Mirenda, P., Turoldo, K., & McAvoy, C. (2006). The impact of word prediction software on the written output of students with physical disabilities . Journal of Special Education Technology , 21 (3), 5–12. https://doi.org/10.1177/016264340602100301
The effects that word prediction software, specifically Co: Writer, had on written output of students whose physical disabilities impacted their ability to write by hand were the focus of this study.
A total of 133 students and 125 teachers/adult supporters participated in this study. They were recruited through Special Education Technology-British Columbia, a resource program in British Columbia, Canada, who supports school districts in meeting technology needs of students with disabilities. Through their database, they identified students in their province who used a version of Co: Writer and invited them to participate in the study.
Writing samples in three modalities: handwriting, word processing, and word processing with Co: Writer were completed by participants. Both participants and their teachers/adult supporters completed a survey about the experience using the word prediction software.
According to survey results, more than 67% of students and more than 50% of adults believed that Co: Writer helped the students spell better, write faster, use a wider variety of words, produce neater work, and write more accurate sentences. These students and adults also believed that the software helped students write without tiring, feel less frustrated, and go back and read what they had written. Analyzing the writing samples yielded no significant difference between the writing modalities in terms of the number of total words produced in the 10-minute time frame. However, the two modalities of word processing and/or using Co: Writer yielded more legible and correctly spelled words and word sequences than handwriting.