Date of Graduation


Document Type



This mixed methods study introduced speech recognition software to three adolescents with learning disabilities. The participants were taught to use Dragon Naturally Speaking (DNS), one of several commercially available speech recognition programs. This software has the capability to recognize a user’s voice, transcribe his or her words into text, and make the text available in a word processing format where editing is possible through keyboard or voice commands. This process may help students with learning disabilities, especially in the area of written expression, circumvent the frustration of paper-pencil writing and empower them to express their ideas in written form. Data were collected from several sources: survey data, observations, interviews, written composition analysis, and a standardized test. The results of the data were used to examine the software’s effects on the quality of participants’ written work as well as their attitudes and self-perceptions as writers. Accuracy of use was also calculated to determine whether these adolescents were able to acquire a level acceptable for efficient use of the software. The quality of written compositions improved when using DNS; the effect of on attitude and self-perception were tentative; and the accuracy rate attained for all participants was adequate for the effective use of the software and the accuracy rate for all participants was similar. These results offer hope for those students who face problems with written expression on a daily basis in public school classrooms across the nation.