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Struggling readers

Use Quality Audiobooks, Bookshare and Learning Ally to Support Struggling Readers

The " Notable Children’s Recordings" for 2015 are out from the American Library Association that can boost learning for children who struggle to read traditional books in print or inaccessible digital text formats.

Understood's Free 100-Book Give-Away: Help for Parents to Empower a Child with Dyslexia

5 Video Shorts from Experts Point the Way to School Success for Dyslexic, Other Learners

Short videos can go a long way to tell a promising story of how students with dyslexia and other special needs who learn differently can succeed in school. The videos chosen here run less than seven minutes. Each can be a resource to raise community awareness or to impart the latest thinking to aid professional development.

From AIM-VA Partners:

"Leap into Learning Differently" Website Debuts with BAM Radio Podcasts for All Educators

"Leap Into Learning Differently," a new website by Sharon LePage Plante, is crafted carefully to include "amazing people who care about learning for all students." She is site founder and also a tireless teacher, tech director, and social-media-in-education aficionado who won a 2014 Bammy Award for her work with special needs students.

5 Accessibility Features for All Ed Materials, 7 Questions to Ask When Buying Ed Software

Accessible digital text is the way to go when students have differing abilities. Meanwhile, flexible digital learning also supports the variability that any single learner experiences in the course of a day.

El Deafo: Virginia Author-Illustrator Turns Her Use of an Assistive Technology Device into a Strength

Students who use a device to support their access to the curriculum often struggle because assistive technology (AT) can make them feel different from their peers.

Concerns About Accountability Testing

Why don’t you write more about the new tests?

I haven’t written much about PARCC or SBAC — or the other new tests that other states are taking on — in part because they are not out yet. There are some published prototypes, and I was one of several people asked to examine the work product of these consortia. Nevertheless, the information available is very limited, and I fear that almost anything I may write could be misleading (the prototypes are not necessarily what the final product will turn out to be).

The "Almost Best" Collection of Apps, Extensions for Special Education from An AT Specialist

I raved about Karen Janowski's wiki UDLToolkit and the serious matter of achieving academic accessibility in classrooms when the AIM-VA blog started publishing in 2014. I turn to her recommendations today as 2015 gets rolling.

Seven Ways to Give Students with Print Disabilities Accessible Educational Materials for Learning

With IEP "season" just beginning, says the National Center for Accessible Educational Materials (AEM), two webinars are coming in February to help educators and families know the basics and determine a student's eligibility for alternatives during instruction when books in print are barriers to learning.

Alternatives to print help to assure that students with print disabilities are able to participate in the general education curriculum and make progress toward their IEP goals.

"Kids Recommend" K-8 Book Lists Are Compiled by Youths for Their Peers Who Hate to Read

This is not a special education "story" about instruction made accessible, but it could be.

This is a story of children in an independent school in mid-coastal Maine who read widely. One of their goals is to read and to compile grade-level lists that only include books that will engage their peers who struggle to read! The effort helps many children "carve out" identities as book choosers, reviewers, and readers.

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"Once you learn to read, you will be forever free." — Frederick Douglass