Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Letter to Post and Courier .com, on a story of a student with dyslexia

Dear Ms. Wenger:

Bookshare.org and RFBD.org have great tools for the dyslexics. Main streaming is a good and economical solution to those with dyslexia and the proper tools.

Text to speech combined with digital text books and the web provide an excellent learning tool. Bookshare.org has provided such a combination, whereas a student is reading their textbook with Read:OutLoud and he or she comes to a person they do not know or a word they need defined, all they do is highlight the word and click the dictionary or go to the web and look them up.

Recently I became a member of Bookshare.org, which is free for all qualifying students in the United States, and for the first time while using this combination of tools I thought of going back to school.

It is my hope this will help the Floyd family, and contribute to the knowledge base of the Statehouse, so unnecessary spending for tools which are already available.
My Blogs has similar information about these tools and more.

To Learningdisabilities@nifl.gov June 17th, 2009

Dear Advocates:

If you all are talking about Technology.

Technology has flattened the hurdles for the Dyslexic student and adults. It seems to me, the academic environment is slow to act on new and free technology. Bookshare.Org has taken textbooks, speech to text technology and the Internet, and have combined them into a powerful learning tool.

Bookshare.Org and the United States Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) have joined money and technology to create a free for all students with qualifying disabilities a tool which is under utilized. It is now in the hands of educators, ready to be applied to the students who need them.

Education and the printed word is no longer a hurdle which dyslexic students and adults have to jump over.

Recently the below was written and submitted to Bookshare.org. Consider visiting Bookshare.org to see the rest of the Finalist essay's on how Government funded funds have change their lives thru bookshare. The link is: www.bookshare.org/about/tellUsYourStory

To all Newsletters and Newspapers publishers

Would you consider making your News Columns "Readplease enabled"? (see: http://www.readplease.com/english/rpenablewebsitecontent.php ) for a demo. We have "Readplease enabled" our sites.

Or make you news letter "print disabled" friendly so I who have been given by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ the gift of Dyslexia.

Questions on Readplease and Bookshare

Thank you for your questions about Readplease and Bookshare programs.

1. How does it work? It is a text to speech program, any digital text which today most anything can be changed into digital text, the text to speech software will read the text.

2. Bookshare is a national program and is free for all qualifying students in the United States. see www.bookshare.org .


Thank you so much for your interest, the combination of these programs have the potential to change the way education is delivered

To Illinois Sun Times, July 23rd. 2009

Bookshare.org provides tools to make the life of a dyslectic equal in scholastics with text-to-speech (Read:OutLoud) and digital textbooks.

If Illinois state can name Bookshare as an Authorized User or AU of the NIMAC, then most of the funding for services to the "print disabled" (I can only speak for dyslexia) which was lost can be replaced by this program.

Read the most recent article from Bookshare.org: Source: http://www.bookshare.org/canvas/newsletter3

Recently I submitted an insight to the Wall Street Journal over the debate digital Books which Kindle has brought about, the article was titled ""Publisher Delays E-Book Amid Debate on Pricing ".

There is a bright side to digital publications made available to the print disabled.

Recently I was selected as one of the 14 finalists of Bookshare's members’ contest, which asked us how bookshare has changed our lives. The Lord Jesus has blessed me with the gift of dyslexia, which was diagnosed in 1967 at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida. Text-to-speech software, organizations such as Bookshare.org, the Gutenberg project and speech to text software has changed what most of society thinks today as a disability into a gift.



In the light of the "digital text-to-speech readers’ debate", there is a whole other bright side, of which our education system could use to inspire a new fervor for learning. Let's just take Bookshare.org, who has taken digital text and the Internet and turned it into a virtual book.



Recently, I have been reading, A. Lincoln: a biography by Ronald C. White Jr.. When reading about Abraham Lincoln, there are plenty of subjects which are mentioned which I have no clue as to what they are. So I just highlight them. Click on dictionary go to the Internet and read about the subject for example, Stephen A. Douglas, Kansas-Nebraska act, Cyrus McCormick, the financial panic of 1837 and the list goes on.



But let's step forward and apply this technology and the Internet to education. Let's take it from being a dyslexic in class reading at 89 words a minute, where the average reader reads between 200 to 250 words per minute. That was yesterday. Today I read between 400 and 450 words per minute. And if I don't understand what the word means I highlight and look it up as stated above, then make a footnote with the definition and go back to reading.



Now let's take it to a student who doesn't have a disability. They have their book, which is downloaded to their computer (How green is that?). They come to the financial panic of 1837 highlight it and look up the event on the Internet. They don't have to put their book aside and look up the event in an encyclopedia or on the Internet and go back to reading.



This technology is available today for students with qualifying disabilities because of funding by an award from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). This technology and software combination would interject youth back into today's educational classrooms.



Sure there is a cost but there is also a savings because there is a change in lives, such as mine.



The following is a copy of my Finalist award winning submission to Bookshare:

Today the successes which have taken place in my life have been from a compassionate ear, a foundation of a solid family, Jesus Christ’s presence in my life and technology.

Bookshare has for the first time in my 50 years of life, put me on the edge of a reading chair which was never in my life before. This chair is at work, at home, on vacation, and in my conversations with many.

Today the written word is not a hurdle to me nor should it be in the way of education for any student in the academic environment in the United States of America. By combining technology of text to speech, and gathering the printed word in digital format, Bookshare has overcome the initial hurdle; Bookshare has made a pioneering pathway for an unbridled learning environment.

Never in my life before Bookshare have I ever felt more a part of my community and industry. Bookshare’s partnership with Victor Reader Soft and Read:OutLoud have enabled me to read the Wall Street Journal, The World is Flat, Same Kind of Different as Me, Just As I am and more to be read. In the past, if someone were to come to me and say, “Did you read…,” this would send ripples of memories of failure and frustration which came from hurts from the casualties of dyslexia.

Prior to Bookshare, most of my published reading was restricted to the Gutenberg Project, and whatever book I was really intent on reading I would have to do the following:

1. Scrape the glue off the binder then cut the binder.
2. Scan the book into PaperPort then process the scanned book with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) it into a text rich format, then save in Microsoft Word.
3. Then read with text to speech software.

When it came to reading the Wall Street Journal, which my wife bought for me with expiring air miles, I would scan the paper headlines, then cut out the article, then repeat the above process for reading a book, and then read with text to speech software. Then a librarian told me about Bookshare, and in November of 2007 I joined, and have been reading more than ever before.

