2018-2019 Dyslexia Handbook Sanger ISD

2018-2019 Dyslexia Handbook Sanger ISD
2018-2019 Dyslexia Handbook
Sanger ISD
2018-2019 Dyslexia Handbook Sanger ISD
Table of Contents

PROFILE OF A GRADUATE                                   2
DYSLEXIA TEAM                                           3
DEFINITION AND LEGISLATION                              4
IDENTIFICATION                                          7
DYSLEXIA PROGRAM                                     111

TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION       Error! Bookmark not defined.5

RESOURCES                    Error! Bookmark not defined.8

APPENDICES                                            20



Emily Steele, M. Ed., LDT, CALT
Dyslexia Coordinator
940.458.7438 ext. 43

Sarah Warren, LDT, CALT
Dyslexia Therapist
Clear Creek/Chisholm Trail

Cindy Hipes, LDT, CALT
Dyslexia Therapist
Butterfield Elementary


Vision     Sanger Independent School District will provide premiere services and
           support for students with dyslexia and related disorders that will
           prepare them academically and globally, developing them as life-long
           learners that are future focused.

Mission    Sanger ISD, in partnership with parents and other district stakeholders,
           will develop an exemplar dyslexia program by fostering a positive
           school and community culture that is knowledgeable on the
           identification of and instruction for students with dyslexia, as well as
           recruiting and retaining effective classroom teachers knowledgeable in
           the science of reading and interventionists who are highly trained to
           deliver specialized instruction.

Goals      1. Create a dyslexia friendly environment and culture
           2. Provide education for all stakeholders
           3. Set guidelines for identification
           4. Comprehensive program development and implementation
           5. Forge partnerships between special programs and general
           education, as well as between the district and stakeholders

Dyslexia, Defined
The following definition of dyslexia, developed by Lyon, Shaywitz, & Shaywitz (2003), has
been approved by the International Dyslexia Association and the Director of Reading Research
at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development:
        Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is
        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 provision 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. (Lyon,
        Shaywitz, & Shaywitz, 2003, p.2)
The Dyslexia Handbook (2014) (see Appendix E) further clarifies dyslexia:
        Students identified as having dyslexia typically experience primary difficulties in
        phonological awareness, including phonemic awareness and manipulation, single-word
        reading, reading fluency, and spelling. Consequences may include difficulties in reading
        comprehension and/or written expression. These difficulties in phonological awareness
        are unexpected for the student’s age and educational level and are not primarily the result
        of language difference factors. (See page 10 of this handbook for definitions)
Texas Administrative Code Pertaining to serving students with dyslexia and related
§74.28. Students with Dyslexia and Related Disorders
       (a) In order to support and maintain full educational opportunity for students with
       dyslexia and related disorders and consistent with federal and state law, school districts
       and open-enrollment charter schools shall provide each student with dyslexia or a related
       disorder access to each program under which the student qualifies for services.
       (b) The board of trustees of a school district must ensure that procedures for identifying a
       student with dyslexia or a related disorder and for providing appropriate instructional
       services to the student are implemented in the district. These procedures will be
       monitored by the Texas Education Agency with on-site visits conducted as appropriate.
       (c) A school district's or open-enrollment charter school’s procedures must be
       implemented according to the State Board of Education (SBOE) approved strategies for
       screening, individualized evaluation, and techniques for treating dyslexia and related
       disorders. The strategies and techniques are described in "Dyslexia Handbook:
       Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders," a set of guidelines for school
       districts and open-enrollment charter schools that may be modified by the SBOE only
       with broad-based dialogue that includes input from educators and professionals in the
       field of reading and dyslexia and related disorders from across the state.
       (d) Screening as described in the “Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia
       and Related Disorders” and further evaluation should only be conducted by individuals

