• Alternative Pencils

    What is an Alternative Pencil?

    Anything that provides a student with access to all 26 letters of the alphabet.

    Why use alternative pencils?

    Alternative pencils allow students with significant physical, cognitive or linguistic challenges a way to write and/or explore the alphabet while focusing their cognitive energy on text production.

    Examples of some alternative pencils:

    • Alphabet and eye gaze frame
    • Single letter flip chart w/braille
    • Letter flip charts
    • Eye gaze alphabet board

    Important Info:

    • Students do not need to know their letters in order to write with an alternative pencil
    • Students need access to all 26 letters of the alphabet in order to learn about the alphabet
    • No one is “too anything” to begin writing with an alternative pencil.
    • Choose an alternative pencil and start now! 

    Getting Started:

    • Choose an alternative pencil that has the most potential for a student to easily use.
    • Provide student with a purpose for writing.
    • If needed, model and assist student with the alternative pencil.
    • Read back what student wrote.
    • Provide meaning to the student’s writing.


    Center for Literacy and Disability Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


    Click Here to Learn More About Alternative Pencils



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