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Need For Text Access Met Through Nanos


By Terry Lange-Winkel, MACUL Grant Recipient 26 | Winter 2011-12 |


When a student struggles with reading, the onus is on the school district to provide accessible materials. The student may continue direct reading instruction, but simultaneously need the content in an accessible format. Our MACUL funded grant allowed our school district to purchase eleven iPod Nanos for students at the high school level to receive content from novels used


in their English curriculum. As part of our high school curriculum, students are required to read various novels and complete assignments based on themes from each book, i.e. “Night”, “House on Mango Street”, “Frankenstein”, etc. Many students, special education and non-special education, have difficulty reading. Despite struggling with areas of word recognition and meaning, text comprehension, and fluency, the curriculum and time march ahead. Our district serves as a center program for students with various physical disabilities. Under the Chafee Act (1931), these students with visual impairment (VI), physical impairment (PI), and/or a learning disability as a result of “organic brain dysfunction” qualify and are entitled to free materials to enable them to FAPE, free and appropriate public education. The NIMAC (National Instructional Materials Access Center) provides various file types to book repositories, such as Bookshare (www. bookshare.org) and Learning Ally (www. learningally.com) (formerly Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic) for obtaining digital versions of books to meet these students’ needs. However, many students with reading difficulties do not qualify for NIMAC materials, but according to IDEA


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