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Assistive technology for students with learning disabilities: A glimpse of the livescribe pen and its impact on homework completion


This research investigated the effectiveness of an assistive technology tool, the Livescribe Pen (LSP), with an elementary student identified with dyslexia. Using interview and focus group methodologies over the span of one academic year, the study probed the perceptions of teachers, parent, and child. While the LSP was primarily utilized for curriculum accessibility and an audio tool to promote academic independence, the study’s findings reveal its impact as an assistive technology on both academic success for children with disabilities as well as non-academic gains. These included an increase in independence, more time for social activities, and the ability to develop strategies for homework success. Most importantly, the academic team and the parent reported a sense of higher aspirations for this student; ones they had not thought possible previously. Finally, the study revealed two elements critically important for students with disabilities. Those are the importance of fostering communities of support and the importance of self-determination.

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Correspondence to Kelly A. Harper.

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This research was supported in part by a grant from the USDOE OSEP #325 T Grants in Teacher Preparation

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Harper, K.A., Kurtzworth-Keen, K. & Marable, M.A. Assistive technology for students with learning disabilities: A glimpse of the livescribe pen and its impact on homework completion. Educ Inf Technol 22, 2471–2483 (2017).

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  • Assistive technology
  • Livescribe pen (LSP)
  • Homework
  • Learning disabilities
  • Home-school connection
  • Universal design for learning (UDL)