Effects of audio texts on the acquisition of secondary-level content by students with mild disabilities.
The Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act (IDEA) Amendments of 1997 supported previous legislation stipulating that students with disabilities have access to and make progress in the general education curriculum (Cawley, Hayden, Cade, & Baker-Kroczynski, 2002). Secondary students with high-incidence disabilities (e.g., learning disabilities, emotional disorders) often struggle to meet the demands of the general education curriculum due to poor reading skills and a lack of effective learning strategies.
According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (Lyon, 1998), there are at least four reasons why students fail to read effectively: (a) phonemic awareness deficits, (b) failure to learn and apply effective reading strategies, (c) lack of motivation to learn to read, and (d) inadequate teacher preparation in strategies and methods of reading instruction. NICHD further suggests that there is an urgent need to intervene with students with reading disabilities, for by the time they reach high school their reading failure has affected other aspects of their academic and social life. At the secondary level, instructional goals shift from mastering reading skills to mastering high-level content material. Without effective reading skills in areas such as decoding, fluency, and comprehension, students are ill equipped to meet the demands of the curriculum. Not surprisingly, the gap between expected performance and actual achievement for students with learning disabilities (LD) increases at the secondary level, often resulting in frustration and withdrawal from school (Deshler et al., 2001).
Secondary students with high-incidence cognitive disabilities face challenging curricular demands, as they are required to meet school-system standards set for general education students. That is, in order to be successful, students with these disabilities are expected to read high-level textbooks independently, master content information, and apply previous knowledge to new learning situations (Deshler, Ellis, & Lenz, 1996; National Reading Panel, 2000).
Due to a lack of effective learning and reading strategies, these students typically experience difficulty reading and comprehending assigned textbooks in content-area classes. Indeed, these textbooks, typically the primary access routes to the required content information (Harniss, Hollenbeck, Crawford, & Carnine, 1994), often have readability levels well beyond these students' abilities, leading to frustration for many (Wait, 1987). For example, in an examination of 10 eighth-grade U.S. history textbooks, Kinder, Bursuck, and Epstein (1992) discovered an average readability level of high 10th grade. Due to problems with readability, many students spend an excessive amount of valuable learning time decoding difficult concepts and vocabulary at the expense of effective, higher-level comprehension (Dee Lucas & Larkin, 1986, 1988). Thus, a number of studies (e.g., Daniels, 1996; Schumaker, Deshler, & Denton, 1984; Wang 1996) emphasize that teachers must be aware of the functional value of the written material provided to their students.
These findings have clear implications for teachers: Alternative instructional methods are needed to convey content information effectively and efficiently. Faced with this reality, teachers are often left with regrettable options such as de-emphasizing the use of textbooks or oversimplifying important passages in the texts. The impact of tampering with text can be problematic, resulting in reduced text coherence and structure, a situation that may actually make content material more difficult to comprehend (Fulcher, 1997).
Assistive technology offers a welcome alternate approach to textbook modification. Edyburn (2003) describes the importance of addressing students' persistent performance deficits using compensatory approaches that involve technology to provide better access to the curriculum, reduce or eliminate the effect of a student's disability on classroom performance, and thereby enhance student learning.
Text recording is one alternative way to present content (Baskin & Harris, 1995). Audio recordings preserve the text in its original format, avoiding some of the pitfalls of typical textbook adaptations. Previous research has demonstrated that for students with LD, short-term comprehension of content material improves with the use of text recordings (D'Alonzo & Zucker, 1982; Torgesen, Dahlem, & Greenstein, 1987). However, further research with text recording interventions is necessary to ensure that audio texts are indeed an effective tool in content-area classrooms (Maccini, Gagnon, & Hughes, 2002).
With recent advances in technology, students can listen to CD-ROM audio recordings of their textbooks. Compared to earlier technologies such as books on tape, digital CDs enable students and teachers to work with greater efficiency. Previous studies (e.g., Mosby, 1979; Torgesen et al., 1987) of recordings of text presentation have involved traditional books on tape. While tapes deliver content in an alternative audible format, there can be problems. For example, navigation can be time consuming since tapes have to be approached in a linear fashion. That is, students must search to find a page, often fast-forwarding, rewinding, and stopping repeatedly. This process is particularly frustrating and difficult to manage for students who have organizational and attention challenges. Audio textbooks on CD address these issues by providing a more efficient method of accessing the material.