who are trained in valid, evidence-based assessments and who are trained to
appropriately evaluate students for dyslexia and related disorders.
(e) A school district or open-enrollment charter school shall purchase a reading program
or develop its own evidence-based reading program for students with dyslexia and related
disorders that is aligned with the descriptors found in the "Dyslexia Handbook:
Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders." Teachers who screen and treat
these students must be trained in instructional strategies that use individualized, intensive,
multisensory, phonetic methods and a variety of writing and spelling components
described in the "Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related
Disorders." The professional development activities specified by each open-enrollment
charter school and district and/or campus planning and decision making committee shall
include these instructional strategies.
(f) At least five school days before any evaluation or identification procedure is used
selectively with an individual student, the school district or open-enrollment charter
school must provide written notification to the student's parent or guardian or another
person standing in parental relation to the student of the proposed identification or
evaluation. The notice must be in English, or to the extent practicable, the individual’s
native language and must include the following:
    (1) a reasonable description of the evaluation procedure to be used with the
individual student;
    (2) information related to any instructional intervention or strategy used to assist the
student prior to evaluation;
   (3) an estimated time frame within which the evaluation will be completed; and
   (4) specific contact information for the campus point of contact, relevant Parent
Training and Information Projects, and any other appropriate parent resources.
(g) Before a full individual and initial evaluation is conducted to determine whether a
student has a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the
school district or open-enrollment charter school must notify the student’s parent or
guardian or another person standing in parental relation to the student of its proposal to
conduct an evaluation consistent with 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), § 300.503,
provide all information required under subsection (f) of this section, and provide:
   (1) a copy of the procedural safeguards notice required by 34 CFR, § 300.504;
   (2) an opportunity to give written consent for the evaluation; and
   (3) a copy of information required under Texas Education Code (TEC), §26.0081.
(h) Parents/guardians of a student with dyslexia or a related disorder must be informed of
all services and options available to the student, including general education interventions
under response to intervention and multi-tiered systems of support models as required by
TEC, §26.0081(d), and options under federal law, including IDEA and the
Rehabilitations Act, §504.
(h) Each school or open-enrollment charter school must provide each identified student
access at his or her campus to instructional programs required in subsection (e) of this
section and to the services of a teacher trained in dyslexia and related disorders. The

school district or open-enrollment charter school may, with the approval of each student's
       parents or guardians, offer additional services at a centralized location. Such centralized
       services shall not preclude each student from receiving services at his or her campus.
       (g) Because early intervention is critical, a process for early identification, intervention,
       and support for students at risk for dyslexia and related disorders must be available in
       each district or open-enrollment charter school as outlined in the "Dyslexia Handbook:
       Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders". School districts and open
       enrollment charter schools may nt use early intervention strategies, including multi-tiered
       systems of support, to delay or deny the provision of a full and individual evaluation to a
       child suspected of having a specific learning disability, including dyslexia or a related
       (h) Each school district or open-enrollment charter school shall provide a parent
       education program for parents/guardians of students with dyslexia and related disorders.
       This program must include:
           (1) awareness of characteristics of dyslexia and related disorders;
           (2) information on testing and diagnosis of dyslexia and related disorders;
           (3) information on effective strategies for teaching students with dyslexia and related
          (4) information on qualifications of those delivering services to students with
       dyslexia and related disorders;
           (5) awareness of information on accommodations and modifications, especially those
       allowed for standardized testing.
           (6) information on eligibility, evaluation requsts, and services available under IDEA
       and the Rehabilitation act, §504, and information on the response to intervention process;
          (7) contact information for the relevant regional and/or school district or open-
       enrollment charter school specialists.
       (l) School districts and open-enrollment charter schools shall provide to parents of
       children suspected to have dyslexia or a related disorder a copy or a link to the electronic
       version of the “Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related
       (m) School districts and open-enrollment charter schools will be subject to monitoring for
       compliance with federal law and regulations in connection with this section.

Source: The provisions of this §74.28 adopted to be effective September 1, 1996, 21 TexReg 4311;
amended to be effective September 1, 2001, 25 TexReg 7691; amended to be effective August 8, 2006, 31
TexReg 6212; amended to be effective August 24, 2010, 35 TexReg 7211; amended to be effective August
27, 2018.

