Have you heard of Learning Ally?
I first became aware of this wonderful organization back in 2000 when my son’s struggle with Tourette’s syndrome and dyslexia made it difficult for him to focus on text. Back then, the organization was known as Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, but in 2011 they became simply Learning Ally.
Learning Ally is a non-profit organization committed to helping dyslexic, blind, and visually impaired students thrive. They understand that for some kids, reading struggles hinder learning.
They have made it their mission to help remove the barriers that hold kids back by providing them with audiobooks. Audiobooks help kids experience the many benefits of consuming text, but without the struggle of reading.
Learning Ally’s online library includes a huge selection of human-narrated textbooks and literature for readers of all ages that can be downloaded and listened to on most computers, smartphones, and tablets. I am grateful to Learning Ally for giving my son access to text that he was unable to read fluently when he was a child. He enjoyed many great books and was able to grow in vocabulary and background knowledge because of the work that Learning Ally does.
An annual membership that provides access to all the services that Learning Ally offers costs $119. But not just anyone can qualify for these services. In order to comply with federal copyright law, Learning Ally is able to produce audiobooks only by documenting that their members have disabilities. And because only children who have a documented learning disability, visual impairment, or physical disability can receive assistance from Learning Ally, verification of the disability must accompany a membership request.
If you suspect that your child has dyslexia, a referral can be obtained through a special educator. And guess what? That’s us!
We would love to recommend your child for Learning Ally, on the condition that we can verify that your child is dyslexic or has a reading disability. To find out whether or not your child is eligible for this service, please fill out our Symptoms of Dyslexia Screening Checklist.
After filling out the checklist, save the PDF to your computer and then submit the checklist to us.
When you submit the checklist, please include your child’s name, age, your name, email address, and telephone number. After receiving your checklist, we will determine if your child qualifies and will submit the “Proof of Disability” form to Learning Ally on your behalf. Contact us if you have any questions.
Please Note: Learning Ally is for U.S. residents only
Resources like Learning Ally have been a lifesaver for so many families like mine. But even great resources are not intended to take the place of a comprehensive reading program. If your child is struggling with reading, it is essential that he receive explicit reading instruction. All About Reading and All About Spelling have become the go-to curriculum resource for scores of families who want to help their children become better readers and spellers, whether or not they have dyslexia. Because even if your child doesn’t have a documented reading disability, he or she will benefit from the multisensory, no-gaps approach that makes our programs so special.
Does your family have any favorite audio books, either through Learning Ally or other sources?