Research has repeatedly demonstrated that to develop content literacy, students with LD need skills and strategies, such as organizing routines, paraphrasing, and methods of linking new knowledge to previous know-ledge (e.g., Deshler et al., 2001; Swanson & Hoskyn, 2001). Not surprisingly, strategy instruction is viewed as one of the key components to increasing reading comprehension performance for students with LD (Swanson, 2001; Vaughn, Levy, Coleman, & Bos, 2002). For example, advance organizers direct students to look over material and attend to particular information, thereby enabling access to previous knowledge and acting as a scaffold for understanding new material (Swanson & Hoskyn, 2001). Similarly, students with LD who use graphic organizers with expository texts demonstrate a greater relational knowledge of content material than students who do not use the organizational tool (DiCecco & Gleason, 2002). Further, the use of strategic note-taking has resulted in greater recall and comprehension in content classes than conventional note-taking techniques (Boyle & Weishaar, 2001).
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of audio texts on the acquisition of secondary-level content by students with mild disabilities. Specifically, we (a) examined the direct effects of the audio text on the students' performance on content acquisition and (b) assessed the influence of a strategy designed to enhance the efficacy of audio text. Building on the early work of Schumaker et al. (1984), who developed a package of support materials to accompany social studies texts on tape, we designed a generic strategy that could be used to support a CD-ROM audio text.
The strategy complementing the audio text, called SLiCK, was designed to direct the reader's attention to important parts of the text, cue active listening, and synthesize and integrate the new information with the student's existing knowledge. The purpose of this support was to enhance comprehension and learning of material delivered in an alternative format, incorporating sound learning principles and strategies necessary for the academic success of students with learning disabilities, such as a note-taking form as well as an advanced organizer for assigned readings. The study was premised specifically upon the need for students with LD and other mild cognitive disabilities to be skilled in actively processing textual information in a way that facilitates understanding and remembering.
A total of 95 students from eight self-contained special education history classes participated. Although included in general education classes for certain subject areas as directed by their IEP, each of the students participated in self-contained classes for at least a portion of their school day. To participate in the study, students had (a) to be identified as having one or more of the following mild disabilities: learning disability, emotional disturbance, speech/language impairment, or other health impairments such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; (b) to need specialized accommodations for secondary history content on their IEP; and (c) to have returned forms indicating agreement and parent permission to participate.
An a priori decision was made that it was necessary for students to have an opportunity to benefit from the proposed intervention. Consequently, students were removed from the analysis if they (a) had excessive absences (eight or more absences during the study), (b) were transferred from the participating school, or (c) were permanently removed from the participating class. Additionally, students who did not take either the pretest or the posttest were excluded from the final analysis.
From the original population of 95 students in the self-contained classes, 67 met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 43 were classified as having a learning disability, 8 as having other health impairments, 6 as having an emotional disturbance, 4 as having mental retardation, 1 as having autism, 1 as having a speech/language disorder, and 1 as having an orthopedic impairment. The remaining four students received services under a 504 Plan. Forty-nine of the students were male and 18 were female. The majority, 70%, were ninth graders. Of the remaining students, 21% were in 10th and 9% in 11th-12th grade. The average amount of time spent in a special education placement was 7 years, with a range of 1 to 14 years. Table 1, adapted from the Council for Learning Disabilities (CLD) guidelines for describing participants, illustrates the distribution of demographic characteristics across the experimental and control conditions (Rosenberg et al., 1992).
The teachers participating in the study were certified special educators who directed the social studies instruction. Each of the teachers had a master's degree in special education and special education teaching experience ranging from 5 to 28 years.
The study took place in six comprehensive high schools in a large suburban school district in the Northeast. Participating high schools had student populations ranging from 1,400 to 1,900 with a mean enrollment of 1,760. The schools served communities ranging from high/middle to middle/low in terms of socioeconomic status, with the majority of the schools serving communities with a middle-class population.
The district provides inclusive programming for students with disabilities in each of the participating high schools. However, self-contained classrooms are available for students who, with supports, are unable to benefit from instruction in the general education environment. All three conditions of the study took place in the self-contained classrooms of the six participating high schools.