Dyslexia is a “gift” to me today, because of the barriers which have been leveled by technology; Bookshare has picked up the baton and made reading for me today a pleasure while allowing me to sharpen my mind and spirit by the printed word.

As for me and my children, the current and future technologies which are here to aid in education make the mountain tops of the creative mind obtainable. We in this country have one thing which surpasses all others, Freedom: freedom to dream, freedom to speak, freedom to learn, and freedom to achieve.

Thank you for your pursuit of making the printed word more accessible, which in turn, allows goals of reading to be set and obtained for the print disabled of our Nation by using today’s technology for tomorrow’s hope.

Thank you for serving the print disabled and our children.

To Learningdisabilities@nifl.gov July 28th, 2009

Welcome. Recently I received the below newsletter from Bookshare.org about States; which VT is one, who have become an Authorized NIMAC User, this will allow for Vermont to receive textbooks in up to 2 weeks verses months in its current status.

This is a program which I'm interested in Florida being a Authorized NIMAC User. So I thought I would pass this information on to you and if you have had experience with the Bookshare organization I would like to hear your experience. If not, then it should be a help to your Department and students. Bookshare has broken all barriers for dyslectics and others (I'm dyslexic myself), so they can have the tools they need to learn.

The article:
Source: www.bookshare.org/canvas/newsletter3

Bookshare Named Authorized NIMAC User in U.S. States and Territories

By Valerie Chernek

To expedite the process of providing accessible versions of textbooks to students with print disabilities, your state can name Bookshare as an Authorized User or AU of the NIMAC. Here is the current list of states that have named Bookshare as an Authorized User: CA, CO, KS, MA, MD, MO, MT, NH, NY, OR, TN, VT, and Guam. Is your state on the list?


What is the NIMAC? NIMAC stands for National Instructional Materials Accessibility Center. It is a federally-funded, central repository created by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to hold U.S. K-12 digital textbook source files. U.S. textbook publishers are required to submit files to the NIMAC when the request is made in writing at the point of print book purchase. The files can then be used to create a variety of specialized formats for students with print disabilities.


This process helps to make certain that all K-12 students with print disabilities receive timely access to required educational textbooks according to the IDEA 2004 Law. (Individual with Disabilities Education Act)


As an AU of the NIMAC, Bookshare supplements the work of other state AU’s and can provide timely access to digital accessible textbooks for students with qualified print disabilities and IEPs (Individual Education Plan). A teacher or sponsor can request and receive converted student-ready textbooks in accessible file formats from Bookshare in less than two weeks.


In states that have not named Bookshare as a state AU, teachers request textbooks through one of their state AU’s, who may still assign the book to Bookshare for conversion. This turnaround process will take longer, from one to two months depending on the complexity of the book.


“When we find a required digitized book in the NIMAC, we make a special notation to request it from Bookshare. Within a week, the books come back in a more reader-friendly format. This is one of the real benefits of working with Bookshare,” said Valerie Whitney, Special School District (SSD) Area Coordinator for St. Louis County, MO and the Missouri Assistive Technology Project.

To Learningdisabilities@nifl.gov April 6th, 2009

A fabled life it is not, it is real, it is real failure, it is petitions, it is standing in front of a class asking for help, and it is crying, pain and strength. It is a vision which you hold on to, a vision where laughter and whispers are overcome by perseverance faith and courage. Courage to approach a professor who has shunned me as a student because they think, to have my test given to me in an auditory format is unfair, laws and helping hands help in ways which cannot be appreciated enough.

Once I was asked to write and article of encouragement to students of a “LD” school, it is below.

Postcards from an L.D. Veteran

Lingering flashbacks from my elementary years, visit me often. Flashes of visions streak across my mind of just making it under the limbo bar (i.e. a C average) of high school years, then the hobbling along with everyone else in my L.D. class in college, then finally during my last three semesters in college did I ever begin to feel confident. Only then to feel the vast emptiness when I began to look for a job in the business world. My metals of honor were always at home, in the form of my parents who gave me the foundation to step out in Faith, and come home to recharge my confidence. It has and is a tough battle of overcoming the written hurdles of our society, and the limits it creates. As a dyslexic with the gift of multi dimensional thinking or thinking in pictures, we are ahead of our time, and it is discouraging to have to wait for the rest of the world to catch up. In the process we are the minority. Sure we have ADA support, but this and every other label comes at a price of whispers in the back of the class and slighted eye contact when it comes to questioning our option, but at the end of the scholastic mission there is victory.

Each of the above has a defining ring:

Elementary school was tough, although I found my place as a class clown, whenever I got close to the edge of disciplinary correction, my fellow students would ask if I had missed taking my Davis pill. Most of which was overshadowed by my likable silliness. Only one school asked me not to come back.

High-school, I thank the Lord for not being labeled as an SLD or I might have qualified for ESD, but they did not exist, as a matter of fact most teachers were not informed that I was dyslectic until my senior year.

The Scholastic Aptitude Test was my baptism into college, only under an L.D. program was I going to venture into college. The L.D. program weighted my enthusiasm, in spite of my better judgment by the administration. The L.D. program would discourage the type of courses I wanted to take, so I transferred.

The University of the South was a spring board which I desired and learned more about myself and studying than ever before. I was responsible, and I accepted the responsibility by studying very hard. I was not efficient, but I was diligent. What a great gift to be in such an academic environment.

What was to follow were three semesters of a balanced diet of hard work with other students who were there for the academic challenge, and the application of reward by having fun, i.e., kayaking, spelunking, rock climbing, watching football games in a coat and tie, (which is also the uniform to class). There were teachers who would step out of scholastic traditional bounds on my behalf. They took time to read my test to me. They also invited me into their offices and homes for private tutoring, or to get a clearer picture of the “gift of dyslexia” and how to help the knowledge I expressed in class into grades. All under the “honor code” of education.

Feeling the grades and quality points failing, I transferred to the University of South Florida. My acceptance was granted after an oral petition. Into the Special Services for the Handicap program, I was allowed in. What I did not know was that I had been academically suspended from the University of the South. Subsequently, I was academically suspended in a year and a half from the University of South Florida, mainly due to my denial of disability and help from the program of the Special Services.

