Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic is now Learning Ally, the nation’s largest educational audio textbook library. Learning Ally offers more than 65,000 downloadable titles in all K-12 curriculum areas from the top school publishers in the United States. Changing its name to Learning Ally is representative of the growth of the company; its 300,000+ members now include people with all sorts of disabilities, not just those with its former name.
From their website:
“Learning Ally is more than just a new name – it reflects our vision to become an advocate and friend to those who learn differently. Most important of all,our members have expressed loud and clear that they don’t wish to be labeled or typecast with a specific ‘disability.’ They just want the same opportunities to succeed that others enjoy. Our new name goes to the heart of supporting their desire to learn and achieve.”
Learning Ally has embraced technology in an extensive way to assist people where reading is a barrier to learning. In 2007, it began to use an all-digital Learning through Listening Library. In 2008, it introduced WMA Downloadable Audio Access, which allowed its library content to be directly downloaded to computer and mp3 players. Last year (2010), it introduced ReadHear, a program that let readers access content on Windows and Mac computers. This year, Learning Ally Audio was introduced, where members can retrieve content from the entire library of downloadable Daisy-formatted audiobooks and access it all from an Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. There are many studios located across the United States, and Arizona is proud to have an audio studio located in Phoenix and in Sun City. At either studio website, you can find the information that you need to attend events, become a member, become a volunteer, and much more. Learning Ally is funded by grants, individual donations, foundation contributions, and state and local educational programs, as well.
If you enroll by August 31, you can become a member for $79.00 per year (it goes up to $99.00 on September 1st). Here’s what comes with a membership:
– Unlimited access to core educational content and literature titles
– Easy-to-navigate audiobooks offer enhanced navigation from page, chapter or section; listener adjustable tone/speed controls without distorting voice quality; bookmarking capabilities
– Human-read audiobooks describing images, tables and graphs
– Ability to work on assignments independently at home and in the classroom
– New mainstream products
– Learning Ally’s Audio App that plays on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad via itunes Store for $19.99
– WMA format that plays on Windows Media Player and other low-cost devices such as MP3 players
In addition, if you join before September 1st, you can get Free Learning Ally ReadHear software by gh, LLC. free for a limited time only.
(Note: Free Learning Ally ReadHear software by gh for first 16,000 individual members to sign up who have not previously received software.)
Learning Ally is truly a wonderful organization. It has superb technological educational resources that provide a successful reading process, in addition to providing an exceptionally positive environment in which there are no stereotypes or labels. If you or anyone you know has a reading disability and would like to learn to read and be happy doing it, be sure to check out Learning Ally. Everyone deserves the chance to learn – especially without being typecast in any way.
Lori Cline, Phoenix Examiner
Questions? Comments? Feel free to send Lori an email at [email protected]