Learning Disabilities – Reading

Many resources are available for individuals with learning disabilities.  For example, you may have a child who has difficulty learning to read.  Reading and Literacy Strategies from the PBS Parents advise teaching literacy to children with learning disabilities through systematic phonics-based instruction and comprehension.  They remind parents that you can help your child learn phonics and comprehension skills, but it’s most important that you and your child share in the joy of reading together.

If you are considering Assistive Technology options for your students, the  SETT framework resources by Joy Smiley Zabala, Ed.D.,  the resources from WATI (Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative), and GPAT (Georgia Project for Assistive Technology) will help you to determine your students’ needs in technology.   I included some suggested Assistive Technology Tool options (Low-tech, Mid-tech, High-tech) in Reading from WATI.

Standard text

  • Use reading strategies & tools
  • Color
    –     Highlighters
    –     Highlighting tape
    –     Colored overlays or reading strips

Books adapted for access

  • Page fluffers
  • Flip Page Turner –  www.ablenetinc.com
  • Visual Modifications
    –      Enlargement
    –      Increased spacing
    –      Hand-held or bar magnifiers
  • Low Tech Modifications to text
    –      Modify vocabulary (use Wite-0ut® to replace wording)
    –      Use visual cues for trouble words, where to start reading, etc.
    –      Language Master to read  trouble words
Mid Tech
Handheld device to read individual words

Use of Pictures/Symbols with Text

Electronic Text

  • Electronic Audio Text
    –      iTunes – www.itunes.com
    –      Recordings for the Blind & Dyslexic http://www.rfbd.org/
    –      PlayAway – www.playaway.com
    –      Players include: iPod, MP3 player, FP3 player
    (not compatible with MP3)
    –      Convert text to audio using a text conversion program
    (SpeakAloud, Text-to-Audio, etc.)

Handheld Electronic
Text Readers
– Amazon Kindle – www.amazon.com
– Classmate Reader – www.humanware.com
– Victor Reader Stream – www.humanware.com

Modifying Electronic Text
       –Use word processor to modify
        Font, Size, Spacing   between   words, letters, lines
– Margins (increase margins to show   fewer words per line)
– Color  – text &  background
– Readability – use autosummarize features to cognitively reformat text

Create You Own Modified text/books

–      CAST UDL Bookbuilder – http://bookbuilder.cast.org/
–      Clicker  – www.cricksoft.com/us/default.asp
–      Cueline ED – www.onionmountaintech.com
–      eStoryMaker – http://www.oatsoft.org/Software/estorymaker
–      IntelliTools Classroom Suite – www.intellitools.com
–      My Own Bookshelf – www.softtouch.com
–      PowerPoint – part of Microsoft Office

Modifying Text for Sensory Impairments

Hearing Impairments
Sign Language Avatars – www.vcom3d.com

Visual Impairments
– Use accessibility features in computer control panel
– Enlarge text on web browser –http://www.saltmeadow.com/large.html
– Work with teacher of Visually Impaired

High Tech
Text Readers as part of the computer OS–      Mac OS
Spoken User Interface (control panel)

  • Text Edit (application included with Macs)
    Windows OS
  • Narrator
  • WordTalk plug-in (MS Word 2007, MS Word 2010 has the built-in text to speech feature ) – updated information

Free downloadable Text Readers

Web based Text readers

–      CLiCk, Speak (works with Firefox browser) – http://clickspeak.clcworld.net
–      Read the Words – www.readthewords.com
–      WebAnywhere – http://webanywhere.cs.washington.edu/wa.php

Commercial Text Readers

–      AbleReader – www.ablereader.com
–      Read: OutLoud – www.donjohnston.com
–      TextAloud – www.textaloud.com

Scanning Software with

OCR and Text Reader

Tutorial Videos and Resources
Michigan’s Integrated Technology Supports (MiTS)