Summary of the Systematic Review

Article Citation

Technology to Support Sign Language for Students With Disabilities

Donne, V. (2013).
Rural Special Education Quarterly, 32(4), 24-37.
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Sponsoring Body

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Article Quality Ratings

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Indicators of Review Quality

  • No The review states a clearly focused question/aim.
  • Yes Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided.
  • Yes Search strategy described in sufficient detail for replication.
  • No Included studies are assessed for study quality.
  • N/A Quality assessments are reproducible.
  • Yes Characteristics of the included studies are provided.

Article Details


This is a review of the research literature investigating the use of technology to support sign language for students with disabilities.

Questions/Aims Addressed

Question/aim not specifically stated


Students who are deaf/hard of hearing or with low incidence disabilities (e.g., autism, intellectual disability, communication disorders)


Technology to support sign language users, including:

  • computer-displayed text;
  • graphic pictures;
  • voice output; and
  • sign language videos.

Number of Studies Included

19 articles; 22 studies

Years Included

From 1993 to 2013

Conclusions from This Systematic Review

What are Conclusions?

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Evidence from this review suggests that incorporation of various forms of technology using sign language has improved student vocabulary, language, reading comprehension, and writing skills. These positive results extended across age groups from young children to adults. Positive results were obtained from technology sessions of as little as 10 minutes per day. Specific technology interventions included:

  • technology to supplement text as an independent activity;
  • technology paired with shared readings, repeated readings, and guided reading;
  • pre-teaching vocabulary and facilitating the viewing of videos by way of teacher mediation; and
  • sign language multimedia for narrative and expository texts at an instructional reading level.

Keywords: Age, Adolescents/Young Adults, Adults, School-Age Children, Young Children (Preschool), Sign Language

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