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Readtopia Literacy Curriculum Logo
An online special education curriculum that
teaches phonics and early reading to
students in elementary, middle, and high
school with complex learning barriers.
sample instructional materials from Readtopia including a tablet in the middle showing some of the 30+ Readtopia units.

Readtopia® Features

Integrated Lessons

Comprehensive reading curriculum across English Language Arts, Science, Life Skills, Social Studies,
and Math.

Differentiated Curriculum

Multiple levels of graphic
novels and informational
text, supported by authentic
literature, videos, and

Thematic Units
A library of 28 thematic units and growing, including “The Earth’s Oceans” and “Age of Exploration/Copernicus.”
Classroom Support Tools
Content-specific tools to monitor learner progress, allowing easy instructional adjustments.
Built-in Assessment
Tools that make it easy to collect and compare student responses to instruction in every thematic unit.
eLearning Support
Thematic units designed to be delivered in-person or via distance learning.
Comprehensive Guidance
Complete and clear instructions and tip sheets for teachers and paras ensure educators have the resources to fully engage learners.
Experiential Learning
Videos in every thematic unit to build background knowledge, new vocabulary, and visualize new concepts.
Functional Life Skills
Links to functional life skills in every thematic unit: Daily Living Skills, Self-Determination/Interpersonal Skills, and Employment Skills.
What’s Included: Teacher guide, Curriculum Guide, 24/7 access to online materials, workbooks

Readtopia features online educational materials that guide your instructional time throughout the day across multiple subjects.


With Readtopia, you can enhance learning for the widest range of student needs, from non-readers to beginning readers.


Readtopia presents instruction in thematic units to help you fully reach students with all kinds of abilities, backgrounds, and knowledge.

Meet the Authors

Readtopia was developed in partnership with an interdisciplinary team of specialists, including Dr. Karen Erickson and Dr. Caroline Musselwhite.
Karen Erickson - Headshot
Karen Erickson PhD

Karen Erickson is the director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, where she is focused on understanding the best ways to assess and teach reading and writing to children with the most severe disabilities.

Dr. Erickson is the co-author of “Comprehensive Literacy for All—Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities to Read and Write,” which outlines evidence-based instructional strategies that inform Readtopia.

Caroline Musselwhite - Headshot
Caroline Musselwhite EdD, CCC-SLP

Dr. Caroline Musselwhite is an assistive technology specialist with more than 30 years of experience working with children and adolescents with significant disabilities.

She has taught courses at several universities, authored a number of books on educational topics, and presented thousands of workshops throughout the world. She is also a founding member of the Board of Directors for the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC).

Building a Foundation of Literacy for ALL Learners

Readtopia® by Building Wings is a comprehensive literacy curriculum for students with complex learning needs in Grades 3 – High School+.

Drawn from Erickson & Koppenhaver’s Comprehensive Literacy for All: Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities to Read and Write (2019), Readtopia provides educators with all the books, lesson plans and instructional guidance they need to deliver age-respectful, engaging, and evidence-based literacy instruction.

Evidence-Based Literacy Instruction

Dr. Lisa Erwin Davidson, Ph.D, CCC-SLP, an assistant professor at California State University-Fullerton and a team of researchers have been studying student literacy and language development outcomes in more than 30 classrooms in an urban school district in California. Their preliminary results can be viewed demonstrating measurable literacy gains using Readopia.


Readtopia supports students in late elementary, middle, high school, and transition. Upper elementary thematic units were released at the end of the 2019-2020 school year and additional units are in an ongoing development process.

The literature books include modified MAZE assessments after every third chapter. The modified MAZE assessment provides important insight into each student’s literature comprehension. MAZE, a well-accepted approach to progress monitoring, is particularly important in Readtopia because it is accessible to a wide range of students, including those who cannot read orally or whose speech is difficult to understand.
Vocabulary quizzes allow teachers to assess whether or not students are learning the content vocabulary taught in each unit.
Reading comprehension and close reading lessons include tasks that give teachers a daily snapshot of student performance and the gains they are making.

Readtopia Pricing

Free Curriculum

Get free access to samples of
Readtopia materials
—no credit
card required.

(per educator)
Homeschool/Parents: If you’d like to bring Readtopia into your home, call us at
847-238-8889 for a discounted license.
School District or Organization
5-50% Savings
Discounts are available for districts/facilities with multiple licenses or who select multi-year options.

Karen A. Erickson, Ph.D.​

Karen A. Erickson, Ph.D. is Director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill. Her focus is on understanding the best ways to assess and teach reading and writing to children with the most severe disabilities. As a special education teacher, Dr. Erickson has worked to support students with a range of disabilities in a variety of classroom settings, particularly students who do not use speech as their primary means of communication.


Author Profile:,Ph.D.

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