The relative efficacy of two experimental conditions and a control condition was compared on students' acquisition of academic content. The following sections describe how students were assigned to conditions and how classroom instruction and the experimental procedures were delivered.
Assignment to conditions. Participants, nested in seven class sections (one of the teachers taught two sections of the history class), were assigned randomly to one of three conditions: two experimental and one control. The first experimental group, the audio text plus SLiCK strategy group, received instruction using recorded texts in conjunction with an organizational strategy. The second experimental group, the audio text group, received recorded texts only. The third group, the control group, received neither a recorded text nor an organizational strategy. Instead, the control students relied only on regular teacher-based instruction for support.
Classroom instruction and materials. The format for instruction was the same for all three groups. Every day the teachers conducted a 5-minute drill, led 20 minutes of discussion/instruction on the textbook material, and directed the students to read independently for 20 minutes. Once a week, during the six-week intervention, the teachers administered a section quiz to the students, for a total of five quizzes. Further, all students received a teacher-led 15- to 20-minute quiz review the day prior to the quiz administration. Finally, all students also received a two-day review prior to the administration of the posttest, which was administered at the end of the six-week experimental period.
The classroom textbook used in each student's social studies period in each classroom in the study was United States Government: Democracy in Action (Remy, 1998). This is the typical text used in the school district for ninth-grade history; it has a 10th-grade readability level. Each student in the study received a textbook. In addition, students in both experimental groups also received a CD-ROM playback machine and a CD-ROM that contained the recording of the text provided by Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D). Finally, students in the audio text plus strategy group received copies of the SLiCK strategy procedures/outline forms (see Figure 1). All participating teachers agreed to address the content of Chapter 16 (The Presidency) and a portion of Chapter 17 (Presidential Leadership) during the course of the six-week study.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
Experimental procedures. Students in the two experimental groups received instruction in how to use a specialized CD-ROM and a CD-ROM player. Training lasted for two days, approximately 30 to 50 minutes a day. Student training incorporated a description of the equipment, its use, instructor modeling, student practice with the player, and instructor/teacher feedback. The RFB&D CD-ROM was specially tabbed so that the playback machine can navigate directly to a page or through book headings such as chapter, section, and subsection, as directed by the user. Player basics included directions such as inserting and ejecting the CD, and playing and stopping the CD and navigating to a specific page.
The SLiCK strategy was designed to include four tasks: Set it up, Look ahead, Comprehend, and Keep it together. Each of these strategic tasks required the student to use the text and recording materials to attend to and take notes about important information in the reading. The desired end result was that the student would produce a functional set of notes on the readings that were clear and complete. The purpose of the individual components of the strategy was as follows.
The Set it up component cued the student to properly prepare for reading by readying the necessary materials. Specifically, the student was directed to set up the equipment (the CD and CD player) and to ready the worksheet (an outline note-taking form designed as a graphic organizer of the chapter and section content information).
The purpose of the second component, Look ahead, was to familiarize the student with the main ideas and the organization of the section of text to be read. Thus, during Look ahead, the student was required to navigate the headings of the chapter, look at the pictures, the vocabulary, and the length of the assigned reading, and complete the heading and subheadings included in the reading onto the outline form. This was facilitated for the student in two ways. First, the headings and subheadings were visually coded in the chapter and in the outline in red and blue, respectively, to aid in transfer from text to outline. Second, an innovative function of the CD-ROM player enabled the reader to skim forward through individual reading "tracks" before settling on one track, or segment of recording, for listening. (The text recording has been tracked, or tabbed, in declining order, by chapter, section, and subsection. Each track has an audio title that allows the reader to transfer from the text to the outline.)
The purpose of the third component, Comprehend, was for the student to listen, read along, and list important details that support the text. Specifically, the student was directed to listen and follow along; pause, if necessary, using the pause key on the player to sort out new information; list the important details on the outline; and finally, synthesize, or ask him/herself and note "What does this reading mean?" Synthesis notes were to be written at the bottom portion of the outline.
Finally, the last component, Keep it all together, was designed to facilitate global comprehension of the text. Here the student was to reread the syntheses, combine them to get the bigger picture, and finally, to anticipate test questions based on the syntheses.
