The Kildonan School

The Kildonan School

The Kildonan School is a co-ed day and boarding school for children with dyslexia and language-based learning difficulties (grades 2-12) located in Amenia, New York, 90 miles north of NYC at the foothills of the Berkshires.

It was founded in 1969 by Diana Hanbury King, who had previously worked with dyslexic students at a school and camp directed by Helene Durbrow, who was trained by Dr. Samuel Orton and mentored by Anna Gillingham.

Kildonan's Solebury Campus       The Move to Amenia, circa 1980

The Kildonan School uses assistive technology in grades 2-12, including a new iPad Program.


Assistive Technology for Dyslexic Students

assistive technology for dyslexiaThe rapid development of technology has proven to be a great asset to dyslexic students.  Current computer operating systems and software help them read, write, organize ideas, and synthesize information in ways that may have been impossible for them in the past.  Both the Windows and Mac operating systems have built-in tools to assist users with language-based learning disabilities.  Software such as Dragon NaturallySpeakingDragon Dictate for Mac,Co:WriterKurzweil 3000Inspiration, and iFlash have helped reduce the demands of language-based activities.  In addition, since its release in 2010, the iPad and its associated apps have expanded the array of assistive technology available to our students.

The Kildonan School has utilized assistive technology since 1998, and it has operated a dual-platform AT lab since 2008.  Today, the school is proud to offer assistive technology to every student in grades 2-12.  Text-to-speech technology provides reading assistance, and programs such as Inspiration and Co:Writer help with the writing process.  In September 2012, the school will launch a 1:1 iPad program, expanding the AT toolbox for all students.  A comprehensive half-year assistive technology curriculum is offered to older students.  During that one-to-one class, students choose to work on a Windows or Mac computer, based on past experience and preference.  Throughout the course, they learn the functions of various AT software and how to apply the programs to their subject matter work.  Combined with the one-to-one Orton-Gillingham tutorial, assistive technology training gives our students the best chance of success in school and beyond.

Below is a video that gives a look into the experiences our students have had with assistive technology.  It was filmed and edited by four of our seniors, and it originally appeared on The New York Times website as part of their series, “Your Brain on Computers.”

Kildonan Announces New 1:1 iPad Program

Posted 04/20/2012 09:53AM


It is with a great sense of excitement that we announce the adoption of a new 1:1 iPad program, effective for all grades at Kildonan for the 2012-13 school year. 

Over the past several months, members of the administration and heads of departments have been investigating the potential of iPads in our curriculum and the many benefits offered by incorporating tablet technology (including Assistive Technology applications, iBooks textbooks, and a reduced reliance on and use of paper).  Thanks to a generous donation, we will be moving to an iPad-based platform over the summer, which will be fully integrated into our curriculum by Fall 2012.  This marks an important step for the school as we continue to look for ways to provide the best learning environment for students with dyslexia and language-based learning differences.

Benefits of incorporating new iPads into the curriculum include:
• Dramatic increase in accessibility of learning materials
• Assistive Technologies (AT) built in to iOS 5 –
o text-to-speech
o speech-to-text
• More advanced AT available through apps, including the brand
new Inspiration Maps, which retains most of the functionality of the
Inspiration desktop software
• Interactive iBook Textbooks
• iBooks Author and iTunesU allow teachers to easily customize
teaching materials for our students
• Multisensory touchscreen interface taps into students’ inborn
connection between touch and curiosity
• Apple’s long-time commitment to education

Look for more updates as we approach the launch of the new iPad
program at Kildonan, and we look forward to sharing all of the exciting ways in which this new technology will enhance the educational opportunities for our students.


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