Into the work force for two years after being offered a good salaried position as a manager of a night club, I decided the life style would not be good for me or a possible future family, I returned to school.

By this time my emotional arms had been strengthened by picking myself up from past failures. The deans of Social Behavioral Science questioned my ability to remain a candidate for a B.A. in Psychology, saying that in order to graduate I would have to maintain a 3.0 average; I went on. There was however, one administrator who was interested in helping me, not my “disability.” I was back at my degree. Three straight semesters later, ending in Dec. 1985, I sat front row and center, averaging a 3.0. I graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of South Florida.

Again please call or email me with any questions.

To Learningdisabilities@nifl.gov April 6th, 2009

Three programs which have enabled me are www.readplease.com, www.rfbd.org and www.bookshare.org . Bookshare for the student and adult population is an excellent resource. Newspapers from all over the country are available and Bookshare provide two text to speech software programs, Victor Soft reader and a Beta for Bookshare made by Read:Outloud.

Being able to read the newspaper is a character builder, I know what is going on in the world because I read it in a newspaper, I had never been able to say this before, I can read my trade journals now, where in the past they ended up in the garbage because I could not face the daunting task of reading them. Now it is a simple clip and paste or have Read:Outloud read it to me via the web. When I read I have to follow along for 90%+ comprehension, but on the other hand I'm working a lot on spreadsheets with numbers and listening does not detour from my number crunching.

Although I can't read and type at the same time if I was able to, I would can it and sell this ability. I'm pretty sure my processing numbers and hearing the paper read to me do not use the same part of the brain.

Readplease enables me to read my letters and emails before they go out and is generally the one I use the most, Readplease should be made available to all populations in schools and libraries. If made available to all then it would not cause the much dreaded stigmatism. Readplease is a Microsoft only program, but in today's environment there are parallel operating systems software, so you can have MAC or Windows running at the same time.

As for public access, again it is us (advocates) pushing with concerted effort in the same direction.

To Learningdisabilities@nifl.gov April 10th, 2009

If my input is helpful, I can tell you as a 49 year old dyslectic, who reads extensively with Text to Speech up to 100 pages of text a day with ReadPlease, Read:OutLoud or Victor Soft Reader, my spelling has improved by 60%, because I see the highlighted word when it is read to me and hear it at the same time.

Repetition has to be a contributing factor to this improvement.

In this typing the only word I misspelled was "dyslextic" which I changed with spell check to "dyslectic".

To Learningdisabilities@nifl.gov April 29th, 2009

This might help, from one dyslexic to those who also have the gift of dyslexia.

This suggestion was posted a while back but with the inmates you have it may be a great reward system as they learn to read and hear and see words for the first time.

Three programs which have enabled me are www.readplease.com, www.rfbd.org and www.bookshare.org . Bookshare for the student and adult population is an excellent resource, you must qualify with a print disability in order to become a member. Newspapers from all over the country are available and Bookshare provide two text to speech software programs, Victor Soft reader and a Beta for Bookshare made by Read:Outloud.

Being able to read the newspaper is a character builder, this may help your students feel they are a part of the world outside because they have read it with text to speech. So it would be a simple clip and paste or have Read:Outloud read it to them. When I read I have to follow along for 90%+ comprehension, this in turn has improved my spelling by 60% to 70%, because I have a photographic memory, but also it is because I keep hearing and seeing the words over and over, so it is imprinted in my mind's eye.

Readplease enables the student to proofread their letters home or to a loved one and then they can also read letters if you have an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) program. Most recent printers to have the software embedded in the programs offered at the time of purchase.

Once I was lost now I am found, once was blind to the written word, now I read.

Tools to build your students confidence.

To Dr. Neil MacKay at The University of Wales Registry

In 1967 I was diagnosed with dyslexia, today there are not hurdels or boundries which are in my path of learning.

The following are some truths which have taken place in my life and thought I would share them with you.
Three programs which have enabled me are www.readplease.com, www.rfbd.org and www.bookshare.org . Bookshare for the student and adult population is an excellent resource, you must qualify with a print disability in order to become a member. Newspapers from all over the country are available and Bookshare provide two text to speech software programs, Victor Soft reader and a Beta for Bookshare made by Read:Outloud.

Being able to read the newspaper is a character builder, I know what is going on in the world because I read it in a newspaper, I had never been able to say this before, I can read my trade journals now, where in the past they ended up in the garbage because I could not face the daunting task of reading them. Now it is a simple clip and paste or have Read:Outloud read it to me via the web. When I read I have to follow along for 90%+ comprehension, but on the other hand I'm working a lot on spreadsheets with numbers and listening does not detour from my number crunching.

Although I can't read and type at the same time if I was able to, I would can it and sell this ability. I'm pretty sure my processing numbers and hearing the paper read to me do not use the same part of the brain.

Readplease enables me to read my letters and emails before they go out and is generally the one I use the most, Readplease should be made available to all populations in schools and libraries. If made available to all then it would not cause the much dreaded stigmatism. Readplease is a Microsoft only program, but in today's environment there are parallel operating systems software, so you can have MAC or Windows running at the same time.

As for public access, again it is us (advocates) pushing with concerted effort in the same direction.

Once I was lost now I am found, once was blind to the written word, now I read.

Tools to build your confidence.
Posted by Davis at 10:44 AM 0 comments
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Talking Books article

Links to this post
My name is Davis Graham. I have dyslexia which was diagnosed in 1967 at the University of Miami. I earned my BA degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida, class of 1985.

The road to my degree was not easy. I learned a lot about the battles with pride, how achievements come from hard work, and know today to accept dyslexia as a gift and not as a disability.

Today I am the Executive Director / CFO of Manatee Diagnostic Center, Ltd. and there is a program online which has changed my life. The program is called Readplease which I found on the Internet after receiving a contract which was 30 pages and needed to be read within 24 hours. The contract inspired me to ask the Lord for some guidance and I went to Google.com and typed in Text reading software, number two on the list was readplease.com, and in quotes was "free download", I had the contract read in 1 hour and have not hesitated to read since.

About one and half years later I bought Readplease 2003 Plus and continue to use Readplease to read the Bible, daily devotions, contracts, reading for pleasure, reading email, trade articles, Smithsonian magazine, and then proof read my letters and e-mail. It literally has changed my life.

