Accommodations and Assistive Technology

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Non-tech accommodations for students with dyslexia have been critical to “leveling the playing field” for years.  But with each new generation of parents and teachers, it’s important to stay informed on these topics:

  • What’s the difference between accommodations  and modifications?
  • What documentation is required?
  • Do all students need the same accommodations?
  • Does the need for certain accommodations change as the student ‘s reading and spelling improve?
  • Is it important to train students to use these accommodations wisely and consistently – in the classroom and on exams?

Click here for the IDA published article answering these and other questions.

Assistive Technology

Technology has the potential to “level the playing field” independent of an adult.  No longer must a parent be both a reader and a scribe. From spell check to e-books to voice recognition, assistive technology now encompasses an ever evolving number of software programs that can seem mind-boggling to parents, educators, and individuals with dyslexia. Fortunately, there are professionals who specialize in this growing field. IDA Southwest thanks Megan Shanley, an Albuquerque Public Schools Occupational Therapist and Assistive Technology expert and a member of the SWIDA Advisory Council for the following two publications.

While Megan is rebuilding her website this summer, here are some links to articles she’s shared with us:

Accessible Books

Reframing the Text-to-Speech vs. Human Audio Debate: Both Make Reading Easier – Bookshare Blog

AEM: Text to Speech as a Support for Personalizing the Reading Experience

The iPAD for Individuals with Dyslexia

The iPad is changing the game of portable technology for the individual with learning disabilities, with a combination of applications and accessibility features that are making it easier to interact with text. Check out few apps and features that have proven useful, but there are MANY more apps to accomplish the same tasks. New apps come out and change on a daily basis and prices constantly are changing, so keep your eyes open or check for more options.

Checkout a list of apps for individuals with dyslexia
Download a PDF to review the list of helpful apps.

iPad Ideas from a Dyslexia Therapist

Advisory Council member, Maile Kane, a retired Albuquerque Public Schools dyslexia therapist, now in private practice in Durango as a Certified Academic Language Therapist, has been learning a lot about the many pros and (the few) cons of the iPad. Here are her thoughts on iPad apps. If you, the reader, has any contributions to this subject, please email them to

What does dyslexia therapist, Maile Kane, recommend?
Download a PDF of Maile Kane’s review of iPad Apps.

Assistive Technology and the Law

To learn more about the use of assistive technology and the laws governing an individual’s right to use these accommodations: Assistive Technology Laws Article.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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