7 Assistive Tech Finds from Dependable Sources: Read These Over The Thanksgiving School Break

Assistive technology ideas overflow in these articles collected during 2015. The next school break might be a good time to consider some of them to ease instruction for students who struggle in school. 

10 Specialists Pick Apps, Websites to Help Special Needs, Struggling Readers Love to Learn

Apps and websites for special needs and other struggling learners are best when sources are trusted, juried, or chosen by people we respect. Here is a round up of chosen apps. Some are targeted to special needs learners, while others are intended to help all students love to learn whether or not they have identified disabilities. 

Happy Birthday KidLit TV! Find "Read Out Loud" Videos by Book Authors, Much More

Kidlit TV is a resource chock full of treasures to help educators and parents explore children's literature. Be sure to add the "Read Out Loud" selection to your teacher or parent toolkit. Find several books read aloud by their authors.

In the video above, author Mike Curato reads Little Elliot, Big City (4:46 min.), a story of how a little guy in a big city solves problems (with help from a friend). This book has engaging illustrations. 

Few Know Their Library Loans Out e-Books: Clues to the Local e-Book Kingdom with a Caution

A vast majority of libraries in the United States have an e-book collection but few patrons know the books are there for loan, according to writer Michael Kozlowski.

Advocate for Accessible Digital Books During "Read an E-Book Day" Coming Sept. 18

OverDrive, the service that gives library card holders access to free digital books, eBooks and more, invites public participation for Read an eBook Day on Sept. 18. This is an opportunity for teachers, other educators, and parents to advocate for library collections to include eBooks that offer flexible rather than fixed or static digital text. There are different types of digital text and the flexible text is best for most struggling readers 

Audiobooks Recorded by Screen Actors Guild Volunteers Widen Accessible Book Choices

Teachers who like using Storyline Online, the free literacy website where voice artists/actors from the Screen Actors Guild read children's books, will also enjoy Learning Ally audiobooks that also are read by professionals. Through a volunteer program, the "Acted Community" has about 130 voice artists and professional actors who bring their talents to Learning Ally's accessible book space. 

Kate DiCamillo Summer Book Picks: Try Accessible Versions for Readers Who Struggle with Print

"Summer Kid Book Suggestions from author Kate DiCamillo and Others," an article published on June 2 in the Washington Post, lists favorite books that make good reading during the summer or any time of the year. And, there is some good news about DiCamillo's and the others' best bets.

What Can Librarians Do to Support Student Literacy?

From a reader:

Any thoughts on top 2 or 3 literacy concepts on which you would focus librarians? Grades 4-8?

My response:

Let me say how happy I am that you are available to students and teachers. As I make my way across the country I find fewer and fewer school-based librarians. Unfortunately, you appear to be part of a disappearing breed. Here are a few ideas.


Remembering Walter Dean Myers: Are His Books Accessible to Readers with Dyslexia?

Readers can count on Walter Dean Myers to bring them stories that had been left off the shelf.

"What made Walter special wasn’t necessarily his books or writing, although those are still pretty special. No, what made Walter stand out was his tireless belief that the telling and reading of all kinds of stories mattered, that teens mattered, communities and families mattered, and that libraries and librarians mattered."

Dear Mo Willems

Addie takes her mom on an exploration of her favorite author, Mo Willems. The exploration goes beyond his books and includes watching a Reading Rockets interview with Mo Willems and drawing him fan mail.


"You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend." — Paul Sweeney