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News from TN Dept. of Education: Read Aloud Accommodation Policy Guidance

The following message is from Assistant Commissioner of Special Populations, Joey Hassell, Tennessee Department of Education regarding Read Aloud Provisions. 

In response to recent questions from districts, the department wanted to share current guidance regarding read aloud accommodations.

Read Aloud Accommodation Policy
The read aloud accommodation is intended to provide access to text for students with a visual impairment, including blindness, and those students with a specific skills deficit that severely limits or prevents them from decoding text at any level of difficulty as determined by a diagnostic tool or instrument that the school administered. Students with disabilities who are simply having difficulty reading text and/or are reading below grade-level do not need the read aloud accommodation to access text.
Additional Considerations for IEP Teams
In making decisions about whether to provide the student with this accommodation, IEP and 504 teams are instructed to consider whether the student has either.

  1. Blindness or a visual impairment and has not learned, or is unable to use, Braille.
  2. A specific skills deficit in the area of reading decoding, reading fluency, or reading comprehension that severely limits or prevents him/her from accessing printed text.
  3. Additionally, the student must have:
    • an intervention provided at Tier III or Special Education in the identified area of deficit
    • the area of deficit identified in the present level of educational performance in the IEP
    • a Measurable Annual Goal that is written to address the specific area of deficit

The Division of Special Populations will provide trainings on the Special Education Framework which provides additional information regarding these considerations in June.
If you have additional questions, please email

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