Senator Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr.(D-18) today touted a state budget resolution he sponsored that will appropriate $1.5 million dollars for 6,002 New Jersey public school students across the state with disabilities, such as dyslexia, who will have access to a critical accommodation—accessible human-narrated audiobooks.
“An unperceived plight of our education system is too many children with reading disabilities like dyslexia go either unidentified or receive ineffective assistance,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “With these additional resources, we can help dyslexics learn to read proficiently and to leverage audiobooks and other aids to enrich and improve their learning while building their self-confidence and self-image.”
With the school year commencing, national statistics say that up to 1 in 5 students will have a learning difference. That equates to about 10 million K-12 students nationally who have trouble reading print content, according to Learning Ally, a non-profit organization that helps students with print disabilities such as blindness, visual impairment and dyslexia. The organization offers programs to improve the way students learn at home and in the classroom.
“Because of Senator Patrick Diegnan’s leadership, Learning Ally will be able to provide students from elementary through high school, with access to grade level content,” said Andrew Friedman, Learning Ally, Inc, President and CEO. “Without this accommodation these children would have struggled to comprehend, retain and keep up with their peers. This support is truly transformational for the lives of these students.”
Through a partnership with the New Jersey Department of Education, Learning Ally, the world’s largest provider of human-narrated, digitally-recorded textbooks and literature titles, has funding for schools to access their services for their students with learning disabilities. Learning Ally is also the provider for schools to fill the state-mandated legislation for professional development workshops on Dyslexia Awareness.