How to focus on classroom accessibility

The interruption of in-person learning environments due to COVID-19 impacted everyone, but it particularly challenged those with specific learning needs.

In fact, equity became one of the top issues as the pandemic spread across the globe. Educators in every building acknowledged the continuing need to create more equitable education environments.

Students deserve the resources and support they need to fully engage in learning, and when you design for inclusion, everyone benefits.…Read More

Creating more accessible classrooms in 3, 2, 1…

Equity became one of the top issues as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe. Educators in every building acknowledged the continuing need to create more equitable education environments.

The interruption of in-person learning environments has impacted everyone, but has particularly challenged those with specific learning needs. Students deserve the resources and support they need to fully engage in learning, and when you design for inclusion, everyone benefits.…Read More

Renaissance and Hillsborough County Celebrate 10 Years of Equitable Access to Thousands of Books

Bloomington, Minn. (Feb. 10, 2022) Renaissance, the global leader in pre-K–12 education technology, is honored to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the community reading initiative Read on myON, a first-of-its-kind partnership between Renaissance and Hillsborough County Public Schools.

Designed to promote equity and eliminate accessibility gaps in access to high quality books regardless of a student’s socioeconomic status or attendance in a particular school, Read on myON was made possible by an entire community of partners, including Hillsborough County Public Schools, The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County, Head Start of Hillsborough County, Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative, Tampa Housing Authority, Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, and United Way Suncoast.

Over the 10 years of the Read on myON collaboration, hundreds of thousands of children from birth through 8th grade have had free access to the myON platform. Thirty-nine percent of the books children access through the program are opened for the first time outside of school hours, and books have been accessed over 71,718,216 times since the inception of the program in 2012, equating to over 336 million minutes spent reading.…Read More

Don Johnston Incorporated Joins Texthelp Group; Edtech Giants Join Forces to Help Students Across North America and the Globe

WOBURN, Mass., Jan. 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ —  Texthelp, a global leader in literacy and accessibility technology, today announced that they will acquire the Education Technology Division of  Don Johnston Inc., a leading assistive technology and special education curriculum company based outside of Chicago, IL. Don Johnston Inc. is the latest Assistive Technology provider to join the Texthelp Group. Following Five Arrows’ investment in December 2020, Texthelp acquired Lingit Group and Wizkids in 2021, expanding the company’s reach in the Nordics and the UK. Texthelp’s goal is to use its assistive technology to help 1 billion people with reading, writing, and numeracy by 2030. Together with Don Johnston Inc.’s leading SaaS-based products, the Texthelp Group will become the global leader in assistive technology tools for classrooms and workplaces. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

One in ten people have dyslexia, and in the US, 12% of students are in special education, 15% of children at school are learning their 2nd language, and the average reading age is 7th to 8th grade. Using assistive tools has been proven to help students overcome these barriers and harness their unique strengths. Both Texthelp and Don Johnston Inc. have made it their mission to support equality and inclusion of all people, especially individuals with dyslexia and other learning needs. Together, Texthelp and Don Johnston Inc. will continue to offer their full suite of products, and customers will see the benefit of collaborative technology innovation between the companies within the first few weeks. Don Johnston Inc.’s curriculum division will form a new company, named Building Wings™, which includes the products Readtopia® and First Author®.

“Texthelp and Don Johnston Inc. share a common vision of a world where every student can feel what it is like to learn and succeed,” said Martin McKay, CEO and founder of Texthelp. “Don and I founded our organizations for deeply personal reasons. We have an incredibly similar mission to elevate as many students as possible, helping them both understand and be understood. We are so excited to have Don Johnston Inc. join the Texthelp Group, and to have Don as an investor and board member. Our combined teams and expanded portfolio of products will allow us to give millions more students in the US and across the globe the best possible start in life and help them fulfill their full potential. Along with the Don Johnston team, we will continue to innovate and develop our suite of products to create the best assistive technology tools available.”…Read More

Texthelp Names Christine Mullin as Chief Operating Officer

WOBURN, Mass., Dec. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ —  Texthelp, a global leader in literacy and accessibility technology, announced that it has named Christine Mullin as its Chief Operating Officer. Mullin will be the first chief operating officer in the twenty-five-year history of Texthelp.