Instructional procedures used to teach the SLiCK strategy were adapted from those outlined by Schumaker et al. (1984). Students progressed through five instructional steps in succession and were required to demonstrate independent application of the strategy. Steps included (a) describing the learning strategy and the rationale for the strategy; (b) modeling the strategy; (c) verbally rehearsing the strategy; (d) practice with SLiCK materials; and (e) feedback/assessment.
Cumulative content acquisition. Students in each of the three groups were given a pretest knowledge assessment prior to the start of the six-week intervention to determine the amount of prior knowledge they had of the unit material. A similar posttest was administered at the end of the intervention to determine acquisition of the content from the unit. The tests were developed using a question bank from the textbook United States Government: Democracy in Action User Guide (Remy, 1998). Students were to answer 12 matching and 18 multiple-choice questions. Each question was worth 1 point, for a total of 30 points. In addition to presenting a written version of the test, teachers also read the test questions aloud to the students.
Short-term quizzes. Five section quizzes were given as a short-term measure of students' content acquisition after each section in the assigned chapter. The quizzes were developed using the question bank from the textbook as mentioned above. Sets of multiple-choice questions and matching terms were used to measure student acquisition of the content information from each section. The teacher read each question aloud to the students as they answered them. Students could earn 1 point for each correct answer, up to the maximum number of test questions asked for each heading. Each set was worth 5 points, for a total of 10 points per quiz.
Fidelity of Treatment
A checklist was developed to monitor the teachers' implementation of the experimental procedures in the areas of instruction, timed reading, and use of the audio player, the CDs, and the SLiCK strategy. The teachers were observed at least once a week throughout the study, and following each observation they received feedback if a procedure was missing or was being implemented incorrectly. The observer was a graduate student trained in the use of the procedures and materials. The observer recorded the presence or absence of the necessary experimental procedures according to group assignment.
The percentage of experimental procedures present during the observation was calculated by dividing the number of observed procedures by the number of necessary procedures (as determined by group assignment) and multiplying by 100. Average teacher use of the protocols over the six-week period ranged from 78 to 100% implementation.
A pretest-posttest control group design was used. A mixed-model ANOVA statistical analysis was used to determine if the mean scores of the dependent measures varied significantly between and within the groups.
The research question investigated whether the use of an audio textbook with and without a strategy enhanced content acquisition for high school students with mild cognitive deficits enrolled in U.S. government classes in self-contained settings compared to students not provided with assistive devices. Two types of measures were used to assess outcomes: cumulative content acquisition tests and short-term quizzes.
Cumulative Content Acquisition
Means and standard deviations related to cumulative content acquisition tests are reported in Table 2. Results of the mixed-model ANOVA (see Table 3) indicated a significant effect of Group, F(2, 64) = 5.00, p<.05, and a significant effect of Test, F(1, 64) = 260.68, p<.001. A significant interaction of Group by Test, F(2, 65) = 7.14, p<.01, emerged. As illustrated in Figure 2, the groups scored similarly on the pretest. However, following the intervention, both experimental groups using the audio textbook scored significantly higher than the control group as reflected in knowledge acquisition scores. There was no significant difference in knowledge scores between the experimental group using SLiCK and the audio textbook and the experimental group using just the audio textbook.
[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]
Means and standard deviations related to the quizzes are shown in Table 4. Results of the mixed-model ANOVA (see Table 5) indicated no significant effect of Group, F(2, 41) = 2.51, p>.05, and a significant effect of Quiz, F(4, 164) = 10.84, p<.05. The groups using the audio text did score consistently higher than the control group; however, followup tests indicated that statistical significance was achieved on two of the five probes (Probe 2 and 3). There was no significant interaction of Group by Quiz, F(8, 164) = 0.98, p>.05.
The results of this investigation indicate that, compared to independent textbook reading, an audio textbook can be an effective tool for increasing content acquisition of high-level academic content over time. Thus, students in the two groups using the audio textbook demonstrated greater improvement in their knowledge-acquisition test scores than students in the group who read the textbook independent of the technology. These findings demonstrate the value of audio textbooks as an assistive device for students with mild cognitive disabilities. As a result of the intervention, students in the two experimental groups were able to access high-level content material and achieve higher quiz and cumulative test scores as a result. However, there was no significant difference in scores between the group using the accompanying SLiCK strategy with the audio textbook and the group using the audio textbook only.
