Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tar Heel Reader

Good Day RettGirls!

We are so excited to feature a new website at! TARHEELREADER.ORG

Ingrid Harding attended the ATIA Assistive Technology Conference last week and found some great resources to share.

Amongst a huge stack of papers, she found the "motherload" of FREE digital learning books! It's a website called Tar Heel Reader. You can find this in our Product Reviews under Books, Websites, and School Stuff! Tar Heel Reader was put together by Karen Erickson, special needs literacy guru from UNC-Chapel Hill. She also has developed a more "formal" inexpensive web-based literacy program called Route 66 that is worth checking out and presenting to your school as well.

Everything on is user-created -- so you can upload "books" you have created that will help others as well. There is everything from rainbows and ABC's to Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake -- literally THOUSANDS of accessible e-books!!!

A bit of instruction:
*Once you select a book, look in the left side menu -- you can select "silent" or a type of voice-- child,woman or man
*Click the "setup" button to download the book as PowerPoint or Flashfor use within other computer programs, switch access, etc.

I personally went there and was amazed! Not only can we read by using our switches, our girls can access this from school using all the cool stuff they have like Intellikeys, scanners and more!

The possibilities are endless. We are very impressed here. We can even upload our own pics to make stories so teachers at school can use pictures from each girl's environment!

Imagine being able to make up stories so easily about the girls and their families, siblings, pets and friends and have them read them back to you! We can make up stories about Rett Syndrome and share them with each other and the world!

We played on it all day. You can "search" by any topic. We read common fairy tales, picture books on her favorite things and are working on ideas to make books just for our girls! I am personally so jazzed I can barely sit in this chair!

I had to actually take breaks and make my girl go watch TV so I could get housework done. I gave up after she was banging her head and screaming at the gate. I let her back into the kitchen and she went right for the computer. She wanted more!! She usually gets very frustrated at all the, "Show me" and "Where is" questions she usually gets during her computer time. I got out her Yes and No cards and asked her if she wanted more books and she hit the yes card with her face and hand at the same time.

We highly recommend this site. You will not be disappointed. Go take a look. Let us know what you think!

Good luck!

Terri V~For RettGirl

1 comment:

  1. We love, love, love TarheelReader at our house! My nine-year-old has written material for the site, so you know it's easy to make books with your kids. And it's so great to see age-appropriate reading material at an emergent reading level, too. Be sure to check out David Koppenhaver's materials for teens...his pen name is Reed A. Booke. Clever (and sometimes a bit racey!).