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New Research Points to Better Test Scores for Readers With Disabilities Who Use Audiobooks

Categories: Education & Teaching, Press Releases

PRINCETON, NJ – Students with print disabilities who have access to audiobooks significantly outperform their peers in reading tests, according to a recent study conducted by the national nonprofit Learning Ally, the nation’s leading provider of accessible audiobook learning resources for students with disabilities such as dyslexia and visual impairment. Focusing on 2010 and 2011 AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress data, a publicly available measure of year-to-year achievement on statewide assessment tests), Learning Ally’s study captured results for students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) that are designed to meet the needs of a child with a disability. By comparing statewide assessment reading scores among students with disabilities, the study calculated scores for every school in several states to understand how they compared to the overall state average.  Its findings highlighted that schools which actively adopt Learning Ally services clearly outperform others in state assessments of reading/English language arts among students with IEPs. “The data analyzed in this study indicates that something is clearly different about Learning Ally schools,” said Paul Edelblut, Learning Ally’s VP of Programs and Services.  “In 10 out of 11 comparisons across six states in 2011, and 12 out of 13 comparisons across seven states in 2010, schools using Learning Ally had more students who scored as ‘Proficient’ or ‘Advanced Proficient’ in standard reading tests. This kind of proficiency in reading skills shows that students are achieving to the level they need for life, and it shows that teachers and schools are meeting their mission. “The fact that Learning Ally schools had more students scoring in the top 35 percent range of proficiency in 22 out of 24 instances lends credence to earlier research conducted by Johns Hopkins and Rutgers University,” added Edelblut.  “While more study is warranted, it is clear that schools actively using Learning Ally services outperform others in AYP Reading results for students with an IEP. This supports our long-held position that audiobooks help struggling students become better readers.” Educators and professionals interested in obtaining a full version of the study are invited to contact Paul Edelblut at pEdelblut@LearningAlly.org. About Learning Ally™ Founded in 1948 as Recording for the Blind, Learning Ally serves over 300,000 K-12, college and graduate students, as well as veterans and lifelong learners – all of whom cannot read standard print due to blindness, visual impairment, dyslexia, or other learning and physical disabilities.  Learning Ally’s collection of more than 75,000 digitally recorded human-read textbooks and literature titles – featuring a heavy emphasis on STEM resources – is delivered through internet downloads, assistive technology devices, and mainstream devices like iPhone and iPad, and is the largest of its kind in the world.  Thousands of volunteers across the U.S. help to record and process the educational materials, which students rely on to achieve academic and professional success.  Learning Ally, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is partially funded by grants from state and local education programs, and the generous contributions of individuals, foundations and corporations.  For more information, visit http://www.LearningAlly.org.

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