A Word About Tar Heel Reader

The familiar texts used in the DLM alternate assessment are being shared using  Tar Heel Reader (http://tarheelreader.org).  This is a very large library of open-source, accessible, texts for individuals with disabilities of all ages.  Tar Heel Reader was started as a way to address the extreme shortage of easy-to-read books on topics that appeal to older students. Books are contributed to the site by teachers, students, parents, and others from around the world.   There are books on the site that are inappropriate for some audiences.  Reviewers do their best to make sure these books are marked with the CAUTION.  As a result, students should NOT be sent independently to the Tar Heel Reader site.  They should be sent to collections or sets of favorites that teachers create using the tools built into the site.  Teachers can avoid books that they might find offensive by limiting their search to books that are “Reviewed Only” and “Rated E/Everybody.”

Links to the books that are the familiar texts used in the DLM Assessment are provided on this site.  They are available as individual books for teachers to download or read using Powerpoint, and they are available as collections by grade level.

We encourage you to use other books or write your own books on Tar Heel Reader, but remember that it is a library that teachers visit to select books for students – and that students visit when particular collections of books have been identified.

Three new modules on WRITING!!!

Three new self-directed modules went live today.  The three focus on writing instruction aligned to the DLM Essential Elements for students with significant cognitive disabilities.  The modules are:

Writing: Text Types and Purposes

Publication and Distribution of Writing

Writing: Research and Range of Writing

Find these and other modules on the DLM web site at:


DLM Core Vocabulary

The Center for Literacy and Disability Studies has been working on identifying a core vocabulary to support students who use augmentative and alternative communication as they learn and interact in classrooms teaching the DLM Essential Elements. You can access the core vocabulary and learn more about it at


There will be DLM Professional Development Modules focused on Core Vocabulary, symbols, and supporting beginning communicators coming soon.

Webinar on Transitioning to the Common Core

On April 16, 2013 the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) hosted a webinar, supported by the Kansas EAG State Consortium project, titled “Transition to the CCSS for Teachers of Student with Significant Cognitive Disabilities” Aligning Instruction to Standards”. Presenter Karen Erickson, special education expert at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, focused on important transitions in instructional approaches for teachers of students with significant cognitive disabilities. The webinar includes discussion led by Andrew Hinkle, special education specialist at the Ohio State Department of Education and Rolf Blank, CCSSO project principal investigator. The recording and presentation are provided for broad use by educators and leaders interested in learning about the key transitions to instruction and curriculum under the Common Core Standards. – See more at:


Welcome Educators!

Welcome to the Dynamic Learning Maps™ Virtual Community of Practice site.  This site is for you, educators who are teaching students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.  It is moderated by faculty and staff at the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies, and the content will change throughout the next few years as we all work to implement the DLM Essential Elements and participate in the DLM Alternate Assessment System.