Li, H. (2014). The effects of read-aloud accommodations for students with and without disabilities: A meta-analysis . Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice , 33 (3), 3–16.

Journal Article

Li, H. (2014). The effects of read-aloud accommodations for students with and without disabilities: A meta-analysis. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 33(3), 3–16.


Elementary; High school; K-12; Learning disabilities; Math; Meta-analysis; Middle school; Multiple ages; Multiple content; No disability; Oral delivery; Oral delivery, live/in-person; Reading; Recorded delivery (audio or video); Text-to-speech device/software; U.S. context




This meta-analysis examined the effects of read-aloud accommodations, comparing them in various formats and delivery mechanisms, including human voice, in-person and recorded, and synthesized via computer platforms.


Information on the participants in this meta-analysis of 25 studies included that they were elementary, middle school, and high school students, with various learning disabilities (n=54) and without disabilities (n=60).

Dependent Variable

Information on the dependent variables in this variance-known hierarchical linear modeling meta-analysis of 23 studies included that the studies used assessments administered to students throughout grades K–12; the academic content measured included mathematics and reading.


Both students with and without disabilities benefited from read-aloud (or oral-delivery) accommodations. Further, the oral-delivery effect size for students with disabilities was significantly larger than that of students without disabilities. The researchers reported on the factors most strongly influencing oral-delivery accommodations' effects, including when oral delivery was provided by in-person human readers (compared to computer-synthesized voices and recordings of human voices), when academic content was reading (compared to math), when extra time was concurrently permitted along with oral delivery (compared with oral delivery alone), when the research design was independent groups (compared to repeated-measures), and when students were in elementary school (compared to students in middle school only, since the number of studies with high school participants was not deemed sufficient). Limitations of the study were reported, and future research directions were suggested.