may lead to distraction from the task of text entry, or, alternatively, be so unobtrusive that the student may not utilize the word prediction capabilities. There is no ideal location (Anson, 1997) and several locations may need to be investigated before an exact placement is determined.
The number of words presented in the predicted word list may also need to be adjusted. Some students who have a sophisticated vocabulary may benefit from a longer listing. However, the time required to stop typing and visually scan a long list of words may actually increase text entry time. The task of visual scanning itself may be fatiguing to students with some disabilities. Lastly, the time delay factor that occurs while waiting for the word prediction list to appear may lead to frustration and decreased use of the software. All of these elements should be considered when assessing a student's need for word prediction.
Sometimes professionals expect word prediction to immediately improve the speed of text entry, and this is not always the case. Anson (1993) reported that for those people who were touch typists word prediction slowed down text entry. Text entry speed improved with word prediction for those individuals who looked at the screen while typing or who had some motor incoordination that limited quick sequential key depression (Tyvand, Endestad, Pedersen, & Heim, 1994).
In summary, both abbreviation expansion and word prediction may be useful assistive technology tools to increase text entry speed, decrease spelling errors, and decrease errors where letters are consistently reversed or omitted. The impact will be unique to the individual student (Koester & Levine, 1996), but both seem to be most successful for students who are not touch typists and look back and forth from the screen to the keyboard while typing, who have difficulty coordinating the movements necessary for efficient typing or have a muscular fatigue concern, and who use phrases or words repeatedly.
A brief description of these and other software resources is available at:
Typelt4Me R. Ettore 67 Rue de la Limite Belgium