There are several websites and books that have been helpful to me as I keep tabs on what is happening with assistive technology and how it relates specifically to the needs of students and adults with dyslexia. Here are some of my favorites.
Understood is an informational website in which many of the leading LD nonprofit organizations have joined forces to support families that are faced with learning and attention issues. The site has a great collection of assistive technology articles and a cleverly integrated text-to-speech tool for those needing help reading the content.
Created by Fernette and Brock Eide as an extension of their book of the same name, this site provides an online community for dyslexics, their families, teachers, and anyone interested in exploring the strengths of the dyslexic mind. It has videos, research articles, and links to assistive technology resources.
Founded by Ben Foss, Headstrong Nation is a community that seeks to support all people with dyslexia. The site is well designed, has a dedicated section devoted to dyslexic adults, and contains several how-to videos exploring assistive technology.
DyslexiaHelp - University of Michigan
DyslexiaHelp is a fantastic resource put together by the Services for Students with Disabilities office at the University of Michigan. It is divided into sections for dyslexic students, their parents, and the professionals who make it their mission to educate them. There are also dedicated sections of the site focusing on success stories and the latest news in assistive technology.
Wrightslaw - Assistive Technology Section
Led by special education attorney Peter Wright, Wrightslaw is a comprehensive resource exploring the legal side of the education of dyslexic students. I often refer parents to the assistive technology section to get information on IDEA, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM).
Founded by filmmaker Peggy Stern, Dyslexiaville is a forthcoming website that will serve as an online community for younger children with dyslexia. It will focus on children’s self-esteem, build confidence, and suggest pathways to success. Features will include an original animated cartoon series, contests, and activities to promote self-advocacy.
The 1in5 Initiative (Powered by Learning Ally)
The 1in5 Initiative is a student-centered website created by Learning Ally that provides useful information about dyslexia. It is designed to give students a voice and contains blogs, videos, and links to a variety of resources that students may find helpful as they navigate their school years. It also has a page of "Cool Tools" - assistive technology recommendations that can make learning easier.
Bright Solutions for Dyslexia
Created and maintained by Susan Barton, developer of the Barton Reading & Spelling System, Bright Solutions provides a wealth of knowledge to parents, teachers, and others seeking a better understanding of dyslexia. This comprehensive site contains information in text and video formats, and it incorporates a text-to-speech tool for those needing help reading the content. It also has a section devoted to assistive technology recommendations.
Lawrence School's Assistive Technology Guide
Northeast Ohio's Lawrence School is dedicated to educating students with learning differences. Assistive technology is an integral part of its academic program, helping students reach their potentials and gain independence. This comprehensive AT Guide is part of Lawrence's website and serves as a resource for the school's families and the greater LD community.
Differentiated Reading Instruction: Strategies and Technology Tools to Help All Students Improve, by Jules Csillag
- Routledge, 2016
Jules Csillag's book provides an excellent roadmap that tells teachers HOW and WHY to incorporate educational and assistive technologies into their classrooms. Because technology changes quickly, the list of specific tools that are suggested may not remain up-to-date, but it will get teachers on the right path towards using tech to meet the standards and principles of Universal Design for Learning. More importantly, this book collects an impressive amount of research to provide a convincing argument for why teachers need to incorporate technology into their practice in order to reach all students, including those with dyslexia.
Thinking Differently, by David Flink
- William Morrow, 2014
David Flink, Co-Founder of Eye to Eye, has written a book providing tips and strategies for parents as they set out to advocate for their LD children, with the ultimate goal of teaching those kids how to advocate for themselves.
The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan, by Ben Foss
- Ballantine Books, 2013
This highly readable book by Ben Foss is filled with practical advice for families seeking the best possible education for their dyslexic children. Of particular note, using language that anyone can understand, it breaks down the process of securing an appropriate IEP.
The Dyslexic Advantage, by Brock L. Eide and Fernette F. Eide
- Hudson Street Press, 2011
A new classic in dyslexia literature, the Eide’s book focuses on the strengths of the dyslexic brain. In addition, they speak eloquently about the need for a balance between language remediation and the use of assistive technology.