Non-Word Repetition and Vocabulary in Adolescents who are Blind




Ekstrom, Carol

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When compared with their sighted peers, prior research on individuals who are blind has indicated strong working memory, as measured by digit span tests, and phonological memory, as measured by non-word repetition tasks. However, research related to vocabulary skills is limited and often contradictory. Some indicates that those who are blind have poor vocabulary skills, perhaps due to missing visual information, while others demonstrate the potential for individuals to use vocabulary correctly despite a lack of visual input. What is known is that sighted individuals who perform well on digit span and non-word repetition tests have strong vocabulary skills. This would imply that individuals who are blind should have at least comparable vocabulary abilities but this has not yet been considered. This study compared the working memory, phonological memory, and vocabulary skills of adolescents who are blind with those who are sighted. Prior research focused on elementary-aged students, so this study expands results to a new age-group. Results indicate that there are no group difference between working and phonological memory skills and no group difference between vocabulary skills of those who are blind and sighted, with the exception of spoken analogy skills.



Blind, Digit span, Non-word repetition, Working memory, Phonological memory, Vocabulary


Ekstrom, C. (2018). Non-word repetition and vocabulary in adolescents who are blind (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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