Texas Education Code §38.003 pertaining to screening and treatment:

       Texas Education Code, §38.003. Screening and Treatment for Dyslexia and Related
       Disorders, as amended by House Bill 1886, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session,

       (a) Students enrolling in public schools in this state shall be screened or tested, as
       appropriate, for dyslexia and related disorders at appropriate times in accordance with a
       program approved by the State Board of Education. The program must include screening
       at the end of the school year of each student in kindergarten and each student in the first
       (b) In accordance with the program approved by the State Board of Education, the board
       of trustees of each school district shall provide for the treatment of any student
       determined to have dyslexia or a related disorder.
       (b-1) Unless otherwise provided by law, a student determined to have dyslexia during
       screening or testing under Subsection (a) or accommodated because of dyslexia may not
       be re-screened or re-tested for dyslexia for the purpose of reassessing the student’s need
       for accommodations until the district reevaluates the information obtained from previous
       screening or testing of the student.
       (c) The State Board of Education shall adopt any rules and standards necessary to
       administer this section.
       (d) In this section:
           (1) “Dyslexia” means a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by a difficulty in
       learning to read, write, or spell, despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence,
       and sociocultural opportunity.
           (2) “Related disorders” includes disorders similar to or related to dyslexia, such as
       developmental auditory imperceptions, dysphasia, specific developmental dyslexia,
       developmental dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disability.

Source: Statutory Citation Relating to Dyslexia Update: Texas Education Code, §38.003. Screening and
Treatment for Dyslexia and Related Disorders, as amended by House Bill 1886, 85th Texas Legislature,
Regular Session, 2017.


The use of a tiered intervention process should not delay or deny an evaluation for dyslexia,
especially when parent or teacher observations reveal the common characteristics of dyslexia.
The needs of the student must be the foremost priority. Frequently, a child with dyslexia may be
making what appears to be progress in the general education classroom based on report card
grades or minor gains on progress measures. While various interventions may prove to be helpful
in understanding curriculum, a child with dyslexia also requires a specialized type of intervention
to address his/her specific reading disability. The use of a tiered process should not delay the
inclusion of a student in dyslexia intervention once dyslexia is identified.
Parents/guardians always have the right to request a referral for a dyslexia assessment at any
time. Once a parent request for dyslexia assessment has been made, the school district is
obligated to review the student’s data history (both formal and informal data) to determine
whether there is reason to believe the student has a disability. If a disability is suspected, the
student needs to be evaluated following the guidelines outlined in this chapter. If the school does
not suspect a disability and determines that evaluation would not be warranted, the
parents/guardians must be given a copy of their due process rights. (The Dyslexia Handbook,
Revised 2014)
In Sanger ISD, students in kindergarten, first, and second grade will be screened for reading
difficulties through the use of the universal screener at three different points in the year. All
students will also be screened for Dyslexia at the end of Kindergarten and First grade. This
Dyslexia specific screener can be a part of the end of year universal literacy screener.
Parents/Legal guardians of students who demonstrate reading difficulties and/or may be at risk
for dyslexia receive written notification in compliance with Texas Education Code 28.006. This
level of screening does not identify students as dyslexic, but does identify potential risks and
correlations with dyslexia.
Response to Intervention
Sanger ISD focuses on the use of Response to Intervention (RtI), a tiered intervention process, to
support individual student learning and behavior needs. This focus drives teachers and
interventionists to identify and provide additional supports for students before the student fails.
Specific to dyslexia, campus teams document evidence of learning difficulties, use ongoing,
formative assessment, and monitor student reading progress for reading difficulties despite
intensive support.
Referral Process (All Grades)
Referrals for dyslexia assessment are to be generated by teachers, Student Intervention Team
(SIT), or parent request. Teachers who observe early reading difficulties will first initiate
academic interventions through the RtI process, focus on targeted interventions, and document
student reading achievement progress while implementing the targeted interventions. If the
teacher suspects dyslexia, the teacher will immediately refer the student to the SIT through the
Campus Student Interventionist (CSI).
When a campus SIT reviews a student’s RTI data and suspects that s/he is displaying
characteristics of dyslexia, the referral begins with a request for a formal evaluation through the

Section 504 process. During the Section 504 process, the SIT will form a committee comprised
of persons who are at least, but not limited to, knowledgeable about the reading process, dyslexia
and dyslexia instruction, the assessment tools used, and the meaning of the collected data.
Formal Evaluation
The evaluation for dyslexia will measure the child's ability and achievement using a battery of
assessments, as well as analyzing historical and qualitative data. According to the Texas
Dyslexia Handbook, areas of assessment will include:

Currently, the formal assessments Sanger ISD uses include: GORT-5, CTOPP-2, KBIT-2, TWS,
TOWRE-2, and WRMT-III. The results of these assessments are recorded on the “Dyslexia
Formal Assessment Results” packet (see Appendix B), then plotted on the “Student Profile of
Dyslexia” sheet (see Appendix A). These assessments are explained below:
Gray Oral Reading Tests-5 (GORT-5): From Multi-health Systems Inc. (2015): “The GORT–5
       tests provide an objective measure of oral reading and growth for individuals between the
       ages of 6 and 23. Results aid in the diagnosis of oral reading difficulties and can be used
       to measure change in oral reading levels over time.”
Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing - Second Edition (CTOPP-2): From Mayer-
       Johnson (2015): “The CTOPP-2 has four principal uses: (1) to identify individuals who
       are significantly below their peers in important phonological abilities, (2) to determine
       strengths and weaknesses among developed phonological processes, (3) to document
       individuals' progress in phonological processing as a consequence of special intervention
       programs, and (4) to serve as a measurement device in research studies investigating
       phonological processing.”

Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test, Second Edition (KBIT-2): From WPS Publishing (2015):
     “The KBIT-2 is composed of two separate scales. The Verbal Scale contains two kinds
     of items—Verbal Knowledge and Riddles—both of which assess crystallized ability
     (knowledge of words and their meanings). Items cover both receptive and expressive
     vocabulary, and they do not require reading or spelling. The Nonverbal Scale includes a
     matrices subtest that assesses fluid thinking—the ability to solve new problems by
     perceiving relationships and completing analogies. Because items contain pictures and
     abstract designs rather than words, you can assess nonverbal ability even when language
     skills are limited. Full-color items appeal to children, particularly those who are reluctant
     to be tested. The KBIT-2 provides Verbal and Nonverbal Scores, plus a composite IQ.
     Test items are free of cultural and gender bias.”
Test of Word Reading Efficiency, Second Edition (TOWRE-2): From ProEd,Inc.(2012):
        “The Test of Word Reading Efficiency–Second Edition (TOWRE–2) is a measure of an
        individual’s ability to pronounce printed words (Sight Word Efficiency) and
        phonemically regular nonwords (Phonemic Decoding Efficiency) accurately and fluently.
        Because it can be administered very quickly, the test provides an efficient means of
        monitoring the growth of two kinds of word reading skill that are critical in the
        development of overall reading ability”

Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests, Third Edition, (WRMT™-III): The WRMT-III is used to
     evaluate reading skills strengths and weaknesses, screen for reading readiness, and help
     identify reading strategies to support students. (Pearson, 2015).

Test of Written Spelling, Fifth Edition, (TWS-5): “The Test of Written Spelling–Fifth Edition
        (TWS-5) is an accurate and efficient instrument that uses a dictated-word format to assess
        spelling skills in school-age children and adolescents.” (Pro-ed, 2015).

Additional data sources for consideration
Sanger ISD will adopt and implement a universal screener for reading and math in grades Kinder
through 5th grade. These screeners will be delivered three times a year, and data gathered will
drive instruction and focus intervention based on student need. Data from these screeners can
also be considered when making an identification for Dyslexia.
In addition to assessment data, the SIT collects qualitative data. This qualitative data includes
classroom work samples in reading, sight word recognition, math performance, writing
assessments (particularly spelling errors that are orthographic or phonological in nature),
strengths in written and oral vocabulary, oral expression, and classroom observation, and family
history. These data are plotted on the “Student Profile for Dyslexia” page (see Appendix B) for
Upon the completion of the formal assessment and collection of necessary current and historical
data, the SIT will meet to review the assessment findings of the child. Based on the evaluation
data, the SIT will determine if the child's quantitative and qualitative data shows characteristics
of dyslexia. If such characteristics are noted in the Section 504 evaluation, the child may qualify
for Sanger ISD’s dyslexia program.