Christine brings to Texthelp more than two decades of experience in growing and developing technology businesses across multiple roles, including strategy, business development, finance, and customer operations. Most recently, she served as COO/CFO and a Board Director of Dext, a UK-based global SaaS business that provides productivity software solutions for accountants and was successfully sold to Hg Capital earlier this year. Prior to Dext, Christine was the COO/CFO of MetaPack Limited, an e-commerce delivery mgt SaaS business that was sold to Stamps.com in August 2018.

Previous roles include being the COO of Microsoft UK’s Advertising and Online division and the Finance Director of AOL UK. Christine started her career at Arthur Andersen in London where she qualified as a Chartered Accountant and has a BA (Hons) in Mathematics from Trinity College Dublin. She currently resides in London, England.…Read More

Texthelp’s Literacy Support Tool, Read&Write, Hits New Milestone of 35 Million Users

WOBURN, Mass., Dec. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Texthelp, a global leader in literacy and accessibility technology, today announced that its literary support tool, Read&Write, is now used by 35 million people worldwide. Originally, Read&Write was developed to help users with low literacy and conditions such as dyslexia. Since then, Read&Write has been a staple in the company’s suite of products for more than 25 years. The product has become an important classroom and workplace product, supporting Texthelp’s vision of helping all people learn and understand.

Today, Texthelp is also honoring International Day of Persons with Disabilities, an international day of awareness to promote the well-being of persons with disabilities. Texthelp is committed to raising awareness of the barriers that people with disabilities often face. Together, we can make the world more accessible for all.

“Reaching a major milestone with our very first product, Read&Write, on International Day of Persons with Disabilities, is amazing,” said Martin McKay, founder and CEO of Texthelp. “Our team has continued to evolve our products and worked together to help create a world where everyone can understand and be understood. When we first developed Read&Write, our goal was to reach 1 million users. Surpassing that goal has been a great milestone and I’m excited to set our next goal at 100 million users.”…Read More

EdisonLearning and FocalPointK12 Announce Partnership to Provide Comprehensive Learning and Analytics Solution for Grades 6-12

EdisonLearning and FocalPointK12 today announced a partnership to provide a complete solution for grades 6-12, delivering more than 170 middle and high school courses along with nearly 60 embedded project-based learning (PBL) courses through a platform that integrates seamlessly with schools’ student information systems (SIS) and learning management systems (LMS).

The partnership enables device-agnostic access to educators and students, increasing accessibility to help close the achievement gap across the nation. The full benefits of this integration are immediately available to all current and new EdisonLearning customers.

EdisonLearning provides digital learning solutions, including core and elective eCourses for grades 6-12. This partnership expands its ability to support more schools and districts nationwide, increasing delivery of personalized learning and supporting equitable achievement for all students.…Read More

Free access to assistive technology products

If you or your students are suddenly at home with no access to your AT software, Freedom Scientific has you covered.

Your health and safety are just as important to us as accessibility. We know many of you must remain at home and will need to continue to work or attend school remotely. To ensure that your life remains accessible Freedom Scientific is offering those in the US and Canada a Free Home License of JAWS, ZoomText, or Fusion which will expire June 30, 2020.

For those outside North America, Freedom Scientific and its international distributors are working together to provide home solutions for their customers during the COVID-19 crisis. Please contact your local distributor if you need assistance connecting to school or work from home.…Read More

4 common barriers to accessible content for all students

This summer, many faculty will work on developing or revising curricular content for their courses. One of the keys in developing new digital materials is verifying that those materials offer accessible content for all students.

Today, most learning management systems (LMS) and software programs offer some level of accessibility compliance checking. However, they are not always thorough or error-free.

Related Content: 5 steps to ensure accessibility…Read More