After contacting Pat Schubert via e-mail at Talking Books which I used quite often, she gave me a library of electronic books, and for the first time I'm reading Melville's Moby Dick, next will be Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity, then on to Robinson Crusoe. When reading with Readplease, I read between 300 words per minute to close to 500 words per minute. The ability to listen at such a high rate came from my experience in college when I would receive my text books on tape while following along in the text book. I received the text books through the Learning Disability Programs I was enrolled in during college. The books would come from Reading for the Blind and Dyslexic and sometime the school would have them read from students who were studying the same course I was taking. My ability to comprehend has come from the years of listening to books on tape with the variable speed play back records which RFBD and Talking Books so generously provide.

It is my hope somebody is out there who can use my story to inspire them to reconsider reading as an adventure. It is quite the experience to hear the words of Melville roll into an image which paints a picture of life on the sea. My life of reading has been renewed and I hope your view of reading is changed, for it is a gift from our Creator.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Publisher Delays E-Book Amid Debate on Pricing "

Thank you for your recent article titled "Publisher Delays E-Book Amid Debate on Pricing ".

There is a bright side to digital publications made available to the print disabled.

Recently I was selected as one of the 14 finalists of Bookshare's members’ contest, which asked us how bookshare has changed our lives. The Lord Jesus has blessed me with the gift of dyslexia, which was diagnosed in 1967 at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida. Text-to-speech software, organizations such as Bookshare.org, the Gutenberg project and speech to text software has changed what most of society thinks today as a disability into a gift.

In the light of the "digital text-to-speech readers’ debate", there is a whole other bright side, of which our education system could use to inspire a new fervor for learning. Let's just take Bookshare.org, who has taken digital text and the Internet and turned it into a virtual book.

Recently, I have been reading, A. Lincoln: a biography by Ronald C. White Jr.. When reading about Abraham Lincoln, there are plenty of subjects which are mentioned which I have no clue as to what they are. So I just highlight them. Click on dictionary go to the Internet and read about the subject for example, Stephen A. Douglas, Kansas-Nebraska act, Cyrus McCormick, the financial panic of 1837 and the list goes on.

But let's step forward and apply this technology and the Internet to education. Let's take it from being a dyslexic in class reading at 89 words a minute, where the average reader reads between 200 to 250 words per minute. That was yesterday. Today I read between 400 and 450 words per minute. And if I don't understand what the word means I highlight and look it up as stated above, then make a footnote with the definition and go back to reading.

Now let's take it to a student who doesn't have a disability. They have their book, which is downloaded to their computer (How green is that?). They come to the financial panic of 1837 highlight it and looked up, the event on the Internet. They don't have to put their book aside and look up the event in an encyclopedia or on the Internet and go back to reading.

This technology is available today for students with qualifying disabilities because of funding by an award from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). This technology and software combination would interject youth back into today's educational classrooms.

Sure there is a cost but there is also a savings because there is a change in lives, such as mine.

The following is a copy of my Finalist award winning submission to Bookshare:

Today the successes which have taken place in my life have been from a compassionate ear, a foundation of a solid family, Jesus Christ’s presence in my life and technology.

Bookshare has for the first time in my 50 years of life, put me on the edge of a reading chair which was never in my life before. This chair is at work, at home, on vacation, and in my conversations with many.

Today the written word is not a hurdle to me nor should it be in the way of education for any student in the academic environment in the United States of America. By combining technology of text to speech, and gathering the printed word in digital format, Bookshare has overcome the initial hurdle; Bookshare has made a pioneering pathway for an unbridled learning environment.

Never in my life before Bookshare have I ever felt more a part of my community and industry. Bookshare’s partnership with Victor Reader Soft and Read:OutLoud have enabled me to read the Wall Street Journal, The World is Flat, Same Kind of Different as Me, Just As I am and more to be read. In the past, if someone were to come to me and say, “Did you read…,” this would send ripples of memories of failure and frustration which came from hurts from the casualties of dyslexia.

Prior to Bookshare, most of my published reading was restricted to the Gutenberg Project, and whatever book I was really intent on reading I would have to do the following:

1. Scrape the glue off the binder then cut the binder.
2. Scan the book into PaperPort then process the scanned book with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) it into a text rich format, then save in Microsoft Word.
3. Then read with text to speech software.

When it came to reading the Wall Street Journal, which my wife bought for me with expiring air miles, I would scan the paper headlines, then cut out the article, then repeat the above process for reading a book, and then read with text to speech software. Then a librarian told me about Bookshare, and in November of 2007 I joined, and have been reading more than ever before.

Dyslexia is a “gift” to me today, because of the barriers which have been leveled by technology; Bookshare has picked up the baton and made reading for me today a pleasure while allowing me to sharpen my mind and spirit by the printed word.

As for me and my children, the current and future technologies which are here to aid in education make the mountain tops of the creative mind obtainable. We in this country have one thing which surpasses all others, Freedom: freedom to dream, freedom to speak, freedom to learn, and freedom to achieve.

Thank you for your pursuit of making the printed word more accessible, which in turn, allows goals of reading to be set and obtained for the print disabled of our Nation by using today’s technology for tomorrow’s hope.

Thank you for serving the print disabled and our children.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Teachers failed to read dyslexic girl, India

The numerical ‘2’ is inverted, making it look almost like ‘5’; ‘4’ is written upside down; and ‘3’ changes shapes all through. The first page of Shanno Khan’s Mathematics notebook is a revelation: the 11-year-old, who died on Friday, allegedly a victim of corporal punishment, was dyslexic.

All her teachers in the MCD school at Bawana knew Shanno wrote incorrectly but they were not trained to know that she needed special treatment.

“She was certainly dyslexic and needed special treatment,” confirmed Dr Jayanti Dutta, consultant clinical psychologist and a doctorate in dyslexia, after looking at Shanno’s writing. “She would have skipped letters without knowing and could not have recited answers fluently. She was dyslexic.”

Newsline has a copy of her notebook.

Shanno’s classmates have said that the teacher, Manju Rathee, 27, made her stand in the sun for almost two hours on Wednesday afternoon with bricks on her shoulders. Shanno had reportedly failed to offer correct answers in class that had left the teacher irate. Sources said the postmortem — the police are yet to get a report (see box) — suggests Shanno, who was epileptic and had a history of lung and respiratory problems, developed complications after the punishment.

She slipped into coma, and died on Friday.