In accordance with 19 TAC §74.28(c), districts shall purchase or develop a reading program for
students with dyslexia and related disorders that incorporates all the components of instruction
and instructional approaches in the following sections.
Critical, Evidence-Based Components of Dyslexia Instruction
Phonological awareness—“Phonological awareness is the understanding of the internal sound
        structure of words. A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a given language that can
        be recognized as being distinct from other sounds. An important aspect of phonological
        awareness is the ability to segment spoken words into their component phonemes”
        (Birsh, 2011, p. 19).
Sound-symbol association—Sound-symbol association is the knowledge of the various speech
        sounds in any language to the corresponding letter or letter combinations that represent
        those speech sounds. The mastery of sound-symbol association (alphabetic principle) is
        the foundation for the ability to read (decode) and spell (encode) (Birsh, 2011, p. 19).
        “Explicit phonics refers to 26 an organized program in which these sound symbol
        correspondences are taught systematically” (Berninger & Wolf, 2009, p. 53).
Syllabication—“A syllable is a unit of oral or written language with one vowel sound. The six
        basic types of syllables in the English language include the following: closed, open,
        vowel consonant-e, r-controlled, vowel pair (or vowel team), and consonant-le (or final
        stable syllable). Rules for dividing syllables must be directly taught in relation to the
        word structure” (Birsh, 2011, p. 19).
Orthography—Orthography is the written spelling patterns and rules in a given language.
        Students must be taught the regularity and irregularity of the orthographic patterns of a
        language in an explicit and systematic manner. The instruction should be integrated with
        phonology and sound-symbol knowledge.
Morphology—“Morphology is the study of how a base word, prefix, root, suffix (morphemes)
        combine to form words. A morpheme is the smallest unit of meaning in a given
        language” (Birsh, 2011, p. 19).
Syntax—“Syntax is the sequence and function of words in a sentence in order to convey
        meaning. This includes grammar and sentence variation and affects choices regarding
        mechanics of a given language” (Birsh, 2011, p. 19).
Reading comprehension—Reading comprehension is the process of extracting and constructing
        meaning through the interaction of the reader with the text to be comprehended and the
        specific purpose for reading. The reader’s skill in reading comprehension depends upon
        the development of accurate and fluent word recognition, oral language development
        (especially vocabulary and listening comprehension), background knowledge, use of
        appropriate strategies to enhance comprehension and repair it if it breaks down, and the
        reader’s interest in what he or she is reading and motivation to comprehend its meaning
        (Birsh, 2011, pp. 9 and 368; Snow, 2002).
Reading fluency—“Reading fluency is the ability to read text with sufficient speed and accuracy
        to support comprehension”(Moats & Dakin, 2008, p. 52).

Critical, Evidence-Based Delivery of Instruction
Simultaneous, multisensory (VAKT)—“Multisensory instruction utilizes all learning pathways
        in the brain (visual, auditory, kinesthetic-tactile) simultaneously in order to enhance
        memory and learning” (Birsh, 2011, p. 19).
Systematic and cumulative—“Systematic and cumulative instruction requires the organization of
        material follow order of the language. The sequence must begin with the easiest concepts
        and progress methodically to more difficult concepts. Each step must also be based on
        elements previously learned. Concepts taught must be systematically reviewed to
        strengthen memory” (Birsh, 2011, p. 19).
Explicit instruction—“Explicit instruction is explained and demonstrated by the teacher one
        language and print concept at a time, rather than left to discovery through incidental
        encounters with information. Poor readers do not learn that print represents speech
        simply from exposure to books or print” (Moats & Dakin, 2008, p. 58).
Diagnostic teaching to automaticity—“Diagnostic teaching is knowledge of prescriptive
        instruction that will meet individual student needs of language and print concepts. The
        teaching plan is based on continual assessment of the student’s retention and application
        of skills” (Birsh, 2011, p. 19.). “This teacher knowledge is essential for guiding the
        content and emphasis of instruction for the individual student”(Moats & Dakin, 2008, p.
        58). “When a reading skill becomes automatic (direct access without conscious
        awareness), it is performed quickly in an efficient manner” (Berninger & Wolf, 2009, p.
Synthetic instruction—“Synthetic instruction presents the parts of any alphabetic language
        (morphemes) to teach how the word parts work together to form a whole (e.g., base word,
        derivative)” (Birsh, 2011, p. 19).
Analytic instruction—“Analytic instruction presents the whole (e.g., base word, derivative) and
        teaches how the whole word can be broken into its component parts (e.g., base word,
        prefix, root, and suffix)” (Birsh, 2011, p. 19).
Source: The Dyslexia Handbook, Revised 2014
Our District
Sanger ISD is committed to providing premiere instruction and meaningful accommodations fit
to meet the needs of students with dyslexia. District committees will use relevant data to consider
the student’s strengths and needs when developing their plan.
Pull-Out instruction
Some students with dyslexia will need intense, direct, small-group instruction to build
phonological skills that may be missing. Trained dyslexia teachers may use one of the following
Take Flight: A Comprehensive Intervention for Students with Dyslexia-- “The curriculum was
        designed for use by academic language therapists with children 7 years and older who
        have developmental dyslexia. It was developed to enable students with dyslexia to
        achieve and maintain better word recognitions, reading fluency, comprehension and aid
        in the transition from a therapy setting to “real world” learning. Take Flight is designed
        for small group instruction (four-six students) for a minimum of 45 minutes per day, five

