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Turn Struggling Readers Into Leaders Using Assistive Technology

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

Turn Struggling Readers Into Leaders Using Assistive Technology

Presented by Dana Blackaby, Dyslexia Specialist, The Academy at Nola Dunn, Burleson, TX

Sponsored by Learning Ally

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In this edWebinar, watch Dana Blackaby as members of her student-led “tech crew” demonstrate forms of assistive technology and share personal anecdotes describing how it helps them overcome some of their most daunting academic challenges. These students all have IEPs or 504 plans, but there are times when only the use of assistive technology allows them to overcome barriers.

Sometimes the biggest barrier to effectively utilizing assistive technology in the classroom is the teacher, as many feel they need to be experts themselves before allowing students to utilize it. When students are given the chance to showcase their expertise, however, teachers are often convinced to embrace the technology. Many teachers make students the tech experts in their classrooms. The result is that they regularly demonstrate marked improvements in their reading skills, social behavior, confidence, and public speaking, elevating them to leaders in their classrooms and schools.

The forms of assistive technology this group utilizes are Snap & Read, Co-Writer, Google Tools, and Learning Ally. Each allows students to access and master grade-level curricula even though they each have dyslexia. When these students present to their own teachers and administrators, the adults pay attention and immediately recognize just how life-changing these tools are for students.

This recorded edWebinar will be of interest to elementary through middle school teachers, librarians, and school and district leaders.

About the Presenter

Dana Blackaby is a dyslexia specialist at The Academy at Nola Dunn in Texas whose goal is to empower students by instilling confidence, skills, and hope in students with learning differences Dana’s students have finished in the top 10 in two nationwide reading competitions and have been featured in multiple news outlets via newspapers, Twitter, Facebook, and the Dallas–Fort Worth ABC affiliate, WFAA. In addition, several of her students are a part of a student-led tech crew that travels from school to school providing training on assistive technology for teachers and administrators in their district. Dana holds a master’s degree in teaching.


Join the Empowering Struggling Readers community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

learning ally Learning Ally is a leading ed-tech, nonprofit proven to transform the lives of struggling readers. We provide access to grade-level content to bridge the gap for students with learning differences who can cognitively comprehend the information but read below grade level. Our high-quality, human-read audiobooks coupled with a suite of teacher resources is a cost effective solution for your school.


Tuesday, April 16, 2019
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT
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