Meyer, N. K., & Bouck, E. C. (2014). The impact of text-to-speech on expository reading for adolescents with LD . Journal of Special Education Technology , 29 (1), 21–34.

Journal Article

Meyer, N. K., & Bouck, E. C. (2014). The impact of text-to-speech on expository reading for adolescents with LD. Journal of Special Education Technology, 29(1), 21–34.


Electronic administration; Electronic administration; Electronic administration; K-12; Learning disabilities; Middle school; Oral delivery; Reading; Text-to-speech device/software; U.S. context




The accommodation examined was text-to-speech technology. Although text to speech was presented as an intervention, the academic tasks were described as fitting with testing conditions, and the scores were able to be compared with participants' non-supported (without text to speech) completion of the tasks.


Three middle school students with reading-related learning disabilities from a school in the Midwest (U.S.) participated. Demographic data such as age, gender, and race/ethnicity were also reported.

Dependent Variable

Participants completed academic tasks under testing conditions, including answering comprehension questions after hearing expository reading passages and reading a text segment for oral reading fluency measurement. Participants were also timed for the duration of their completing tasks. Participants also responded to interview questions about their perceptions of the test-taking experience.


In comparison with participants' comprehension scores without receiving the text-to-speech accommodation, students did not seem to score significantly higher when receiving text to speech. They also did not seem to improve in terms of oral reading fluency; the researchers explained that all three participants had relatively high fluency scores without the support, so they suggested that the ceiling effect might have been operant in this nonsignificant difference. Task completion time did not differ without than with text to speech. In interviews, participants indicated their perceptions that they scored higher in comprehension and oral reading fluency, and took less time to complete the tasks, when using text-to-speech technology. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research directions were suggested.