days each week.” (From Take Flight: A Comprehensive Intervention for Students with
         Dyslexia, 2015, pg. iii-iv)
Multisensory Teaching Approach (MTA)-- “MTA is an alternative language arts program
         specifically designed for students experiencing serious reading difficulty, including
         dyslexia. It is based on Orton-Gillingham philosophy and techniques, and follows the
         introduction sequence of Alphabetic Phonics. MTA was field tested for nine years in both
         public and private school settings before it was published. MTA is a comprehensive
         language arts program addressing the areas of alphabet/dictionary skills, reading, reading
         comprehension, cursive handwriting, and spelling. Guided discovery and multisensory
         techniques are utilized for introducing, reviewing, and practicing skills in the curriculum
         areas listed above. These techniques involve students as active participants in their own
         learning process. Criterion-referenced Mastery Checks are administered periodically
         throughout the curriculum. Mastery criteria are 90% for spelling and reading.” (From
         www.mtspublications.com, 2018)
Progress Monitoring and Parent Communication
Students who are receiving pull-out instruction will receive a progress report every six weeks
from the campus dyslexia teacher. This report will communicate progress in the student’s single
word reading accuracy, fluency, sight word acquisition, preparedness for class, and behavior.
Although this report is useful in communicating student progress, this data will not impact any
official grades reported on the student’s report card. In addition, a weekly communication log
will go home with the student and is expected to be reviewed by a parent/guardian every night.
This is a helpful tool to keep the communication between home and school open and positive.
The goal of classroom and testing accommodations is to give the student with a disability equal
access to the learning environment. Individualized accommodations are not designed to give the
student an advantage over other students, to alter a fundamental aspect of the course, nor to
weaken academic rigor. And since a specific learning disability is unique to the individual and
can be manifested in a variety of ways, accommodations for a specific student must be tailored to
that individual and his/her needs.
The SIT, during the 504 process, will determine which accommodations are most appropriate,
based on teacher/parent/student input, assessment data, and classroom performance. These
accommodations will be added to the student’s plan and can be amended at any time, as needed,
at the request of any 504 committee member. The plan (including accommodations) will also be
reviewed each year by the SIT and committee of knowledgeable persons.

Some meaningful accommodations can include, but not limited to:

Accommodation                    Suggestions

Oral Testing                     Read aloud tests and class activities, Solo 6, Canvas,
                                 small group or whole group

Oral Response                    Scribe, apps (30 hands), pictures with labels

Note taking Assistance           Copy of notes in exchange for effort, cloze notes

Shortened Assignments            Strategically choose “must do” questions, chunking

Reduced Pencil/Paper Tasks       Sentence stems, word banks, apps

Organizational Strategies        Thinking maps, predictable routines/procedures, picture
Supplemental Materials           Word banks, graphic organizers, word wall,
                                 accommodated spelling lists

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) also allows specific testing accommodations for
STAAR/TAKS/EOC/TELPAS and other standardized assessments. The 504 committee may
choose accommodations for state testing if the student “routinely and effectively uses it during
classroom instruction and classroom testing”. See www.tea.texas.gov for more information and
the most up to date allowable accommodations.