“Municipal school teachers never go through the necessary rigorous training necessary for teachers, especially in dealing with issues like learning disability,” Dutta said. “We have conducted numerous workshops about dyslexic children at private schools but MCD schools are never interested in such workshops.”

Delhi’s Education Secretary Reena Ray said, “We did not know that she was dyslexic.” She said the Delhi government would soon begin several initiatives under its ‘Yuva’ programme, in collaboration with social jurist Ashok Aggarwal. The programme would deal with training teachers to handle children with special needs, such as autistic children.

“We have already employed 50 special educators who will teach in our schools,” Ray said. “We will also send teachers for a three-month programme to the Rehabilitation Council of India to sensitise them about handling such special cases.”

Jurist and social activist Ashok Aggarwal met Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely on Tuesday and demanded that all municipal schools be brought under the ambit of the Delhi government.

Meanwhile, inside the small hutment in Bawana where Shanno lived, her notebooks lie in a polythene bag under a heap of strewn clothes. Her English alphabet notebook has the same jumbled and wrongly drawn alphabets. “She did not get any books because the school had just started. There are only her notebooks here,” Shanno’s mother Rihana Khatoun said.

Shanno’s slightly bended drawing book is stacked at the bottom. On the first few pages are some random drawings of a sun rising above the mountains. She had misspelt her name on the book as well.

For Shanno, dyslexia was not a film narrative — it cost her her life.


Day 4: Cops await autopsy report

Four days after her death, police are still waiting for the postmortem report to ascertain whether Shanno Khan, 11, was a victim of corporal punishment. “We spoke to some of her classmates today,” a senior officer said. “But we cannot further our probe without the autopsy report.” Sources said there is a delay as blood samples are being taken and matched.

Police have so far recorded statements of Shanno’s parents and the teacher accused of meting out the corporal punishment, Manju Rathee.

Meanwhile, the MCD’s vigilance department issued a statement on Tuesday denying media reports that it has given a clean chit to the teacher. An official said, “There is no question of a clean chit to the teacher, or reaching any conclusion, since the vigilance department is yet to submit the report.”

Over 100 protesters, mainly women, today staged a demonstration outside the Delhi Police headquarters at ITO and sought the teacher’s arrest

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Respose to Students struggling with Dyslexia. (click here for story)

Today there is so much help for anybody with the "gift of dyslexia" who has been stumbled by the printed word. Two organizations which have helped me are Bookshare.org and RFBD.org they provide many tools which will enable the student to excel in school and exceed all others expectations of them. Readplease.com has changed my life on a day to day basis, today I read, and proofread with this program, for a year and a half I used the free version and today I use both the free and $49.95 go anywhere program. With text to speech software I read 300 to 480 words per minute, Shea and especially schools should make all of the above and below tools available.

Pass this on to Shea and the teachers and parents in your community, we can change the ability to learn thru communication.

Bookshare and Readplease.com have changed my life, recently I wrote the following to Bookshare.org:
Today the successes which have taken place in my life have been from a compassionate ear, a foundation of a solid family, Jesus Christ’s presence in my life and technology.

Bookshare has for the first time in my 50 years of life, put me on the edge of a reading chair which was never in my life before. This chair is at work, at home, on vacation, and in my conversations with many.

Today the written word is not a hurdle to me nor should it be in the way of education for any student in the academic environment in the United States of America. By combining technology of text to speech, and gathering the printed word in digital format, Bookshare has overcome the initial hurdle; Bookshare has made a pioneering pathway for an unbridled learning environment.

Never in my life before Bookshare have I ever felt more a part of my community and industry. Bookshare’s partnership with Victor Reader Soft and Read:OutLoud have enabled me to read the Wall Street Journal, The World is Flat, Same Kind of Different as Me, Just As I am and more to be read. In the past, if someone were to come to me and say, “Did you read…,” this would send ripples of memories of failure and frustration which came from hurts from the casualties of dyslexia.

Prior to Bookshare, most of my published reading was restricted to the Gutenberg Project, and whatever book I was really intent on reading I would have to do the following:

1. Scrape the glue off the binder then cut the binder.
2. Scan the book into PaperPort then process the scanned book with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) it into a text rich format, then save in Microsoft Word.
3. Then read with text to speech software.

When it came to reading the Wall Street Journal, which my wife bought for me with expiring air miles, I would scan the paper headlines, then cut out the article, then repeat the above process for reading a book, and then read with text to speech software. Then a librarian told me about Bookshare, and in November of 2007 I joined, and have been reading more than ever before.

Dyslexia is a “gift” to me today, because of the barriers which have been leveled by technology; Bookshare has picked up the baton and made reading for me today a pleasure while allowing me to sharpen my mind and spirit by the printed word.

As for me and my children, the current and future technologies which are here to aid in education make the mountain tops of the creative mind obtainable. We in this country have one thing which surpasses all others, Freedom: freedom to dream, freedom to speak, freedom to learn, and freedom to achieve.

Thank you for your pursuit of making the printed word more accessible, which in turn, allows goals of reading to be set and obtained for the print disabled of our Nation by using today’s technology for tomorrow’s hope.

Thank you for serving the print disabled and our children.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Go Green In Education, Green Textbooks are here.

Green Textbooks for all school systems

Have any of us ever thought of bringing the technologies which we use on a day to day basis and bringing it to the class room.

Think of opening your textbook on your laptop and coming to this very significant figure in all of biology or medicine his name is “Antonie van Leeuwenhoe”. How would you find out who he is, well Read:OutLoud and Bookshare have created such a platform. A couple of days ago I was reading Darwin’s Black Box and ran across Antonie van Leeuwenhoe and after highlighting the name then clicking on the dictionary icon in the upper right hand corner, then going to Wikipedia I found out he was a Dutch tradesman and scientist from Delft, the Netherlands and the first person to ever see a cell or a living organism. He was also the first to record microscopic observations of muscle fibers, bacteria, spermatozoa and blood flow in capillaries (small blood vessels).

Wow is this combination a way to learn. Let us just take it a bit further, now our professor is teaching about the United Nations and a new Nation has been added to its membership, well the textbook publisher has a link and the section on the United Nations is updated and now the student is up to date.

Why are we so behind on updating education to become a leader in the world for learning? Well it may be the same reason we are so behind in our healthcare system. Did you know Medicare does not know today what it spent last week on healthcare, while we at home know what was spent on our credit card up to the last hour in some cases.

