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#ReadWhereYouAre Day Is Aug. 5! Participate with Audio, Digital, Braille, + Large Print Formats

The U.S. Department of Education is celebrating "Read Where You Are Day" on August 5. All are invited to grab a favorite book, find a spot, snap a photo and post it on social media. Use the hashtag —#ReadWhereYouAre.

This event is an annual  "call to action" that encourages students to read more outside of school. "On the bus, on the train, at the park, or on your couch in your favorite stretchy pants - we know reading can happen anywhere. We’re excited to see what -- and where -- you’re reading," say the staff in an email. 

Many Ways To Read

Perhaps students who know best about reading anywhere are those with print disabilities who use web-based reading tools to download and read free accessible books on mobile devices. These are special education students who are found eligible by their education team, including parents. Team decisions make it possible for these struggling readers to learn with accessible educational materials (AEM or AIM). Equally important, the cost is free, and their teachers can monitor student accounts to give feedback, encouragement, support, and to prepare literacy reports based on data. 

#ReadWhereYouAre is a perfect time to raise awareness about this program in every state where students with learning, sensory and physical disabilities are learning with an array of alternatives to print. Experience shows that students more easily access the curriculum and improve their chances of staying on grade level with AEM/AIM.  We also know that alternatives to traditional books help struggling students stay engaged. Why? Formats of choice means that struggling students can read the books that their friends are reading!

Book Formats

AEM/AIM programs are federally funded nationwide, but there are state variations. At AIM-VA there are free versions of textbooks and trade books in 12 possible formats. These include audio, enlarged text, and embossed paper options. 

Click on this Formats link to learn more about the features of each of the formats.

  • Audio Recording
  • Braille
  • Braille Ready File (BRF)
  • Electronic Publication (ePub)
  • HTML
  • Large Print
  • Word
  • PDF
  • PDF Fully Accessible
  • Rich Text Format (RTF)

Students who are found eligible for AEM/AIM are entitled to learn using any of the formats based on their needs. Some learners actually work with two book versions such as an audiobook at school and a PDF: Fully Accessible for homework.

Be part of this special event. Help to increase acceptance of reading via alternative formats. Assure that your schools are taking advantage of AEM/AIM so that more learners get their information in ways that best help them to learn. AEM/AIM is a resourceful step that school teams can take to increase the likelihood that struggling readers will master their individual goals and objectives. 

We Are AIM-VA  

Accessible educational materials (AEM) help to create access to the curriculum for students with dyslexia, learning disabilities, vision or physical challenges, and others. A federally funded AEM program in every state assures that books in alternative formats are provided free of charge to eligible students with disabilities whose education teams take action. The AEM program operates under a legal exception to federal copyright law. Check out the AIM-VA home page to learn more about eligibility in Virginia. In other states, contact a special education teacher, a school administrator or download a list of AEM state contacts.External Link to AEM state contacts (New Window).

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