(The following is not an exhaustive list nor is it a recommendation of any specific product. It is intended to provide
examples of instructional resources.)

Useful Technologies to Support Students with Dyslexia
Operating System Features
All computers have customizable options and settings included in the standard features of the
operating systems. On the Macintosh (Mac) computer, these options are located in System
Preferences in the Universal Access Window. In Windows, they are located in the control panel.
Educators who work with students identified with dyslexia should start with exploring and
adjusting the following customizable features:
        Auto Correct and Auto Text - This feature allows a user to change how word processing
                corrects and formats text while typing.
        Auto Summary - With this feature, a user can highlight the key aspects of text and
                assemble them to create a summary. For example, a student can use this feature to
                auto-summarize a collection of science articles or even create an abstract for a
                finished history report.
        Readability - With this feature, a user can check the readability statistics as part of the
                spelling and grammar check. For example, this feature provides information about
                the number of passive sentences contained in a text and gives scores for Flesch
                Reading Ease and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level.
        Speech Recognition - This feature allows the user to access speech recognition to
                navigate the computer by voice rather than via keyboard and mouse.
        Speed of the Keystrokes - This feature allows the user the option to set filter keys to run
                when logging on to Windows. For example, changes can be made to ignore
                keystrokes that occur in rapid succession and/or keystrokes that are held down for
                several seconds unintentionally.
        Spelling and Grammar Check - The user may correct typos and misspelled words while
                composing text using the AutoCorrect feature. AutoCorrect is set up by default
                with a list of typical misspellings and symbols, but a user can modify the list to
                suit specific needs.
        Text to Speech - This feature allows a user to access a basic screen reader called
                Narrator, which reads text on the screen aloud while using the computer.
        Thesaurus - A user can click on an individual word or phrase to get alternative word

For further information and instructions regarding customizable features, consult the Microsoft
in Education Teacher Resources.

Digital Books
Digital books websites can be useful. Individuals with dyslexia are eligible to obtain digital
books, including digital textbooks. In some cases, a verification of disability is required. The
following websites provide information about access to free digital books:
        Learning Ally
        Local Public Library (check with your library to determine access)
        National Library Service
        Project Gutenberg
        US Library of Congress

Text-to-Speech (TTS)
Text-to-Speech (TTS) software provides students access to print by reading the contents on the
screen aloud. The following websites may be beneficial for students with dyslexia:
        Microsoft Word
        Outlook 2010
        State approved adoptions (NOTE: When new state-adopted materials are chosen, districts
        should determine if TTS is available.)

Speech-to-Text (STT)
Speech-to-Text (STT) software translates spoken words into text. The following websites may be
beneficial for students with dyslexia:
       Efofex Software
       Speech Recognition in Windows XP

Concept Mapping
Concept Mapping can assist students in organizing and synthesizing information to make the
broader connections necessary for reading comprehension and writing assistance that result in
improved performance in content-area instruction. The following is a list of examples of free or
low cost software:
       Bubbl.us - This is an online brainstorming website that exports images, such as mind
       Gliffy - This is an online diagramming software tool with flowcharts, floor plans, Venn
               diagrams and more.
       Inspiration - This visual thinking software is suitable for grades 4 to adult. The software
               is designed to help students develop and gather ideas, organize thoughts, analyze
               and interpret information, clarify understanding, and communicate ideas clearly.
       Kidspiration - This visual thinking software is suitable for grades 1-3. Students combine
               pictures, text, numbers, and spoken words to develop vocabulary, word
               recognition, reading comprehension, writing, and critical thinking skills.

