The Kids A-Z App

What is the Kids A-Z App?

Many elementary schools have subscriptions to Reading A-Z, a resource that provides access to a wide variety of leveled books for students. Students can access the books on the Raz Kids website from school or home when given a login and password from their teacher.

One way for students who are blind or visually impaired to access this resource is using the Kids A-Z app on the iPad, which is free of charge to download.

Accessing the leveled books

Once the student is logged in (using login information provided by the classroom teacher), the student selects “Level Up!” to access the leveled books.

screenshot of A-Z app Level Up page showing control room with spaceships.

A variety of fiction and non-fiction books will be available to the student. (The level of books available to the student will be based on the level the classroom teacher has assigned to that student).

Screenshot of A-Z app with Level up page displaying a bookshelf and status of each book (listen, read, quiz) checked off when completed.

Listen to the Book and Take the Quiz

For each book there are three options: listen to the book, read the book, and take the quiz.

Important: The text in the “read the book” section is not accessible with voice over or the Refreshable Braille Display.

Screenshot of a page from the book, Gordon Finds His Way. Illustrations,and highlighted text are not accessible with a screen reader.

My students who are braille-readers use this app to listen to books and then take the comprehension quizzes. (This does not replace reading hard copy braille books; it is in addition to reading hard copy braille.)

Screenshot of A-Z quiz page which is accessible; one question with three possible answers.

One student uses this resource during her computer center in her 1st grade classroom in addition to using it at home once per week.

Advancing to the next level of books

The Reading A-Z app will advance students to the next reading level when they have completed all 3 items for a certain number of books (listen, read, and quiz). However, if the student does not complete all 3 options, the classroom teacher can manually advance the student to the next level under the teacher login.

Overall Review of the App

Pros:

  • The students access the same books as peers in the general education classroom.
  • Encourages the General Education teacher to stay closely involved in the students’ use of technology to access mainstream resources.
  • The students get practice listening to stories and taking comprehension quizzes at his/her reading level.

Cons:

  • The text of the books cannot be accessed through the Refreshable Braille Display.
  • The reward portion of the app is not accessible with voice over. (The students receive points based on how many books they read. When they get points, they earn accessories for a robot. Manipulating the robot is not accessible with voice over. (This can be solved by the teacher determining an alternate reward for the child.)

Screenshot of A-Z reward page which is not accessible, depicting earned accessories for the robot.

Overall, this app has been a great resource for accessing a variety of age appropriate fiction and non-fiction stories!

 

collage for A-Z app

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