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.

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…

President Signs Dyslexia Bill Into Law

On February 18, 2016, President Obama signed to law the bipartisan Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia Act (READ Act) (H.R. 3033). The READ Act, introduced by Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), supports important research to further our understanding of dyslexia, including better methods for early detection and teacher training.

From news release from the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Committee:

Dyslexia affects an estimated 8.5 million school children and one in six Americans in some form. The House passed the READ Act last October with unanimous support and earlier this month approved a Senate amendment, sending the bill to the president’s desk for his signature.

Chairman Smith: ‘Today we can help millions of Americans have a brighter and more prosperous future. Despite the prevalence of dyslexia, many Americans remain undiagnosed, untreated and silently struggle at school or work.  We need to enable those with dyslexia to achieve their maximum potential. I am glad that the House and Senate were able to work together and send the president a good bipartisan bill to help accomplish this goal.’

The READ Act requires the president’s annual budget request to Congress to include the Research in Disabilities Education program of the National Science Foundation (NSF). As amended, the bill requires the NSF to devote at least $2.5 million annually to dyslexia research, which would focus on best practices in the following areas:

  • Early identification of children and students with dyslexia
  • Professional development about dyslexia for teachers and administrators
  • Curricula development and evidence-based educational tools for children with dyslexia

The READ Act authorizes dyslexia research projects using funds appropriated for the National Science Foundation. The bill would also authorize $2.5 million for research focused on other learning disabilities, including those which are also associated with dyslexia.

Chairman Smith introduced the READ Act with Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Calif.), who are co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Dyslexia Caucus. The Caucus is comprised of over 100 Members of Congress and is dedicated to increasing public awareness about dyslexia and ensuring that all students have equal educational opportunities.

More information…

Original Pub Date:

02/19/2016