761: Digital Curation Project.   Library Access for Students with Special Needs

761: Digital Curation Project. Library Access for Students with Special Needs

Students walk through the doors of our libraries in all shapes and sizes, with different home lives and stories, and with varying ranges of ability. According to studies, it is estimated that at least 15% of students walk into our schools with characteristics that would classify them as having special educational needs. (Copeland, 2011). Our curriculum standards may be one-sized fits all, but our approach to delivering content to learners of a wide array of abilities doesn’t have to be. As an integral part of each student’s educational experience, librarians are responsible to provide access of information on a level that is appropriate for the abilities of the students they teach. (Franklin, 2011). As teacher-librarians, it is important to get to know our students, find what makes them exceptional, and tailor an educational experience that will meet students right where they are. Included below are a plethora of resources that will help to make this task easier. In the digital age of education, many programs, websites, and apps exist to help librarians and teachers bridge the achievement gap between abled and differently abled students and to ensure equity of access for every student. Below you will find links to infographics, videos, websites, blogs, and articles that will help you to familiarize yourself with common (and not so common) student disabilities, understand the value in differentiated instruction to meet the needs of students, and begin to explore tools that you can use in your library to ensure inclusion for all students. Also included are some young adult book titles that include differently abled characters so that students of all ability levels and special needs will see themselves represented in the literature that they read.