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Special Education Needs

When former head teacher Libby Coleman and former Mencap chairman Nick Ainley developed Yes We Can Read, they had 3 key aims: to design a phonics based programme that would teach a non-reader or poor reader to read for meaning and fun; that would be suitable for both children and adults; and where the tutor or coach could be a fluent reader, armed with nothing more than a copy of the Yes We Can Read book.

Libby has been involved with teaching reading since she was six and taught her sister to read. Throughout her career, literacy has always been a major focus. She has worked with people with severe learning disabilities who have learned to read; lectured in special needs at Roehampton and Nene Universities; and worked as a volunteer teaching reading in prisons and in areas of social deprivation. Libby’s experience has led to a deep understanding of how to teach someone to read. One-to-one is the key! Her philosophy is coupled with an amazing creative talent. Libby has devised a unique photo-alphabet in which each object begins with the phonic letter sound it represents and is also shaped like the letter itself. Photographs are used because many people with dyslexia see letters 3-dimensionally.

Nick Ainley has spent most of his career working with adults with severe learning disabilities. Nick’s patience and eye for detail shine through in the clear, concise instructions for the coach on the left hand pages, and the thoughtful, systematic presentation of activities for the learner on the right hand pages. 

Yes We Can Read is printed on cream paper and comes with a free Eye-Level Reading Ruler designed to aid learners with dyslexia, ADD and ADHD, scotopic sensitivity and other special needs.

Yes We Can Read is a brilliant one-to-one reading scheme. It should be used in every school by LSA’s, volunteers, parents and students who can read fluently to teach others. It should be used in every community in the English speaking world to bring reading to everyone.

Carol Reckling, Special Needs Co-ordinator, The Rushden Community College

This book will appeal to anyone who wants to learn to read or help someone else to read in a way which will not make the learner feel belittled, stupid or babyish. It is presented in a simple, but effective format which is structured to deliver success and to minimise and address errors. 

Book Review - SEN Magazine Issue 49 Nov-Dec 2010