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Aiming for Access

June Behrmann

June Behrmann is a longtime special education teacher (pre-K to grade 6) who retired for about two seconds, and is now prospecting for accessible instructional resources. Follow June on Twitter @aimnoncat. Thank you to AIM-VA: Accessible Instructional Materials for sharing this blog with us.

School Library Journal's Wiki Offers Resources About Students with Disabilities with a Nod to UDL

June 25, 2015

"Libraries play a catalytic role in the lives of people with disabilities by facilitating their full participation in society. Libraries should use strategies based upon the principles of universal design to ensure that library policy, resources and services meet the needs of all people," according to the School Libary Journal (SLJ).

Serving All

The publication bills itself as "the world's largest reviewer of books, multimedia, and technology for children and teens." Universal design in education, known best as Universal Design for Learning (UDL), advocates for flexible instruction, accessible educational materials (AEM), and assessments that work for everyone rather than a single, one-size-fits-all (only books in print) solution. 

Here is a list of resources taken from the SLJ's recent wiki for librarians. Their efforts to serve students who need incentives and specialized approaches to become engaged with, read and understand text, when coupled with the knowledge that not all digital materials are accessible, offers the promise that libraries can be reading comfort zones for students who learn best with AEM):

AIM-VA

Students disabilities in elementary and secondary schools who struggle to read print may be eligible for free alternative text formats if traditional books are a barrier to learning. Students are found eligible by their education teams. For students in Virginia, get started by logging onto the AIM-VA homepage. In other states ask a special education teacher or school administrator about accessible educational materials (AEM) and eligibility under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and an exception to copyright law.

Thank you to AIM-VA: Accessible Instructional Materials for sharing this blog with our Reading Rockets audience.

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"What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person ..." —

Carl Sagan