Leslie Patterson said she knew nothing about dyslexia when she first became an elementary school teacher.

Now, the certified academic language therapist and licensed dyslexia teacher at Griffis Elementary School in Caddo Mills (Texas) is leading the way in using technology to help some of her dyslexic students develop a love for reading.

Using Bookshare, which, with 480,000 books is the world’s largest digital library, Patterson is helping her students access books they can read, using their eyes and ears, by listening to and seeing highlighted text.

“With the practice of reading with eyes and ears, you are learning words because you are seeing the words spelled correctly, you are hearing the word, as your eye is touching it, pronounced correctly, and over time, you are learning words because you are getting practice hearing and seeing them correctly,” Patterson said.

Though there is no state funding for dyslexia programs, Bookshare is free for all students across the country who have a qualified disability including dyslexia, blindness amd others, thanks to a grant from the Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs.

Making a difference

According to experts, about 1 in 5 people are dyslexic, though diagnoses can range from mildly dyslexic to severely dyslexic.

Next page: How educators are using Bookshare to reach students with dyslexia

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