings: credibility and trustworthiness of qualitative research. Oncology Nursing Forum , 41 ( 1 ) , 89 91 .

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105 Shinoha ra, K., & Wobbrock, J. O. (2011 ). In the shadow of misperception: assistive technology use and social interactions. In SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 705 714). Vancouver: ACM Publications . Terrell C. & Passenger T. (2006) Understanding ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia & Dyspraxia. Dorset , Poole, UK: Family Doctor Publications . Tzouvelli, P., Schmidi, M., Symvonis, A. and Kollias, S. (2005), Adaptive reading assistance for the inclusion of learners with dyslexia: the agent DYSL approach. In Eighth IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (pp. 167 171). Santander, Spain: IEEE Computer Society. Van Manen, M. (2016). Researching lived experience: Human science for an action sensitive pedagogy . London: Routledge. Vanderhei den, G. C. (2007). Redefining assistive technology, accessibility and disability based on recent technical advances. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 25 (1 2), 147 158. Woodfine , B. P., Nunes, M. B., & Wright, D. J. (2008). Text based synchronous e learning and dyslexia: Not necessarily the perfect match!. Computers & Education, 50 (3), 703 717. Yang , K. & L i, M. (2010). New approach to enhance composition writing: the applicatio n of corpus data driven learning, In International Conference on Computational Intelligence and Software Engineering (pp. 1 4). Wuhan, China: IEEE Computer Society .

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106 BI OGRAPHICAL SKETCH Originally from Williamstown, New Jersey, Adam earned his ba chelor s degree in b iological s ciences and his m aster s degree in h igher e ducation a dministration from Rowan University. Shortly thereafter, he moved to the southeast in search for work and a doct oral program , and to start a new chapter in his life as a newlywed . With work experience in higher education administration, he knew he wanted to continue his academic career. Adam believed his two previous degrees w ere steppingstones to a terminal degree. Once he found the Educational Technology Program, he was excited to continue along this path of higher education. With the support from his wife, Mary, who completed her doctoral program two years prior, Adam is thrilled to have complete d this next step i n his journey of continuing to be a lifelong learner.