The effectiveness of the audio textbook alone as a material modification procedure was surprising, as this has not been a common finding in previous research. For example, Torgesen et al. (1987) conducted a series of investigations using text recordings to increase comprehension of textbook material. The authors found that students with LD increased their immediate comprehension of content material using tape recordings compared to students not using this adaptation. However, both Torgesen et al. (1987) and Schumaker et al. (1984) noted that additional methods were necessary to maintain these positive outcomes. Specifically, Torgesen and colleagues found that the use of recordings alone did not increase content learning over time. The addition of an organizational worksheet designed to probe the main ideas of the reading, however, made a positive difference. Similarly, Schumaker et al. noted that students with LD scored higher on chapter tests using a learning strategy, material modifications, and verbatim recordings of text than students using verbatim recordings alone.
It was hypothesized that the SLiCK strategy would increase the effectiveness of the audio textbook by providing both learning and organizational strategies. It is likely that aspects of SLiCK were too complicated to achieve the intended results. For example, participating teachers remarked that the students had not had any previous training in note taking and that they had a great deal of difficulty determining the relevant facts and information in a paragraph to be synthesized on the SLiCK sheet. Instead, they often attempted to record the paragraph verbatim in the allotted space. Due to students' lack of synthesizing and note-taking skills, the strategy also proved to be too time-consuming to be valuable. Thus, students needed additional time to organize their thoughts on the new information and may have been unable to do so during the 20 minutes allotted to reading and note taking.
In addition, the format of the SLiCK form may have been too confining. Some of the teachers reported that students required more space for their notes, as they often struggled with handwriting. Some students also forgot to identify key vocabulary on the SLiCK sheet. While space was available on the worksheet, specifically marked areas for vocabulary may have prompted the students to address key terms in the readings.
Despite these obstacles, many students began to learn appropriate note-taking skills. That is, after a few weeks, they started to learn how to identify the important information in a reading and how to briefly record this information. In addition, many of them learned how to outline a reading passage. For example, the students in one class were able to transfer the strategies from SLiCK to their science textbook, recognizing headings and subheadings and setting up an appropriate outline. Given a longer intervention period, it is possible that students using SLiCK and the audio textbook would have been able to demonstrate a significant difference in content-acquisition scores over the other groups. The additional time would enable the teachers to teach the strategy using the critical stages of strategy instruction, including making commitments, describing and modeling the strategy, as well as providing opportunities for verbal practice, controlled practice, and advanced practice (see Ellis, Deshler, Schumaker, & Clark, 1991). Previous research supports providing students with ample time to practice new strategies and allowing for detailed instruction in the use of such strategies. For example, Boyle and Weishaar (2001) found that students requested the opportunity to practice strategic notetaking prior to applying it to necessary content information. Similarly, Troia and Graham (2002) noted that students with LD demonstrated improved writing skills when teachers engaged in highly explicit instruction on the use of writing planning strategies. A variety of methods for integrating this essential practice needs to be explored with the teachers who are pressured with the demands of delivering high-level content in relatively short class periods.
Limitations of the Study
In our consideration of why the SLiCK strategy failed to enhance the effects of the audio text intervention, it became clear that time was a limiting factor for both the intervention and student training. In order to meet districtwide instructional demands, the intervention was limited to six weeks, a short time for a strategy to become part of a student's repertoire. Correspondingly, student training in the strategy was abbreviated so that students did not miss significant amounts of academic instruction. Also, although major steps were taken to ensure homogeneity across groups, students demonstrated a great range of entry-level characteristics across the groups. Such diversity may not be typical of other self-contained settings and school systems; consequently, the generalizability of our findings are limited to similar students served in self-contained classrooms that serve students with a range of learning differences.
Implications for Practice and Future Research
The initial failure of the SLiCK strategy to augment the positive outcomes of the audio text should not obscure the important outcomes otherwise achieved by the students in this study. Clearly, greater access to higher-level material, specifically the audio textbook, holds great promise for students with mild cognitive disabilities. Use of the audio textbook has the potential to increase student independence. For example, the teachers who participated in the study reported that the audio textbook provided students access to a generalized classroom routine for expository reading. Students used the technology to access additional history readings as well as other available relevant academic textual material (e.g., additional history text, other subjects such as science and citizenship). This technological support allowed the teachers to provide greater assistance to students experiencing difficulties accessing higher-level print material.
