Students with reading challenges need adequate access to internet and support from caregivers to make the reading progress they need during COVID

Supporting students with reading challenges during COVID


Students with reading challenges need adequate access to internet and support from caregivers to make the reading progress they need during COVID

Fifty-nine percent of teachers felt their students with reading challenges had access to the technology, including internet, they needed to adequately learn, 19 percent were unsure, and 22 percent did not believe their students had sufficient access to technology needed to learn. Of that 22 percent, just 17 percent of teachers felt their students with reading challenges were able to adequately study and learn during the fall semester.

The digital divide is a persistent roadblock to learning, and only half of all surveyed teachers in schools where a majority of students receive free and reduced-price meals felt their students had sufficient access to technology. More than two-thirds of teachers (68 percent) in schools where less than one-quarter of students receive free and reduced-price meals felt their students had sufficient access to technology.

Meeting accommodations for students with reading challenges–and all students with special needs–has been particularly challenging during COVID. Fifty-eight percent of surveyed teachers agreed or strongly agreed that they were adequately meeting their students’ individualized learning plans, such as IEPs or 504 plans.

But still, access to technology is key, and only 28 percent of teachers who did not believe their students had sufficient access to technology felt that they were adequately meeting their students’ IEPs.

Seventy-four percent of teachers who believed their students with reading challenges had sufficient access to technology felt they were adequately meeting their students’ IEPs.

While 69 percent of teachers said parent and caregiver support at home impacts student learning, only 26 percent of teachers agreed that students had that caregiver support needed to read and learn at home.

Sixty-seven percent of surveyed teachers were confident that their students had access to books in accessible formats, including audio, braille, and large font. Teachers provided accessible books to their students with reading challenges through Bookshare, publisher websites, Epic!, and Audible.

Laura Ascione
Latest posts by Laura Ascione (see all)

Want to share a great resource? Let us know at submissions@eschoolmedia.com.