Jaime Vazquez

October is National Literacy Awareness Month!

Blog Post created by Jaime Vazquez on Sep 11, 2018

October is National Literacy Awareness Month, and educators all over the country will be celebrating how critical reading is—especially in the information age. We’re eager to hear how you’ll be observing the month, so please share your experiences!


Literacy development takes many different forms. Sometimes it means guiding older students into a new novel where fascinating characters evolve, and plots thicken. For other kids, such as newbie kindergarteners, it means participating in their first “picture walk” activity with the book Zoom by Istvan Banyai. However, not all students engage with text in the same way. For some, engaging is more of a tactile and sound-based experience, where for others it may need to be a more visual and animated experience.


National Literacy Awareness Month is a good opportunity to make sure you’re empowering all your students in their literacy journeys. Just like engaging students with various forms of text, many districts will be implementing MAP Growth in various ways to support each of their students. MAP Growth was developed with accessibility in mind. That means various forms of engagement are possible: the assessments are aligned to the rigorous WCAG 2.1 standards, which give students the ability use their own tools such as screen readers, refreshable braille, and magnification. NWEA also follows standards and guidelines such as the CCSSO Accessibility Manual to ensure that students with various needs are not only getting the same experience as their counterparts—they’re getting a growth measure that adapts to both their abilities and their needs.


We’re passionate about creating engagement without barriers, and we love how Dr. Sarah McManus puts it: “For our students, equity really means that they can access information just as easily as sighted students. It doesn’t mean they are doing it the exact same way, but it means it’s just as easy…They don’t have to struggle with the technology side of it, they just have to focus on the questions themselves.”


We’re also excited to share that in November, we’ll be hosting the 2018 Accessibility Leadership Summit in Phoenix, Arizona: an all-day, interactive event with educators and industry leaders to discuss our collective future with accessibility, data literacy, and research. We encourage you to register today—and there’s still time to influence the agenda!


And don’t forget to share your success stories, lesson learned, and best ideas from your Literacy Awareness Month activities—we’re excited to see all of the ways you’re working to engage your students’ literacy needs!