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International Dot Day, Sept. 15, Soon Will Be More Inclusive in Virginia Thanks to Accessible Formats

All the organizers of International Dot Day 2016 can take pride in that the hallmark message by Peter H. Reynolds to "make your mark and move the world to a better place" is about to reach more struggling readers in Virginia than ever before. 

Why? This year AIM-VA is creating accessible versions of The Dot for students with Individualized Education Program plans who receive accessible learning materials. Legally converting books from print, a service in Virginia and all other states, is worth its weight in gold if struggling readers with print disabilities chart a course that leads to a reading habit. 

Re-Reading Options Expand

Once the fun activities of International Dot Day conclude on Sept. 15, there is a richer reading experience in store for these students. Not only can they benefit from hearing books read aloud to them again when adults or peers are available, but they also can read the text on their own using accessible formats.

A book in alternative formats can foster reading independence. Format choices include audio, digital, braille and large print. An explanation of 12 alternative formats is available on the AIM-VA website. Under provisions of the federally funded program, eligible students are entitled to one or more versions of trade books or textbooks that they need in order to learn. One example is using an audiobook at school and a PDF edition from the list in order to complete assignments at home. 

Accessible versions will be available in a few weeks. Account holders can check the AIM-VA Book Finder or AIM-VA portal to find which editions are available. 

Celebrating Creativity, Inspiration, Differences

The Dot recognizes people's diverse talents and differences. In 2016, millions of people around the world will be "connecting, collaborating, creating and celebrating all that creativity inspires and invites," according to information posted to the official website. 

There are currently 130 countries expected to participate in International Dot Day. The book's main character is a girl who begins a journey of self-discovery after a caring teacher steps in to support her when she is feeling challenged. Read on and find free resources to get the ball rolling. 

Dot Day Resources 

  1. Sign up and download the free "Educator’s Handbook" for International Dot Day. Be sure to share your plans to celebrate creativity on the big day. 
  2. Connect with other educators
    • Follow Dot Day on Twitter and Facebook  Use the hashtags #DotDay#Makeyourmark.
    • Check out the teaching and learning ideas on Pinterest.
  3. Watch and listen to the book read aloud on EPIC, an affordable eBook subscription service for children feauring well-known publishers like HarperCollins, National Geographic and more. Teachers can join for free and access the growing collection. 
  4. Check out this read-aloud of The Dot on YouTube.
  5. View a special episode of Ready Set Draw! on Kidlit TV. Join The Dot author and illustrator, Peter H. Reynolds, as he draws a dot galaxy. 
  6. Visit International Dot Day’s Skype in the Classroom project page.
  7. Explore the creativity of celebrities who have created dots on the Celebri-Dots Page. Equally interesting dots are on view in the Dot Gallery.
  8. Be involved all year long by signing up for the International Dot Club.
  9. Download free Dot Day posters.
  10. Find other Dot Day ideas on the Resource Page.
  11. Check out an interactive book version for computer or a "Big Screen" interactive whiteboard edition that enables students to interact with text. There is optional narration by Peter and a special "Meet the Author" video.


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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