Lucid Chart - This is a website that allows students to create collaborative flow charts
              and organizational charts.
       Mindmeister - This is a website – also available as an app – for collaborative concept
       Mindomo - This site allows students to create mind maps for a long-term project. Maps
              can be exported to Microsoft Word and Excel.
       MyStudyBar - This software comes with a literacy toolbar that includes mind mapping,
              screen masking, word prediction, talking dictionary, and text-to-speech to help
              students convey their thoughts in writing.
       Quicklyst - This website provides an organizational process for taking notes in an outline
       Slatebox - This website provides mind-mapping collaborative slates.
       Time Line Maker - This website allows for the development of time lines with a choice
              of templates.
       VocabularySpellingCity - This site is meant to improve a child’s spelling and vocabulary
       Webspiration - This website is suitable for grades 5-12. Students will use visual
              frameworks to aid in writing skills.

Vocabulary can be explored by using websites. For students with dyslexia, slower or difficult
reading leads to reduced vocabulary knowledge. The following tools can be explored to support
students in accessing difficult vocabulary:

       Lexipedia - This is an online visual semantic network supporting six different languages.
       MathWords - This is an online interactive math dictionary.
       Visual Thesaurus - This online dictionary analyzes and generates a list of useful
              vocabulary words from any text.
       Visuwords - This online graphic dictionary allows students to create a graphic organizer
              for individual words.
       VocabAhead - This website provides a visual dictionary using short vocabulary videos
              for SAT/ACT test preparation.
       WordSmyth - This website provides a traditional look and feel to an online dictionary.

Web 2.0 Tools
Web 2.0 Tools have made the Internet a participatory, interactive place where readers create,
collaborate, and share information, bringing new and powerful opportunities to the classroom.
Students can interface via text-to-speech (TTS) and screen reader (SR) by accessing a variety of
resources. The following are tools that can be used by all students; they are especially helpful for
increasing content knowledge through collaboration.

Blogs are a personal journal published on the World Wide Web consisting of entries, known as
"posts," typically displayed in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first.
Blogs are usually the work of a single individual (occasionally of a small group) and often are
themed on a single subject. The following is a list of examples:
            § Blogger
            § Blogspot
            § KidBlog
            § Weebly
            § WordPress

Multimedia Tools include a combination of text, audio, still images, animation, video, and/or
interactive content forms. Teachers and students can access such tools for educational and
recreational purposes. The following is a list of examples:
            • Glogster - This is an interactive multimedia poster tool.
            • Prezi - With this tool, the user can create an interactive presentation that serves as
               an alternative to PowerPoint.
            • Voicethread - This tool allows the user to create an interactive, multimedia slide

Project Share is an online environment of educational resources that incorporates the use of
today’s digital tools. Available for public school teachers and students, Project Share offers an
opportunity to move beyond the walls of the traditional and expand the learning environment
through multiple avenues, including online courses, wikis, digital portfolios, and more.

Wikis offer users the ability to add, modify, or delete content via a web browser using a
simplified markup language or a rich-text editor. Most Wikis are created collaboratively. They
serve many different purposes, including knowledge management, collaborative learning, and
content attainment. The following is a list of examples:
               50 Ways to Use Wikis
               Educational Technology & Mobile Learning
               Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching

Word Processing using Google Drive, formerly known as Google Docs, is a free, web-based
office suite and data storage service offered by Google. It allows users to create and edit
documents online while collaborating in real time with other users.

(Pulled from Region X’s website, https://www.region10.org/programs/dyslexia/techplan/techplan-section-two/)


   1. Basic Facts About Dyslexia & Other Reading Problems (Moats & Dakin, 2008)

   2. The Dyslexia Handbook--

   3. Essentials of Dyslexia Assessment and Intervention (Mather & Wendling, 2012)

   4. Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, Third Edition (Birsh & Carreker, 2011)

   5. Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading
      Problems at Any Level (Shaywitz, 2005)

   1. Dallas Branch of the International Dyslexia Association--https://dal.dyslexiaida.org/

   2. Region X Education Service Center--

   3. Texas Scottish Rite’s Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders--

   4. Understood.org--https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-

   5. Texas Education Agency--www.tea.texas.gov

   6. The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity--http://dyslexia.yale.edu/

Student Profile of Dyslexia

Dyslexia Formal Assessment Results

Parent Input Form

Teacher Input Form

The Dyslexia Handbook, Revised 2014

Dyslexia 101 presentation

Updated July 2018

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