What is Audio-Supported or Audio-Assisted Reading?
Audio-supported reading (ASR) can be defined as “a technology-based approach for accessing and working with text presented in either braille or enlarged (magnified) print. This approach allows a user to listen to a spoken version of text while looking at screen-displayed print or touching braille. In ASR, both the rate of information pick up and the portion of attention paid to braille or print—in combination with speech—can be controlled by the user. With sufficient practice, both braille readers and magnified print readers can greatly increase the rate at which they move through text using ASR.” according to Dr. Richard Jackson.
How Should Audio-Supported Reading be Taught?
There is evidence that providing audio-supported or audio-assisted reading as a component of literacy instruction can help to develop fluency for students with print disabilities. A web training by Karen Norvol from Bookshare outlines how this strategy supports both fluency and reading comprehension. Dr. Richard Jackson and Ike Presley (AFB) presented a paper to the National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials (2012) in which they argue that audio assisted reading should be taught along with instruction in AT and braille/print reading to help students with visual impairment read more efficiently.