We as a nation need to bring education to the 21st century. It is not because of one institution or another but now it is our obligation to our children to bring it up to date.

Money, what about laptops for all the students the monies are not in the system, they may be available. Well they should be and think of the savings and most of the educational vantages our children will have in understanding and contributing to our hurting nation. The new administration is talking about “green”, we would not have to have the textbooks printed and there is a savings which could be computed in to the request for purchase.

Green education, what a new idea, except it isn’t, it has been brought to the system by the Learning Disabled, through BookShare.org.

Postcards from an LD Veteran

Postcards from an L.D. Veteran

Lingering flashbacks from my elementary years, visit me often. Flashes of visions streak across my mind of just making it under the limbo bar (i.e. a C average) of high school years, then the hobbling along with everyone else in my L.D. class in college, then finally during my last three semesters in college did I ever begin to feel confident. Only then to feel the vast emptiness when I began to look for a job in the business world. My metals of honor were always at home, in the form of my parents who gave me the foundation to step out in Faith, and come home to recharge my confidence. It has and is a tough battle of overcoming the written hurdles of our society, and the limits it creates. As a dyslexic with the gift of multi dimensional thinking or thinking in pictures, we are ahead of our time, and it is discouraging to have to wait for the rest of the world to catch up. In the process we are the minority. Sure we have ADA support, but this and every other label comes at a price of whispers in the back of the class and slighted eye contact when it comes to questioning our option, but at the end of the scholastic mission there is victory.

Each of the above has a defining ring:

Elementary school was tough, although I found my place as a class clown, whenever I got close to the edge of disciplinary correction, my fellow students would ask if I had missed taking my Davis pill. Most of which was overshadowed by my likable silliness. Only one school asked me not to come back.

High-school, I thank the Lord for not being labeled as an SLD or I might have qualified for ESD, but they did not exist, as a matter of fact most teachers were not informed that I was dyslectic until my senior year.

The Scholastic Aptitude Test was my baptism into college, only under an L.D. program was I going to venture into college. The L.D. program weighted my enthusiasm, in spite of my better judgement by the administration. The L.D. program would discourage the type of courses I wanted to take, so I transferred.

The University of the South was a spring board which I desired and learned more about myself and studying than ever before. I was responsible, and I accepted the responsibility by studying very hard. I was not efficient, but I was diligent. What a great gift to be in such an academic environment.

What was to follow were three semesters of a balanced diet of hard work with other students who were there for the academic challenge, and the application of reward by having fun, i.e., kayaking, spelunking, rock climbing, watching football games in a coat and tie, (which is also the uniform to class). There were teachers who would step out of scholastic traditional bounds on my behalf. They took time to read my test to me. They also invited me into their offices and homes for private tutoring, or to get a clearer picture of the “gift of dyslexia” and how to help the knowledge I expressed in class into grades. All under the “honor code” of education.

Feeling the grades and quality points failing, I transferred to the University of South Florida. My acceptance was granted after an oral petition. Into the Special Services for the Handicap program, I was allowed in. What I did not know was that I had been academically suspended from the University of the South. Subsequently, I was academically suspended in a year and a half from the University of South Florida, mainly due to my denial of disability and help from the program of the Special Services.

Into the work force for two years after being offered a good salaried position as a manager of a night club, I decided the life style would not be good for me or a possible future family, I returned to school.

By this time my emotional arms had been strengthened by picking myself up from past failures. The deans of Social Behavioral Science questioned my ability to remain a candidate for a B.A. in Psychology, saying that in order to graduate I would have to maintain a 3.0 average; I went on. There was however, one administrator who was interested in helping me, not my “disability.” I was back at my degree. Three straight semesters later, ending in Dec. 1985, I sat front row and center, averaging a 3.0. I graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of South Florida.

In April of 1986, I was hired by Rhea Chiles, as an intern for the Florida House, Inc. in Washington, D.C. In October that same year I became the Director and worked for the Florida House and the 50 board members for seven years.

In January of 1994, I was hired as the Administrator for my father’s company Manatee Diagnostic Center. In 1995 I was given the Chief Financial Officers title. We had 21employees in 1994 and one full time doctor and one half-time doctor. Today we have 570 employees and four doctors. As an administrator, I am not a parent of 70 children but a child for 70 parents, which can be quite hard at times, but I do not have anything which the Lord did not give me, and what a great gift He gave me.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thank you to Hachette for being a contributing partner to Bookshare.org

Thank you so much for partnering up with Bookshare.org.

Bookshare has opened up a world to me which was almost impassable, the world of the printed word, books, novels and news has been exhausting to tread until I became a member of Bookshare.org. The printed word in today's internet has been a breeze because of ReadPlease which I found on-line in 2001. Most of my published reading was restricted to the Gutenberg Project and whatever book I was really intent on reading I would have to do the following:

1. Scrape the glue off the binder then cut the binder.
2. Scan the book into PaperPort then process the scanned book with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) it into a text rich format, then save in Microsoft Word.
3. Then read with ReadPlease

When it came to reading the Wall Street Journal, which my wife bought for me with expiring air miles, I would scan the paper headlines and then cut out the article and then do the same as the above process for reading a book and read with ReadPlease.

Then a Librarian told me about Bookshare, and in November of 2007 I joined. This technological oriented Company provided new text to speech software, which took my reading capability to a new level. Read:OutLoud Beta and the Victor Readers have given me the ability to read a book at work and then use ReadPlease for proofing letters, email, contracts and other work oriented reading. (Attached are three articles which I wrote, one being a talk I was asked to present at the Florida Council for Exceptional Children, given in Oct. 2008)

For Hachette to come on board as a pro-active publisher, all I can tell you is THANK YOU, I am grateful. It is my hope Textbooks break the iron clad stance and go green, to put education on the cutting edge as you all have at Hachette.

Please thank your team for me, a 49 year old father, and husband with the "gift of dyslexia", who for the first time is on the edge of my reading chair.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Thank you to BookShare

Today the successes which have taken place in my life have been from a compassionate ear, a foundation of a solid family, Jesus Christ’s presence in my life and technology.

Bookshare has for the first time in my 50years of life, put me on the edge of a reading chair which was never in my life before. This chair is at work, at home, on vacation, and in my conversations with many.

