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The Most Underused Accommodation - Electronic Texts

Public school students with IEPs or 504 Plans generally receive accommodations which allow them to learn more on par with classmates. The most underused accommodation I've seen are electronic texts. Electronic texts include recorded textbooks, such as math, science, and social studies textbooks, as well as novels. Many students with reading disorders, visual impairments, and attentional issues greatly benefit from hearing their books.

I first became aware of electronic, recorded texts in the 1990s. I was a university administrator at Florida International University, and many of adult students received books on CD from Recording from the Blind and Dyslexic (now called LEARNING ALLY). Electronic texts are a 504 Accommodation and easily obtainable. Because of Books on CD, students who read on an elementary level could successfully complete their university coursework.

However, public schools are less inclined to advocate for electronic texts? Why?

Educators often mistakenly believe that, if students hear their texts, they won't learn to read. Nonetheless, repeated studies demonstrate that, when students hear books read aloud, their reading proficiency and comprehension improves.

I highly recommend to educators and families that they advocate for electronic texts for their children whose educational success may depend on this very reasonable accommodation.