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The Development and Validation of a Tactile Processing Speed Measure

  • Author(s): McKerracher, Amanda Lee
  • Advisor(s): Worrell, Frank C
  • et al.
Abstract

Processing speed refers to the cognitive ability that is involved in fluently performing cognitive tasks with simple stimuli. Individual differences in processing speed can predict performance on tests of complex cognitive functions such as memory and fluid reasoning, as well as performance on academic tests in reading, writing, and mathematics. For this reason, measures of processing speed are included in most cognitive assessment batteries. However, extant measures of processing speed rely on visual stimuli, making them inaccessible to individuals with visual impairments. The current study describes the adaptation of one of the most commonly used processing speed measures, WISC-IV Coding, into a tactile task. Using a sample of 19 high school students (Mage = 15.74) with visual impairments who use braille as their primary literacy medium, have no additional disabilities, and are on track to receive their high school diploma by age 22, preliminary validation analyses were conducted. Split-half reliability calculations showed that scores on the instrument were reliable (a = .92). Additional instruments were administered - including the KeyMath-R braille adaptation, DIBELS braille reading fluency, and the Blind Learning Aptitude Test - to examine convergent and discriminant validity, and results provided evidence of convergent validity. Implications for practice and future directions for research are discussed.

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