Date of Graduation

Spring 2010


Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Julie Masterson


braille, spelling skills, contractions, literacy skills, visual impairment

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders


The spelling accuracy and the nature of misspellings in school aged children with visual impairment (VI) compared with the spellings of their sighted peers was explored in the current study. Previous studies (Grenier & Giroux, 1997; Dodd & Conn, 2000; Clark & Stoner, 2008) had taken a qualitative look at the whole word spellings skills of students with VI and indicated that these students were generally on target with same age sighted peers in the area of spelling. Argropoulos and Martos (2006) categorized the misspellings of words by students with VI. They found that most errors made by students with VI were considered plausible/legal. The current study utilized a more sensitive spelling analysis tool, along with a qualitative component to capture the specific errors types related to braille contractions/orthography and braille mechanics. Findings of the current study support previous studies while adding a level of depth and direction for future research in the area of VI. Although no statistical differences were found between groups, students with VI made proportionally more legal errors than sighted students. In addition, it was noted that orthographic knowledge and phonological awareness skills could be affected by instruction in contracted braille, and morphological knowledge may be increased with this type of instruction. Future research with a focus in each of these areas is warranted to gain a more comprehensive picture of the skills of students with VI.


© Melanie Lora Stinnett

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