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Bailey's Story


Download the transcript for the Bailey video series (All transcripts in one document)

Today Bailey is a socially attuned young man in high school who is engaged in learning and planning to go to college. When he entered middle school the picture was very different. Behavior issues related to autism were prominent. As the behavior issues were addressed, basic reading and written expression disabilities became evident. Learn about the supports that collectively contributed to Bailey's sustained growth and accomplishments.


Introducing Bailey

When Bailey entered middle school, he was essentially a nonreader with significant behavioral issues related to autism. Discover how a robust behavioral support program coupled with the introduction of accommodations for his reading and written language disabilities moved him forward on his path to success.

Key Takeaways:

  • Some of Bailey’s behavioral issues were related to his learning disabilities and the frustration he experienced when he could not read his print materials.
  • Materials presented in audio format addressed the disconnect between Bailey’s understanding and his ability to decode print.
  • Initial accommodations for Bailey included text read to him and a scribe, which made him dependent on others for reading and written expression.
  • As assistive technology and accessible materials improved Bailey’s access to the curriculum, his confidence and independence grew and his true abilities began to shine through.

Print Instructional Materials

Printed materials written and published for use in elementary and secondary school instruction, required by a SEA or LEA for use by students in classroom.

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Digital form or representation of a sound which may be used for non-visual access to text and images.

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Equipment or system where principal function is creation, conversion, duplication, control, display, interchange, transmission, reception, or broadcast of data.

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Gaining Independence with AIM and AT

The middle school years were difficult for Bailey as he had a lot of behaviors that impeded his progress in addition to his problems with reading and written expression. However, as concerned educators and parents supported Bailey's behavioral issues and provided access to the curriculum with accessible materials and technology, his motivation to learn and academic achievements steadily increased.

Key Takeaways

  • Staff built on Bailey’s personal interests in science and history to get his buy-in and encourage his use of assistive technology.
  • A reader toolbar with a simplified interface was easy to learn and provided Bailey with access to content across different types of materials.
  • Text to speech increased Bailey’s reading speed and reduced the amount of time it took him to complete assignments.
  • Bailey’s self-determination and independence grew rapidly when he was provided with a program that allowed him to enter text on the computer independently using his voice.
  • Once a non-reader with significant behavioral issues, with AEM Bailey became the student he was meant to be, an honor roll student who received a student of the year award in history at his high school.


Tools Mentioned in the Video

Natural Reader. Find additional text to speech tools in our Digital Reading Technologies page.


Text-to-Speech (TTS)

Artificial production of human speech, using special software and/or hardware.

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Accessible Educational Materials (AEM)

Print- and technology-based educational materials designed to be usable across the widest range of individual variability.

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AIM and the 21 st Century Classroom

Characteristics of 21 st Century Classrooms include accessible technology and accessible instructional materials that transform learning for every student. In Fayette County, Georgia the system incorporates various classroom technologies and an online interactive network that educators and students can access from a variety of technology devices to communicate about lessons and resources. Examine how this system supports the learning of all students including Bailey.

Key Takeaways

  • The principal at Bailey’s school set the tone for the staff by ensuring accessibility for students with print disabilities was considered from the start in the textbook procurement process.
  • A comprehensive suite of learning tools available on all district computers provided a consistent experience and helped to reduce the stigma associated with assistive technology.
  • The flexibility of digital content working together with accessible technologies substantially reduced the need for accommodations or modifications for students with disabilities.



Accessible Technology

Technology that can be used by people with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. Incorporates the principles of universal design.

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Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM)

Print-based educational materials converted into specialized formats, related to the requirements of the IDEA statute.

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Access for all people, including people with disabilities, to web environments.

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Print Disability

Blindness or other disability that prevents the effective use of printed materials.

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Creating Adaptable Classrooms for All Students

Educators face the challenge of dealing with diverse learners on a daily basis. When classrooms are designed with a foundation of 21 st century technology and accessible, flexible materials, all students benefit and fewer additional accommodations are needed for students with disabilities. If students with disabilities need additional accommodations, they can be seamlessly provided.

Key Takeaways

  • The availability of flexible materials and technologies made it possible to meet the needs of many learners without the need for additional accommodations
  • Focusing on familiar tools lowered the learning curve and made it easier for staff, parents and the students to accept their use
  • In an adaptable classroom, curriculum and instruction can be personalized to match the varying strengths, needs and preferences of all students

Blending 21 st Century Technology, AIM, and AT

Discover how all the components of Bailey's support system contribute to his becoming the independent, highly motivated learner he is today. Technology, accessible materials, and effective instruction assist him in overcoming his reading and writing difficulties. Behavioral supports assist him in developing social and self-regulating skills. Encouraging and knowledgeable educators and his parents provide support to make everything work in concert, helping Bailey become the engaged and successful student that he is.

Key Takeaways

  • Resources stored on the districts network allowed students to complete their work ahead of time in order to make better use of classroom time.
  • Having access at home through his laptop allowed Bailey to work at his own pace in order to complete more of the school work independently.
  • As technology improved Bailey’s access to the curriculum, his behavioral issues improved and his relationships with peers blossomed.