Today the written word is not a hurdle to me nor should it be in the way of education for any student in the academic environment in the United States of America. By combining technology of text to speech, and gathering the printed word in digital format, Bookshare has overcome the initial hurdle; Bookshare has made a pioneering pathway for an unbridled learning environment.

Never in my life before Bookshare have I ever felt more a part of my community and industry. Bookshare’s partnership with Victor Reader Soft and Read:OutLoud have enabled me to read the Wall Street Journal, The World is Flat, Same Kind of Different as Me, Just As I am and more to be read. In the past, if someone were to come to me and say, “Did you read…,” this would send ripples of memories of failure and frustration which came from hurts from the casualties of dyslexia.

Prior to Bookshare, most of my published reading was restricted to the Gutenberg Project, and whatever book I was really intent on reading I would have to do the following:

1. Scrape the glue off the binder then cut the binder.
2. Scan the book into PaperPort then process the scanned book with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) it into a text rich format, then save in Microsoft Word.
3. Then read with text to speech software.

When it came to reading the Wall Street Journal, which my wife bought for me with expiring air miles, I would scan the paper headlines, then cut out the article, then repeat the above process for reading a book, and then read with text to speech software. Then a librarian told me about Bookshare, and in November of 2007 I joined, and have been reading more than ever before.

Dyslexia is a “gift” to me today, because of the barriers which have been leveled by technology; Bookshare has picked up the baton and made reading for me today a pleasure while allowing me to sharpen my mind and spirit by the printed word.

As for me and my children, the current and future technologies which are here to aid in education make the mountain tops of the creative mind obtainable. We in this country have one thing which surpasses all others, Freedom: freedom to dream, freedom to speak, freedom to learn, and freedom to achieve.

Thank you for your pursuit of making the printed word more accessible, which in turn, allows goals of reading to be set and obtained for the print disabled of our Nation by using today’s technology for tomorrow’s hope.

Thank you for serving the print disabled and our children.

Three programs which have enabled me.

Three programs which have enabled me are www.readplease.com, www.rfbd.org and www.bookshare.org . Bookshare for the student and adult population is an excellent resource, you must qualify with a print disability in order to become a member. Newspapers from all over the country are available and Bookshare provide two text to speech software programs, Victor Soft reader and a Beta for Bookshare made by Read:Outloud.

Being able to read the newspaper is a character builder, I know what is going on in the world because I read it in a newspaper, I had never been able to say this before, I can read my trade journals now, where in the past they ended up in the garbage because I could not face the daunting task of reading them. Now it is a simple clip and paste or have Read:Outloud read it to me via the web. When I read I have to follow along for 90%+ comprehension, but on the other hand I'm working a lot on spreadsheets with numbers and listening does not detour from my number crunching.

Although I can't read and type at the same time if I was able to, I would can it and sell this ability. I'm pretty sure my processing numbers and hearing the paper read to me do not use the same part of the brain.

Readplease enables me to read my letters and emails before they go out and is generally the one I use the most, Readplease should be made available to all populations in schools and libraries. If made available to all then it would not cause the much dreaded stigmatism. Readplease is a Microsoft only program, but in today's environment there are parallel operating systems software, so you can have MAC or Windows running at the same time.

As for public access, again it is us (advocates) pushing with concerted effort in the same direction.

Once I was lost now I am found, once was blind to the written word, now I read.

Tools to build your confidence.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Talking Books article

My name is Davis Graham. I have dyslexia which was diagnosed in 1967 at the University of Miami. I earned my BA degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida, class of 1985.

The road to my degree was not easy. I learned a lot about the battles with pride, how achievements come from hard work, and know today to accept dyslexia as a gift and not as a disability.

Today I am the Executive Director / CFO of Manatee Diagnostic Center, Ltd. and there is a program online which has changed my life. The program is called Readplease which I found on the Internet after receiving a contract which was 30 pages and needed to be read within 24 hours. The contract inspired me to ask the Lord for some guidance and I went to Google.com and typed in Text reading software, number two on the list was readplease.com, and in quotes was “free download”, I had the contract read in 1 hour and have not hesitated to read since.

About one and half years later I bought Readplease 2003 Plus and continue to use Readplease to read the Bible, daily devotions, contracts, reading for pleasure, reading email, trade articles, Smithsonian magazine, and then proof read my letters and e-mail. It literally has changed my life.

After contacting Pat Schubert via e-mail at Talking Books which I used quite often, she gave me a library of electronic books, and for the first time I’m reading Melville’s Moby Dick, next will be Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, then on to Robinson Crusoe. When reading with Readplease, I read between 300 words per minute to close to 500 words per minute. The ability to listen at such a high rate came from my experience in college when I would receive my text books on tape while following along in the text book. I received the text books through the Learning Disability Programs I was enrolled in during college. The books would come from Reading for the Blind and Dyslexic and sometime the school would have them read from students who were studying the same course I was taking. My ability to comprehend has come from the years of listening to books on tape with the variable speed play back records which RFBD and Talking Books so generously provide.

It is my hope somebody is out there who can use my story to inspire them to reconsider reading as an adventure. It is quite the experience to hear the words of Melville roll into an image which paints a picture of life on the sea. My life of reading has been renewed and I hope your view of reading is changed, for it is a gift from our Creator.
Sincerely,
Reading on, Davis Graham

There is more hope than most think.

Link:
http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20080316/COLUMNIST76/803160455/-1/newssitemap

See post titled "Talking Books" about a software program which has changed my life. www.readplease.com (a free download) this program I think is so important that, I have since 2001 when I found it, have gone to the school board but with little success. The private schools implemented the software on to their library computers, but I haven't heard much more...



It may be a one size fits all kind of software, the practical use of this software is beyond compare. I use it to read the Wall Street Journal, today 17 pages of articles or last night ("thank the Lord" for www.bookshare.org ) The Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House, by Nancy Gibbs.



If I were in school today, with this type of software and text books available in digital format, (if you ask me all text books should be only available in digital format at least for this country "just to be Green") my career future would have been so much more different. Where would I be, well I can't look back (Luke 9:62) because I'm here, but with your article and those who are in the education system or others who respond to your article we can all make a difference one student at a time, and by one institution at a time, we will make it look different for others.



