• Raffi Bandarian

Technology to Support Kids with Dyslexia

Updated: Jul 3, 2019

Is there help for students struggling to read at grade level? According to a recent National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) report, 65% of fourth graders are reading below grade level. Learning Ally is a service for students with dyslexia that allows them to read the same content as their peers.

For almost 70 years, Learning Ally, formerly known as the Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D), has helped bridge the gap between written text and reading. Learning Ally began when members of the Women's Auxiliary of the New York Public Library began recordings of textbooks as a service for injured World War II veterans.

Relaunched as Learning Ally in 2011, the organization is the nation’s leading nonprofit educational library. Literary titles of every genre are part of their catalog.

Learning Ally provides members with 80,000 human-read audiobooks. Parents interested in obtaining membership can fill out an online application and have a qualified professional in the field of disability services, special education, medicine, or psychology attest to the disability by filling out a statement of certification. A large percentage of Learning Ally members have dyslexia or reading difficulties.

Learning Ally promotes a multi-sensory approach to reading books. Students can listen to the audio while the text is highlighted. Additionally, recordings can be slowed down or sped up. Bookmarks and notes can be added.

Human-read audio books help students keep up, master content, and build confidence as learners. Ensuring all types of learners have access to the same curriculum as their peers is the goal of Learning Ally.

For students diagnosed with dyslexia, an educational therapist can help remediate critical skills required for reading.

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