Continued improvement and development of complementary strategies must be a priority if students' access to high-level material is to be increased. Access to the full range of programs and general education curricula at the secondary level increases students' chances of having available a range of opportunities after high school (Johnson, Stodden, Emanuel, Luecking, & Mack, 2002). In brief, the results of the study support the effectiveness of audio textbooks as one method for improving students' content acquisition in general education programs and curricula. Even greater improvements are likely if we can develop accessible strategies that serve to direct the use and enhance the effectiveness of audio-based assistive devices.
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Table 1 Characteristics of Subjects by Group Audio/SLiCK Audio Only Control Descriptor Group Group Group Male 18 15 16 Female 11 6 1 Total 29 21 17 Age Mean 15.5 14.5 14.5 Range 14-18 Race/Ethnicity Caucasian 20 10 10 African- American 7 11 7 Hispanic 2 0 0 Grade Level 9-12 9-10 9-10 Time in Special Ed. Placement 7.5 yrs 7.1 yrs 6.5 yrs IQ Mean * 79.12 77.00 76.67 Reading Achievement ** Mean 80.75 81.00 75.27 * Test used: WISC III, KAIT, WAIS, WASI. ** Seventy-two percent of the students had reading scores from the WJ-R; the scores reported are mean standard scores. For all groups these scores indicate that performance on the reading subtest was in the below-average for a ninth-grade population. Table 2 Means and Standard Deviations of Government Knowledge Test Reported by Group and Tests Test Group Pretest Posttest M (SD) M (SD) Audio Only 6.38 (3.22) 17.81 (5.64) Audio/SLiCK 4.10 (2.69) 15.93 (4.54) Control 5.53 (3.48) 12.00 (4.74) Total 5.15 (3.17) 15.49 (5.33) Table 3 Results of Mixed-Model ANOVA Investigating the Effect of an Audio Textbook on Knowledge Acquisition Source df MS F Between-Subjects Group 2 109.90 5.00 * Error 64 21.99 Within-Subjects Test 1 3135.28 260.68 ** Test by Group 2 85.90 7.14 ** Error 64 12.03 * p<.05. ** p<.01. Table 4 Means and Standard Deviations of Government Knowledge Quizzes Reported by Group and Tests Quiz Group Quiz 1 Quiz 2 Quiz 3 M (SD) M (SD) M (SD) Audio Only 5.42 (2.36) 6.68 (2.31) 6.32 (2.94) Audio/SLiCK 4.88 (2.09) 5.71 (1.49) 6.76 (1.25) Control 4.50 (2.62) 4.00 (2.33) 4.50 (2.83) Total 5.05 (2.28) 5.82 (2.21) 6.16 (2.49) Quiz Group Quiz 4 Quiz 5 M (SD) M (SD) Audio Only 5.53 (3.08) 6.16 (3.11) Audio/SLiCK 4.53 (2.18) 5.65 (2.37) Control 3.63 (1.92) 5.13 (1.25) Total 4.80 (2.62) 5.77 (2.55) Table 5 Results of Mixed-Model ANOVA Investigating the Effect of an Audio Textbook on Knowledge-Acquisition Quizzes Source df MS F Between-Subjects Group 2 39.31 2.51 Error 41 21.99 Within-Subjects Test 4 10.84 3.35 * Test by Group 8 3.16 0.98 Error 164 3.24 * p<.05.
We gratefully acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of Jean Satterfield and Judy Glass, as well as the teachers and many students of Baltimore County Public Schools who participated in this effort.
Requests for reprints should be addressed to: Michael S. Rosenberg, Department of Special Education, 100 Whitehead Hall, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218; Mrose@jhu.edu.
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ELIZABETH A. BOYLE, M.A., is research associate, Department of Special Education, Johns Hopkins University. MICHAEL S. ROSENBERG, PhD., is professor, Department of Special Education, Johns Hopkins University. VINCENT J. CONNELLY, M.S., is research associate, Department of Special Education, Johns Hopkins University. SHARI GALLIN WASHBURN, M.S., is manager of educational programming, Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic. LORING C. BRINCKERHOFF, PhD., is education and disability consultant, Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic. MANJU BANERJEE, M.A., M.S., is education and research consultant, Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic.