Smartxt Helps Students with a Learning Disability Succeed in College

Written by the Kurzweil Blog Team

Attending college can be a challenge for most students. But for students with a learning disability, that challenge becomes magnified. We recently talked with Stacey Kayden from Laney College in Oakland, California who recognized a need to assist their struggling students and turn the"m into graduates who are prepared to enter the workforce.

According to Stacey, who was hired by Laney College to develop programs for disabled students, "Seventy percent of first-year community college students are in need of remedial education in English ... in order to be prepared for college-level courses." Stacey told us that to prepare students for their future, she believes educational institutions must use technology. She focused on finding the right technology to engage students and help them with their learning issues, mainly with their inability to comprehend printed text. She chose Kurzweil 3000 as the key technology tool for what was to become the Smartxt Program.

The Smartxt Program is based on three components:

  • Technology (Kurzweil 3000)
  • The integration of multi-sensory input from instructors
  • Student mentors

First, textbooks are digitized and uploaded into the Kurzweil 3000 online Universal Library. Then, using the multi-sensory tools in Kurzweil 3000, instructors annotate the textbooks with reading and study strategies for their students. Student mentors help the new students with everything from study strategies to how to use the tools in Kurzweil 3000 for reading, writing, and study skills. For students with learning disabilities, this three-pronged approach has been highly effective, so effective, in fact, that the Smartxt Program has spread to 23 schools! Smartxt reports that students supported by Disability Support Programs at colleges using this program have been more successful.

Kurzweil 3000 provided Stacey’s group with the best tool to provide the reading, writing and study skills supports necessary to help their students with learning disabilities succeed in higher education.

To learn more about the Smartxt Program, listen to Renita Pitts as she explains what Kurzweil 3000 and the Smartxt Program have done for her.


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