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FAQs

1. What exactly is SLICE™?
2. Do you have to have special needs in order to subscribe to SLICE™?
3. What can be done if a student needs help reading, but doesn't qualify for SLICE™?
4. Will SLICE™ and APEL™ help with reading skills?
5. Is SLICE™ research based?
6. What is Story Spinner?
7. How is Story Spinner different from SLICE™?
8. What about copyright laws?
9. What kind of computer do I need?
10. Do I need special software?

1. What exactly is SLICE™?

SLICE™ is an acronym for “Special Learners Included through Computers in Education”. SLICE is an educational system that uses computer technology to promote and support full classroom inclusion of students who struggle with reading. Digitized versions of academic textbooks, culturally significant novels and a range of other reading material are available to students from an online library. They "check out" the book they need, see the text on the computer screen and can listen to it being read aloud by the computer through personal headphones. A tracking system automatically records the date, duration and selection they read and printable reports are available to students, parents and teachers.

2. Do you have to have special needs in order to subscribe to SLICE™?

Yes. All SLICE™ Subscribers must qualify as print disabled since the material available through SLICE™ is restricted by copyright and can only be made available to individuals whose disabilities require that they have access to written text in an altered format. Most SLICE™ subscribers are individuals with learning disabilities, dyslexia, visual impairments or physical impairments that prevent them from holding a book. Individuals who struggle with reading but do not qualify under the law can subscribe to the APEL library of public domain literature and take advantage of the same technology and tracking system.

3. What can be done if a student needs help reading, but doesn't qualify for SLICE™?

The APEL™ Reading Program is designed for "GAP" students who struggle with reading and need extra practice, but do not qualify for special education services in school. The APEL™ Reading Program relies on the same technology, tracking system and access. However, APEL™ makes use of public domain material that is not currently restricted by copyright law.

Read More...

4. Will SLICE™ or APEL™ help reading skills?

Evidence continues to demonstrate that students who consistently read textbooks or novels using the SLICE™/APEL™ systems show improved reading skills, specifically in comprehension, vocabulary, word attack and fluency as measured by standardized tests. A formal evaluation of the SLICE™ Program in terms of reading achievement conducted by the Center for Research in Educational Policy in 2003 concluded that, “SLICE™ students had significantly higher gain scores than did Control students”. Beyond that, the data indicates that students are more participatory in class and experience improved academic performance and self esteem.

Read Reports:

  • "Do Screen Readers Help Young Students Who Have Learning Disabilities?" (pdf) (doc)
  • Special Learners Included Through Computers in Education (SLICE™) - Evaluation Report - (pdf) (doc)
  • Summary of Qualitative Evaluation-South Dakota Middle School - (pdf) (doc)

5. Is SLICE™ research based?

Yes. The SLICE™ method is based on research reported in the 70’s and 80’s of successful methods for teaching reading that employed a sight/sound match. Since 1996, data gathered from our field testing sites where SLICE™ supported special education students using regular textbooks in the regular classroom has consistently indicated positive outcomes in terms of the students' reading skills, academic performance, and self esteem. Standardized tests, such as the Woodcock Johnson-R and Stanford 9, and qualitative data drawn from interviews, surveys and observations have been used not only to evaluate the effectiveness of SLICE™, but to direct its ongoing development. A formal evaluation of the SLICE™ Program, conducted by the Center for Research in Educational Policy, University of Memphis, was published in January, 2003. Further investigations are currently underway.

Research and Reports

6. What is Story Spinner?

Story Spinners are collections of carefully selected books that individuals can read with the help of audio files loaded on mp3 players.

Our Native American and Classic collections provide culturally significant literature to individuals ages 8 and up. The RI collections are designed as a Response to Intervention for struggling readers. This unique multi-sensory approach - printed text along with audio input - makes a fun way for teachers to introduce and reinforce core reading objectives and is the perfect complement to any phonics program.

Story Spinners can be purchased as an individual pack and in classroom sets. Some collections are available ONLY to individuals with print disabilities.

For more information on Story Spinners Click Here.

7. How is Story Spinner different from SLICE™?

Story Spinner differs from SLICE™ because it provides a reading curriculum specially prepared for elementary age students who struggle with reading. SLICE™, in contrast, provides access to the general school curriculum via the internet for middle and high school students who have identified reading disabilities.

8. What about copyright laws?

Publishers are protected from piracy under the copyright law and any reproduction of copyrighted material in order to defraud the publisher of potential profit is illegal. In 1996 the federal government passed the Chaffee Amendment to the copyright law. The new law allows controlled distribution of copyrighted material to students whose disabilities qualify them to have alternative access to print material.

APEL has partnered with BRITE Horizons Library to protect you and your school from possible copyright violation, while still allowing your staff to track student activity. BRITE Horizons qualifies as a Chafee Depository under the federal copyright law.

9. What kind of computer do I need?

Any computer with sound (headphones plug in) and access to the internet is capable of providing the SLICE™, APEL™ or Story Spinner programs to students.

10. Will I need special software?

Yes. Special software that allows the computer to convert text to speech on demand must be loaded onto the computer. A wide range of free and commercial software is available. APEL technicians constantly review the market to find the best and most economical option to support our students. We currently suggest the CAST eReader™ or the ReadPlease ReadingBar 2™ for students with reading disabilities.

 
 
 
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