Family Friendly Tech and Advocacy: Tech Psychologist's Guide by Dr. Jeanne Beckman

Family Friendly Tech and Advocacy: Tech Psychologist's Guide   by Dr. Jeanne Beckman
Finally, a book to help families find the right technology to accommodate reading disorders (dyslexia) and other disabilties! ISBN 978-1-60264-089-4

How to purchase my book

To purchase through Virtual Bookworm (my publisher) you can click Virtual Bookworm Publisher: Tech Psychologist's Guide or
Amazon no longer allows Illinois professionals to get credit for referrals to Amazon due to a sales tax dispute. I will be referring to Powell's in the near future.

What is that TinyURL notation that you see in my blog? For those who use a screen reader, the link that is hidden behind words like Tech Psychologist Guide remains hidden. However, screen readers can read aloud the website address, or URL, if it was produced by Also, sometimes these addresses are so long that they wrap around several lines or overlap into colored areas of a website that obscure the actual address. Intrigued? You can create your own tinyurl's at

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Taking ownership of disabilities in learning?

Frequently, I have heard school personnel state that students should “take ownership” of their reading or writing disability and “do it the regular way.” However, the law states that students should receive accommodations to allow them equal access to their regular curriculum. Thus, books on computers that read the words aloud, dictation software so that students can write by dictation, and human note-takers in class are all examples of accommodations.

Remediation is specialized tutoring to improve the skills of the person with disabilities. Multi-sensory reading tutoring, manuscript or cursive instruction, and instructions on how to organize your written work are examples of remediation.

Accommodation, without remediation, will destine these students to a truly handicapped life. However, if a student cannot walk to class, we don't say they cannot attend a regular class until they can walk independently, nor do we tell them they should take ownership of their disability and walk like their peers because they'll need to later in life. We provide a wheelchair as an accommodation to get to class, and provide adequate and appropriate remediation of physical and occupational therapy so that they can become increasingly independent. They may never be efficient enough to walk everywhere, but to be able to walk a few steps toward a library shelf would be a reasonable goal. The same holds true for those with invisible disabilities. Because it would impede their ability to access, learn, and demonstrate acquired knowledge of the regular curriculum, we cannot require them to use an inefficient method to access the full curriculum because of a value system that says they "should," rather we need to provide them fully accommodated access to the full, regular curriculum while providing enough research-validated remediation that they will make reasonable progress at acquiring the skills for independent reading/spelling etc. "the regular way." A benefit of using Dragon is that they will be able to use this tool throughout their lives, as non-disabled individuals use Dragon in the business world, while using a method such as Co-Writer is so slow and tedious that many students find it frustrating because it hampers the speed and quality of productive output of many of the students with learning and other hidden disabilities.

For more on this topic, see my book, Tech Psychologist Guide, at

Do you need help in getting reasonable accommodations and remediation?
Dr. Jeanne Beckman is available to assist you in determining what you need to learn and thrive. Please call her at 847-446-1251
or email her at