This is a title image that shows an illustrated brain with various lines pointing to different areas of the brain. The lines point to the word dyslexia at the top of the page.

Teacher Resource Anchor Parent Resource Anchor Frequently Asked Questions Anchor Link to Alabama Dyslexia Guide 

 

DYSLEXIA DEFINED

Dyslexia is defined as a learning challenge that is neurological in origin and characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the delivery of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. (October 27, 2016 Revision Alabama Dyslexia Resource Guide)

 

Video source: YouTube: TedED: Lesson by Kelli Sandman-Hurley, animation by Marc Christoforidis.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are the changes related to dyslexia?

The Alabama State Board of Education Dyslexia Resolution was approved April 8, 2015. The Dyslexia Resolution defined dyslexia, recognized the educational implications, called for the creation of a Dyslexia Advisory Council, and called for revision of the Alabama Administrative Code to address dyslexia and subsequent services needed to ensure the success of students with dyslexia.

How is the Madison City school system responding to these changes?

We are committed to continual professional learning that will prepare our teachers and leaders to effectively support students identified as exhibiting characteristics of dyslexia. Below are some of the changes already in place related to dyslexia:

  • All schools have teachers trained to administer the dyslexia-specific screening assessment

  • All schools have teachers trained to administer dyslexia specific accommodations and interventions

  • All school and district leaders participated in a professional study focused on dyslexia awareness, screening, changes to the RtI process, and a review of the Alabama Dyslexia Resource Guide. The school leaders turned this information around to every teacher in their school.

  • Our Problem Solving Team (PST) guidelines were revised to include dyslexia specific information. Our school principals, PST coordinators and lead teachers were trained on the changes.

  • All certified staff have been trained in Dyslexia Simulation Training led by ARI

How do you know if a student is exhibiting characteristics of dyslexia?

If a student scores below benchmark on their school’s reading screening, a dyslexia specific screening assessment will be administered. Parents may also request a dyslexia specific screening if they have concerns. School employees cannot diagnose dyslexia, but can screen for dyslexia using instruments included in the Alabama Dyslexia Resource Guide.

What if a student has a diagnosis of dyslexia or fails the dyslexia specific screening?

If a student is identified as exhibiting characteristics of dyslexia on the dyslexia-specific screening assessment or has a diagnosis of dyslexia, he or she will receive dyslexia specific accommodations and/or interventions in order to provide equal access to curriculum. These accommodations/interventions will be developed, monitored and communicated to parents by the school’s Problem Solving Team (PST) as part of the RtI Process discussed in section 3, page 15 of the Alabama Dyslexia Resource Guide.

What classroom strategies or accommodations can be implemented to support students exhibiting characteristics of dyslexia?

The Alabama Dyslexia Resource Guide includes an entire section about classroom accommodations and strategies. A small sampling is listed below. These accommodations are critical to student success.

  • Assistive technology

    • For example:
    • Please keep in mind that apps, extensions, and other technologies improve and change quickly. Some will move from free to paid and some will discontinue as another technology rivals it. 
  • Clarify or simplify directions

  • Highlight essential information

  • Develop reading guides

  • Provide a copy of lecture notes

  • Use step by step instructions

  • Use of graphic organizers

  • Use cues to denote important items

  • Display work samples

  • Peer learning

  • Flexible work times

  • Provide additional practice

  • Adjust or substitute assignments

What intervention resources are available to support students exhibiting characteristics of dyslexia?

Every school in our system has teachers trained to administer the dyslexia-specific screening assessment. We also have teachers in each school trained to implement a variety of dyslexia specific interventions. In addition, all of our district Instructional Partners are trained to administer the dyslexia specific screening assessment and to implement dyslexia specific interventions. Dyslexia specific resources available in our district are below:

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PARENT RESOURCES 

How To Videos:

  • How to add a Chrome Extension

 

 

 

  • Read&Write offers a range of powerful support tools to help you gain confidence with reading, writing, studying and research, including:
    • Text-to-speech to hear words, passages, or whole documents read aloud with easy-to-follow dual color highlighting
    • Text and picture dictionaries to see the meaning of words explained
    • With speech-to-text, dictate words to assist with writing, proofreading & studying
    • Word prediction offers suggestions for the current or next word as you type
    • Collect highlights from text in documents or the web for summarizing and research
    • Create and listen to voice notes directly inside of Google Docs
    • Simplify and summarize text on web pages to remove ads and other copy that can be distracting

 


 

 

  • Weava: Simplify your research process. Focus on your productivity.
    • Don't waste time on keeping track of sources, making notes, and copying & pasting.
    • Highlight websites and PDFs with multiple colours. Revisit them anytime.
    • Organise highlights into Collections for research projects.
    • Develop and write your research directly in the Weava Workspace
    • Manage and export your highlights and document in Web App.
    • Collaborate with others on your Collections.
    • Auto-synced to cloud. Access your highlights across multiple devices.

 


 

 

Other Resources:  

  • Bookshare

Bookshare, a benetech initiative logo

    • What is Bookshare?

      Bookshare opens up the world of reading for people with print disabilities. If you cannot read traditional print books because of a visual impairment, physical disability or severe learning disability, Bookshare can help. Their books are “accessible,” which means you can read their books many different ways.

    • What does it cost?

      Bookshare is free to US Students that can provide a documentation (such as, but not limited to, an IEP, 504, or RtI plan) that confirms you have a print disability that severely inhibits or prevents you from reading traditional print materials.

    • How do I sign myself or my child up?

      It’s easy! Go to www.bookshare.org and click “Sign Up Today,” to create an account.

      Be sure to have your documentation ready to fax, email, or scan in.  Bookshare is only free with provided valid documentation of a print interference.

    • What do I have access to once I am in?

      Bookshare offers the world’s largest collection of accessible titles. As a result, people of all ages, as well as schools and many organizations around the globe can access the books they need for school, work, career advancement, skill development and the simple love of reading in formats that work for them.

    • What is the difference between an individual account and an organizational account?

      An organizational account is for US schools, school systems, or other organizations. Schools can also create accounts for students and add materials, but the parent would not have access or control over the material.

      An individual account is for US citizens that can provide proof of a print interference. The individual can access and load their own material when needed

    • How can you read Bookshare books?

      • Listen to books with high quality text-to-speech voices

      • Hear and see highlighted words on screen

      • Read with digital braille or enlarged fonts

      • Create physical braille or large print

      • Read directly from your Internet browser

    • (Information was sourced from https://www.bookshare.org)

Web Resources

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TEACHER RESOURCES

 

Resources:  

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The Madison City Board of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, or age in its programs and activities, and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following person(s) have been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Coordinator of Personnel; 211 Celtic Drive, Madison, AL. 35758. 256-464-8370 Ext. 10231. Links outside of our server: The Board of Education for Madison City Schools in no way endorses or supports any web site link provided here. Content of the sites is not guaranteed by the School System, and users select and view these links at their own risk.