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Tips for Engaging Readers with Special Needs [infographic]

How to keep your child learning during AND after school closures

Does your child have special needs? Does she struggle with reading? Are you wondering how you will help her to read and learn during COVID-19 school closures?

Over the years, Bookshare’s huge community of parents, educators, and students with special needs has shared reading tips. Here are some of the best that can help you keep your child reading during school closures, as well as long after.

Extended DescriptionThe vertical infographic is divided into a header, title, six sections, and a footer.

At the top is the Bookshare logo with the text: Bookshare, a Benetech initiative.

Title: Tips For Engaging Readers With Special Needs

Section 1: Talk about their interests. Does your child like to play video games, soccer, or something else? Talk with your child about things that interest them outside of books. And then help them find books about those interests.

Section 2: Let them read in ways that work for them. All children read differently. Formats like audio, text highlighting, braille, large font, and others can make reading easier.

Section 3: Read on devices they like. If your child already uses a smartphone, tablet, computer, or assistive technology device, let them use that device.

Section 4: Build their confidence. Help your child achieve attainable goals. Whether it’s reading a book by themselves, finishing a story (long or short), or wanting to read the next book, accomplishing things builds confidence.

Section 5: Children learn better with a team. Children learn to read better when they have a team supporting them. Let teachers know what books, tools, and tips are making a difference at home.

Section 6: Find a library. Find a library that offers ebooks in different formats, supports many reading tools, and has the books your child wants to read.

Bookshare is a free, online library of over 800,000 ebooks that supports the most formats and reading tools for kids with special needs.

Footer: Learn more about Bookshare. (Copyright 2020)

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Across the U.S., parents of children with special needs have been thrust into the combined roles of parent, breadwinner, and special education teacher all at the same time. This situation can be difficult and stressful. One trusted resource that parents can turn to is Bookshare.

Bookshare is an ebook library that makes reading easier. People with dyslexia, blindness, cerebral palsy, and other reading barriers can read in ways that work for them with ebooks in audio, audio + highlighted text, braille, and other customizable formats. With over 830,000 titles, Bookshare makes it easy to find virtually any book for school, work, or the joy of reading. Membership is free for qualified U.S. students and schools and less than $1 per week for non-students.

Bookshare is a valuable resource for students with special needs. Learn more about Bookshare and how it can help your child with reading during school closures.


  1. Can you make your audible books available to non-qualifying children during the COVID emergency?

    • Laura Deck, Bookshare Communications

      Joshua: Bookshare is bound by US copyright law and publisher permissions which restrict access to people with dyslexia, blindness, cerebral palsy, and other reading barriers. However, we do have nearly 10,000 free public domain books that anyone can read using Bookshare’s unique features. Readers can listen to audiobooks, follow along with karaoke-style highlighting, and customize font sizes, colors, and backgrounds. Here are some highlighted collections:

      Free Books for All! – fiction and non-fiction titles of varying grade levels
      Free Upskilling Books for All! – how-to books for those who wish to learn a new skill, prepare to go back to school, or switch careers
      Free Children’s Books for All! – books for second graders and younger
      More free books – how to search for freely available titles

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