n2y Blog





uls spotlight


New Profiles Are Coming!

We have listened to your feedback and the Profiles will have some wonderful new changes.  

The Academic K-12 Profile allows you to articulate what supports your children need to access the curriculum.  The content questions have been slightly redesigned with some new indicators as we made a tighter alignment to the Common Core standards.  You will notice the questions are presented as a list instead of columns.  There are now tips behind each indicator to guide teachers further in what the specific indicator means.   The tips also show how to respond if you are working with students with access needs including visual impairments, auditory concerns, access issues or communication deficits.  
You will notice the new format in the Preschool and Transition Profile as well.  All profiles will provide reports which will allow the educational team to move forward with identifying specific areas for each student to work on in their own educational plan.  The reports also suggest Benchmarking Assessments to gather objective evidence of the student's performance and data to drive instruction.

Stay tuned for these upcoming changes:

New Format for Questions

Access / Implementation Tip



uls spotlight


Many of you may have noticed a pop-up when you signed in or an email or two that may have suggested big things are coming.   It has been a truly exciting summer here at n2y.  Although we cannot share all of the “big things” on the way, we can give you a sneak peak of just a few new additions to Unique Learning System.
The Preschool band is growing by leaps and bounds.  Instructional targets have been expanded to include toddlers (3-4 year olds) and preschoolers (4-5 year olds).  The Preschool Band will start the new school year with three new lessons and the majority of the lessons will now have accompanying Circle Time activities!  Preschool has also grown in the areas of pre-writing, gross motor and sensory activities.  The band will also have Core Materials and new Checkpoint assessments in the Unique GPS.
NEW!  Pre-writing Activities in Preschool
The other grade level bands are going through some exciting changes as well and we can’t let the cat out of the bag just yet!  But we can let you in on a few.  In an effort to make a tighter alignment to the Common Core and state educational standards, some of the books, articles, chapter books and activities are going through revisions and/or rewrites.  When the school year begins, check to ensure that you have the most up-to-date lessons and materials.  Visit the Unique GPS as well for additional assessments that may appear.  The n2y Library is also growing.  There will be many additional books each month that will support and expand monthly themes and skills in various levels.
Additional big things are coming throughout the school year.  So rest and have a relaxing summer and get ready for some excitement and fun coming your way for the 2013-2014 school year!



kathy's corner


In my days as teacher and SLP, I considered the summer over by the 4th of July.  That was the time when my mind went into the upcoming school year.  What could I do new and different for the year to make it a more valuable learning environment?  I’m sure many of you are also experiencing this feeling in anticipation of this school year. 
One of the most significant changes occurring in education this year revolves around ways to identify student growth measures as part of teacher evaluation systems.  These are fondly (or not so fondly) called Student Learning Objectives (SLO).  This is somewhat challenging for our classrooms where diversity is the norm, and the level of learning is substantially below the grade level expectations. 
For six years, Unique Learning System has been providing instructional materials that are aligned to grade level content standards, yet designed for the needs of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.  As part of Unique, the GPS (Goals, Preferences and Skills) includes modified assessment measures.  As your district is examining ways to identify student learning objectives and demonstrate growth, take time to review the current and new tools in the GPS.  From Monthly Checkpoints to Benchmarking Assessments, there are multiple ways to use this data to meet the requirements of this new mandate.  The 2013- 14 Unique GPS will include some additional features that will be of value to you.




news-2-you spotlight


Have you downloaded the app yet?

The News-2-You app, created by AssistiveWare and n2y, can read the news using natural sounding text-to-speech voices, providing word and sentence highlighting. American male, female, boy and girl voices as well as many specialty voices are available as a free download.

The News-2-You app is an interactive app exclusively for the iPad.  The app supports the Regular edition of the weekly paper from News-2-You.
Now Available in the app:

Turbo Movie - Volume XV, Edition 40



a note from dave...


The n2y trolls are hard at work.  We are taking a hard look at our newspaper format.   We think it may need a bit of a make-over.  We want to keep it fresh by making it easier to access, easier to read and more responsive to our readers’ needs.  

Basically, we are playing with the organization of the paper.  We want to make it more newspaper-like.  We can do this by adding a section here and there and dropping (or repositioning) some activities that just aren’t being used.  Like they say, there are three kinds of work: 1. Work that needs to be done, and is  2. Work that needs to be done, and isn’t  and 3. Work that doesn’t need to be done, and is.  Our goal is to define what really needs to be done and then do it--every week, every paper.  Can’t give you any details yet, but wish us luck.  As usual, we welcome any comments or suggestions you may have.  See you next month.  Enjoy the summer.




the latest from symbolstix


We have all kinds of friends on Facebook!

Are you a friend of ours? 

LIKE our n2y page and our Joey SymbolStix page for updates and for fun messages.

We have added hundreds of new SymbolStix in the last few months!  Search in SymbolStix Online for exercise or yoga for just a few examples!





check out this cool idea


Many of us are in the midst of the Unique summer unit on baseball - Take Me Out to the Ballgame.  Our students will be learning many valuable skills using this theme.  The unit also encourages our students to play the game of baseball.  This is a wonderful opportunity for spontaneous communication!  However, for students in need of augmentative strategies, carrying a communication system during play is not conducive to batting, hitting and running bases.  Consider a more universal approach that will not only help students in need of augmentative strategies but will also encourage others to use new vocabulary.  Place communication strips in high traffic areas and frequently used equipment.
Place a communication strip around the bat.  Include vocabulary that would encourage spontaneous commenting such as “I’m going to hit a home run.”,“That was not a strike!”, “I need some help.”  You can also add communication to gloves and bases.  Single message switches or communication boards with common vocabulary for umpires and fans can also bring added fun.  Not to mention cheers or congratulatory messages.  The possibilities are endless.  In addition, provide visuals to aid in following directions such as visuals on the base of the tee, a touch or stop sign on each base and posted rules for being a good sport.  Avoid over-labeling by customizing these ideas to capture what your students’ needs.
Have fun this summer!  Batter Up!




i think this is totally awesome...


A big shout out to the iPad winners!

Dan Pike – Jefferson County
Tami Folks – Orange County School District
Bill Schulte – Collier County School District
Judith Buckler – Calvert County Public Schools
Rachel Fletcher –School District of Osceola County

They took a sneak peek of the NEW n2y - you can too!

Click here for a preview of the NEW n2y.




check out an upcoming webinar...


n2y has a collection of instructional webinars to support your classroom learning experience!
Check them out today!  Visit the archived webinar list here.



upcoming events...


Autism Society Show  - July 10-13   Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Visit our Events Page