Learning through Audio-supported Reading: Myth or Reality?

The following free webinar is being offered by the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (NC-AEM)…

Learning through Audio-supported Reading: Myth or Reality?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT

The validity of reading along with audio is often questioned by educators and families. What do we know about appropriate and effective uses of audio-supported reading (ASR)?  This webinar will demonstrate the advantages of mixing the modalities of sight and sound to support reading. See how ASR enhances reading comprehension by accelerating information processing, reducing cognitive load, and facilitating working memory. A variety of tools that enable ASR across platforms and device types will be described.

Use this link for more information and to register for this webinar…

Presenter – Richard Jackson

Richard Jackson, Ed.D.Richard Jackson assists in the development of CAST’s universally designed technology to meet the needs of individuals with visual disabilities.

An Associate Professor and a Director of Projects in Low-Incidence Disabilities at Boston College since 1989, Dr. Jackson is himself visually impaired. He has held major federal grants of national significance in training teachers of the blind and multiply disabled.

From 1999-2004, Dr. Jackson served as Director of Practice for the National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum (NCAC) at CAST and acted as CAST’s liaison to Boston College, an NCAC partner. Currently, he is assisting with the work of the NIMAS/AIM Consortium project. He is also working on CAST’s initiative to develop digitally supported approaches to composition. Additionally, he contributes his expertise in standards-based reform to CAST’s federal project for the creation and evaluation of a technology-based system that blends Curriculum Based Measurement (CBM) and Universal Design for Learning in digital learning environments to improve reading comprehension instruction for students with disabilities.

Dr. Jackson brings to his work at CAST almost thirty years of experience as a teacher, a project director, a researcher, and an advocate in the field of education and visual disabilities. He has conducted research for Apple Computer and for the National Eye Institute, and is the founder of the Association of Massachusetts Educators of Students with Vision Impairments.

New Program Offering Digitized Books Free to People with Print Disabilities

American Academy of Ophthalmology, LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and VisionServe Alliance, Work in Partnership on Important Initiative

electronic books on various devicesNew York, (Feb. 1, 2017) – Reading is a simple pleasure. However, millions of people are denied the joy of reading due to vision loss. Now, Lighthouse Guild and Bookshare®, are collaborating with the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) to provide greater opportunities for students with low vision or print disabilities. They are working in partnership with LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in San Francisco and the members of VisionServe Alliance, who provide services throughout the United States for individuals who are blind or have low vision. The new program will use an application known as Spotlight Gateway to expand access to print materials specifically designed for people with low vision.

“Reading should not be a privilege,” said Mark G. Ackermann, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Lighthouse Guild. “Books document our history, mark our present and inspire our future. We’re pleased to join in establishing this program to break down barriers and open a world of possibilities to students who are visually impaired.”

Rebecca Alexander, author, psychotherapist, fitness instructor, and extreme athlete who is almost completely blind and deaf due to a rare genetic disorder called Usher syndrome type III said, “I am an avid reader, and I access the extensive Bookshare® library through the Spotlight Gateway app. It has changed my life. I am thrilled this new initiative will allow more people with low vision to expand their horizons and explore new worlds through reading.” Ms. Alexander, author of the book “Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found” added, “This is a wonderful program that helps students of all ages with low vision to live as fully and independently as possible.”

Lighthouse Guild is working with the American Academy of Ophthalmology to help ensure that students of all ages with vision loss are made aware of the new program. In order for a student to become a program member, an ophthalmologist must confirm a qualifying vision disability. Once eligibility is confirmed, the ophthalmologist can register the student online through the AAO website.

Since the program requires the use of iPads, Lighthouse Guild in New York City and LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in San Francisco will distribute a limited number of iPads through participating vision agencies. This will help make the online library available to students who do not have access to iPads. In addition, VisionServe Alliance, which has offices across the country, will provide locations where students can access iPads if they are not in NYC or Northern California.

Bookshare®, a Benetech initiative, is the world’s largest online library for people who are blind, visually impaired, have a physical disability, or a learning disability that interferes with reading, such as dyslexia. “We are proud to partner with Lighthouse Guild to make Bookshare®’s library of over 500,000 books available to individuals unable to read standard print,” said Brad Turner, Benetech’s Vice President of Global Literary. “Organizations like Lighthouse Guild help Bookshare® ensure everyone has equal access to content by expanding our reach into the communities we serve.”

Training and educational sessions will be available at Lighthouse Guild headquarters in New York, LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in San Francisco, and participating vision agencies. to help patients and their families access, navigate and utilize the library. Detailed videos have also been created and uploaded to YouTube to help participating vision agencies and individuals understand how to access and navigate the expansive library.

Support for the Spotlight Gateway program has been provided in part by a generous grant from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

About Lighthouse Guild

Lighthouse Guild, based in New York, is the leading not-for-profit vision and healthcare organization with a long history of addressing the needs of people who are blind or visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities or chronic medical conditions. With more than 200 years of experience and service, Lighthouse Guild brings a level of understanding to vision care that is unmatched. By integrating vision and healthcare services and expanding access through its programs and education and awareness, we help people lead productive, dignified and fulfilling lives. For more information, visit Lighthouseguild.org

About American Academy of Ophthalmology

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Our EyeSmart® program provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit aao.org.

About Bookshare®

Bookshare®, a Benetech initiative, is the world’s largest online library of accessible ebooks for people with print disabilities. Through its extensive collection of educational and popular titles, specialized book formats and reading tools, Bookshare® offers individuals who cannot read standard print materials the same ease of access that people without disabilities enjoy. The Bookshare® library has over 500,000 titles and serves more than 450,000 members. Access to Bookshare® is free for all U.S. students with a qualifying print disability. Bookshare® is an initiative of Benetech, a Palo Alto, CA-based nonprofit that develops and uses technology to create positive social change. For more information, visit bookshare.org.

About LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Founded in 1902, the LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired offers programs in six locations in San Francisco and throughout Northern California, annually serving over 3,000 blind and visually impaired individuals annually. LightHouse is the place where blind people come to learn skills to gain confidence and independence. At the LightHouse, people connect with resources, peers and mentors. Every day we prove that with training in Braille, cane travel, and adaptive technology, blind people can live the lives they want as competent and confident employees, students, and community members.

About VisionServe Alliance

VisionServe Alliance, founded in 1987 and now celebrating its 25th year, provides a forum for top executives of private agencies and organizations specializing in blindness, and represents the interests of such agencies before many organizations, professional, governmental and non-profit groups. VisionServe Alliance is the only organization whose members directly represent every aspect of services to people who are blind or visually impaired, including dog guide schools, adult rehabilitation agencies, private residential schools, early intervention and pre-school programs, career placement/employment and manufacturing, membership organizations, advocacy organizations, low vision clinics, and services to those with multiple disabilities. For more information about VisionServe Alliance, visit the website visionservealliance.org or call 314-961-8235.

About Spotlight Text

Spotlight Text, developed by Focus Reading Technology, Inc, is the first eBook reader specifically for individuals with vision loss. For more information, visit spotlighttext.com

About Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) is a leading science-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, invents, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines for the treatment of serious medical conditions. Regeneron commercializes medicines for eye diseases, high LDL cholesterol and a rare inflammatory condition and has product candidates in development in other areas of high unmet medical need, including rheumatoid arthritis, atopic dermatitis, asthma, pain, cancer and infectious diseases. For additional information about the company, please visitwww.regeneron.com or follow @Regeneron on Twitter

AIM Under 5: AIM for Student Transition

AIM Under 5 - videos about AIMThe latest in our series of “under 5” minute videos regarding all thing AIM has been posted to our YouTube Channel.

Produced and edited by Cynthia Curry, this AIM Under 5 discusses issues related to Transition – the activities associated with the students with IEP’s moving from high school to a post-secondary educational experience.

Check out the new video and share the news with your friends and colleagues!

>>View AIM Under 5: Transition on YouTube

14 Million Digital Books Available To Print Disabled Users

electronic books on various devicesMore than 14 million digital books will soon be made available to blind and print-disabled users, thanks to a new collaboration involving the National Federation of the Blind and the HathiTrust Digital Library, a digital repository hosted at the University of Michigan.

When launched, the program will dramatically increase the availability of books for users who are blind or print-disabled. According to the NFB, currently less than 5 percent of all published works are estimated to be available to the blind, most of which are popular titles.

Over the coming year, NFB and HathiTrust will collaborate to plan and implement these services. User eligibility will be determined by criteria used by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and similar services authorized under U.S. law.

According to Furlough, HathiTrust currently provides a similar service to qualified print-disabled students at its member schools. The new program will expand this service to allow similarly qualified users not affiliated with HathiTrust schools access to full-text works in the HathiTrust collection.

NFB and HathiTrust, like the federally operated National Library Service, will lawfully and securely make books available to qualified people in the U.S. who have print disabilities.

Read the entire press release to learn more about this announcement…

Webinar: Transitioning From Print To Digital

Transitioning from Print to Digital Content: Benefits, Tips and Free Resources

Thursday, August 25, 2016 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT

Library shelvesPresented by Jeff Meyer, Product Specialist for Learning.com
Sponsored by Learning.com

If you attend the live session, you’ll be emailed a CE certificate within 24 hours of the webinar. If you view the recording and would like a CE certificate, join the Digital Learning Resources: OER to DIY community and go to the Webinar Archives folder to take the CE quiz.

There’s a quiet revolution taking place in our nation’s schools: the demise of print textbooks and other paper-based resources which are gradually being replaced by digital content.  The revolution is fueled by 1:1 initiatives, WiFi bandwidth improvements, and the drive to personalize learning – and it’s placing powerful technology in the hands of students for everyday use at school and at home.

Educators around the country are using varied, up-to-date content from multiple sources including Open Education Resources (OER) and other free content to motivate, engage and empower their students. School districts are leveraging digital content to realize cost savings, prepare students for online assessments, provide learning experiences outside the traditional school day, and give students opportunities for cross-curricular collaboration.

In this webinar, Jeff Meyer, classroom teacher, district technology director, and Product Specialist for Learning.com will explore:

  • The most widely-used free digital alternatives to print textbooks and resources
  • The benefits of implementing OER
  • Tips for moving to digital content

This live, interactive event is designed for all K-12 educators interested in using more digital content with their students, including classroom teachers, administrators, and library media specialists as well as curriculum leaders and developers. No matter where you are in the process of transitioning from print to digital content, you don’t want to miss this session. Join Jeff and other forward-thinking educators for the latest ideas about making the switch!

About the Presenter

Jeff Meyer is a Product Specialist for Learning.com, where he provides prospects and customers with professional development, implementation, and project management services for regional, statewide and international projects related to common core standards, digital literacy, and 21st century skills. Jeff has worked in education for 34 years as a public school teacher and coach, district curriculum and technology director and administrator.  He is passionate about the need to transform education using data-based, inquiry-driven approaches and digital resources, especially with urban students and educators.  Prior to his nearly eleven years of service with Learning.com, Jeff worked in the Austin and Eanes school districts, Education Service Center, and University of Texas at Austin, Texas.

Use this link for more information and to register for this free event…