So, now how can the school library and librarian provide services to this population and make the resources as valuable, accessible, and useful to them as to any other student?
These students learn differently, so they need to be taught differently. Most of them have a combination of learning differences, and can be overwhelmed by the typical school library or research assignment--its large selection of books, journals, and magazines, its lack of material in an appropriate format, a librarian or library clerk who does not know how to provide more appropriate material, and a library website that is overwhelming and laborious to navigate. There are also certain modifications in the way a teacher-librarian imparts information and ideas.
Utilization of multisensory methods and resources is most important. Here are some suggestions that will be covered more indepth on this page:
Watch the video from CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology) on UDL Principles. UDL is an educational approach with three primary principles:
When working with students with learning differences the following strategies are used by LD teachers--yet these teaching accommodations will benefit most any student.
FREE. Windows XP and Mac OSX come with basic text-to-speech capabilities. Set up in System Preferences, and selected text is read aloud using a computer-generated voice (Control+1).
FREE. Copy and paste text into the box and creat an mp3.
FREE. Create a personalized speaking avatar and use them on your blog, website, email messages.
NEO ($149). For students with dysgraphia, pre-laptop or computer, as young as 3rd grade.
($15-50). Interactive speaking dictionary. Automatic phonetic speller corrects words ("nolij" into "knowledge") and an animated handwriting guide demonstrates print and cursive writing.
($1100 +). Reads electronic text using a computer voice, offering better voice choices and advanced features than free text-to-speech applications. Highlights text being read, controls for speed, allows for annotating, bookmarks, export into outline form.