Blogs About Reading

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.

Jump On In: Special Needs Radio Is a Quick, Smart Destination for Professional Growth, Insights

May 5, 2015

So many special education webinars, so little time. It is hard to choose. But, podcasts can be a short, sweet, and entertaining opportunity to inform teaching and learning.

Jump On In

When Sharon Plante uses her combined expertise of technology in education and learning disabilities for her #spedchat "Learning Differently" podcast interviews, the BAM Radio Network's Special Education Channel comes alive with 12 minutes of engaging key conversations, information, opinions, and resources. 

Hear experts representing different disciplines. They shed light on "so-called" mild disabilities or intellectual impairment that cause students to struggle in school. Plante is a teacher as well as the director of technology at Eagle Hill Southport, an independent school for students with learning differences, including dyslexia. As a co-founder and a "regular" in Twitter's #edtechchat, she has her eye on potential technology solutions wherever students learn, from special education to inclusion classrooms. She also co-founded the first EdCamp in Southwest Connecticut. Last year she won a Bammy Award in the Special Needs category. She is nominated in 2015 in the podcasting category. View her page.

Log on to "Learning Differently" on BAM Radio Network or on iTunes. All podcasts are free. Here's the lineup thus far

  1. Resetting Expectations for Students with Learning Differences, interview with Kyle Redford.
  2. 5 Vital Considerations for Transitioning Special Needs Students, interview with Jodi Click, Tonya Turner
  3. Developing Resilience in Children with Special Needs, interview with Dr. Michael Hart
  4. A Four-Pronged Model for Matching EdTechTools to Student Needs, interview with Brian Friedlander
  5. Tracking Student Progress: What Works Best, interview with Chris Bugaj, Beth Poss
  6. Helping Students Overcome the Stigma of Dyslexia, interview with David Flink and Marcus Soutra
  7. Debunking the Myths and Demystifying The Meaning of Universal Design for Learning, interview with Bryan Dean and Katie Novak 
  8. Premier Episode: Teaching What Matters Most, interview with Timothy Shriver

Audio Resources: Here are other podcasts of value to download or stream online.


Students who struggle to read may have a print disability. For them, traditional books in print are not useable; but alternative text formats are just what they need to access the curriculum content. The federal education department provides these accessible educational materials (AEM) for eligible students at no cost. Find out more about who qualifies in Virginia by logging onto the AIM-VA homepage. This program offering alternatives to print is available in all states. Ask a special educaiton teacher or school administrator about AEM that is available through the Individuals with DIsabilities Education Act and an exception to federal copyright law. Data and wording in an Individualized Education Program plan can make AEM happen.

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

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"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." — Groucho Marx