As you hinted to, I agree we (dyslexics) are ahead of their time in education, and ways of learning, and I'm sitting on the edge of this technology reading chair enjoying for the first time my choice of reading the bible, daily devotions, emails coming in and proofing email going out, health care insurance 30 + page contract, an article, a trade journal or a book which I never thought I would be able to read.



My life has changed. From being all that you described in your article even the dark side, because I was reading at 85 words a minute with a lot or frustration, to today not having enough time to read at 300 to 480 words per minute. Attached is an article which I wrote about those trials. (Postcards from an LD Veteran).



Thank you again for your article, and advocacy. This world will one day be turning to us (dyslectics) for the newest way to learn, we are just ahead of our time, for now.



The future has so much more in store, check out our web-site at www.manateediagnostic.com, what if every paper in this country were 'readplease enabled' ? or go to http://www.readplease.com/english/rpenablewebsitecontent.php

Monday, April 6, 2009

Tools to build your confidence.

Three programs which have enabled me are www.readplease.com, www.rfbd.org and www.bookshare.org . Bookshare for the student and adult population is an excellent resource. Newspapers from all over the country are available and Bookshare provide two text to speech software programs, Victor Soft reader and a Beta for Bookshare made by Read:Outloud.

Being able to read the newspaper is a character builder, I know what is going on in the world because I read it in a newspaper, I had never been able to say this before, I can read my trade journals now, where in the past they ended up in the garbage because I could not face the daunting task of reading them. Now it is a simple clip and paste or have Read:Outloud read it to me via the web. When I read I have to follow along for 90%+ comprehension, but on the other hand I'm working a lot on spreadsheets with numbers and listening does not detour from my number crunching.

Although I can't read and type at the same time if I was able to, I would can it and sell this ability. I'm pretty sure my processing numbers and hearing the paper read to me do not use the same part of the brain.

Readplease enables me to read my letters and emails before they go out and is generally the one I use the most, Readplease should be made available to all populations in schools and libraries. If made available to all then it would not cause the much dreaded stigmatism. Readplease is a Microsoft only program, but in today's environment there are parallel operating systems software, so you can have MAC or Windows running at the same time.

As for public access, again it is us (advocates) pushing with concerted effort in the same direction.

My Gift of Dyslexia

Davis Graham's educational history and resources, in his own words
My Early Background
I was born in Fort Benning, Georgia, USA

We left Bradenton when I was four years old and moved to Saudi Arabia for four years, and then returned to Miami where my father went into radiology. When we were in Saudi Arabia my parents became frustrated with my learning and were concerned for me, I was tested in 1967 and was diagnosed with Dyslexia at the University of Miami. I was put on Ridilin and directed to a private school for children with learning disabilities.

My family moved back to Bradenton in 1970. I went to St. Stephens Episcopal School and became the class clown to keep people at bay as to what was going on inside, got into trouble and was asked not to come back. Transferred to St. Joseph Catholic School in 1972 where the Head master had some knowledge of dyslexia. Then off to Manatee High School, class clowned again thru school, used every opportunity to make it thru, did get my pilot license, and graduated from High School in the top 50%. SAT totaled 650, SAT un-timed 800. My guidance counselor discouraged me regarding college by saying, “why would you try for something like a college degree and not be able to finish it.” A college degree was the only thing no one could take away from me. I was accepted to three schools: Emory Riddle, University of Montana and Westminster College. I decided it would be Westminster College.

Westminster College accepted me under their L.D. Program, I was held back on taking some classes. At Westminster I received some great tools, RFBD books on tape, dictating papers and group therapy.

I Transferred to University of The South, Sewanee, Tenn.
Great academic environment; I learned more about studying and wanting to learn than in any other environment. I discovered frustration with professors not understanding my gift of dyslexia but felt accepted. There were several times I felt as if I did not want to go on in life, but my faith saved me.

I Transferred to the University of South Florida
At USF I was accepted in under the Special Services for the Handicap program. For a year and a half I did not take all the help which was given and was academically suspended in 1983. There was a time I wanted to end my life during the end of this time in college, but I reached out to Sally Jesse Rafael, who had her own radio talk show at the time, and was then again renewed in hope.

When I received the letter of Academic Suspension, I was very depressed, however, my strong faith in God and a lot of friends and family got me through a very tough time.

Interesting Experiences
I worked for a night club for 2 years and was in the Movie “Cocoon” in the break-dance scene. Was given an opportunity to be promoted, then decided to go back to school.

I applied and was accepted back at USF. In order to get a psychology degree the Dean of Social Behavioral Sciences told me that I would be required to make a 3.0. So be it.

After registering for classes, I met Chris Martin; she was the administrator for the Special Services for the Handicapped. She asked me how my “gift” affected me; it was also the first time I was ever willing to talk about my gift. I was asked “Well then what do you need?” My answer was I need a note taker, my books on tape, my test given orally and tutoring whenever needed. 3 semesters later I graduated with “a 3.0” no more, no less. My degree was earned by grace, faith, and an ear for my compassion and persistence.


First Job as a Graduate
Director of the Florida House: In 1986 I was offered a job as an intern at Florida House, Inc. in Washington, D.C. The Florida House was started by Rhea Chiles, Senator Chiles wife in 1972. It is an Embassy of sorts for Floridians who are visiting our Nation’s Capital. In October 1986 I was offered the Director’s position, and worked for 7 years for Mrs. Chiles. Highlights were many, broadcasting with Willard Scott weather show on the Today Show was one, working with the full Florida Congressional Delegation closely for 7 years, the Clarence Thomas hearings, Iran-Contra hearings, working with the Reagan and Bush administrations on special needs children, Walt Disney programs, dissidents coming from the Eastern Block countries trying to get family members to the USA, the “Iron Curtain” falling and then Desert Storm.

After 7 wonderful years it was time to move on. I joined Manatee Diagnostic Center, Ltd. in 1993 after taking 6 months off and touring/camping/being a cowboy and writing a book titled “In Search of the Risen Son”.

Manatee Diagnostic Center, Ltd. is a family business; I work with my father and two other administrative personnel. We have 70 folks who I work for and with and we together serve close to 80,000 patients a year.

Today I’m married to my wife Trish going on our 7th year in July; we are have four children. Our oldest son is Davis Woodward (5), Mary Grace (4), Andrew James (2) and Sarah Abigail born October 2008.

Enter Readplease
I found in 2001, while needing to read a 30+ page contract, while reading 170 words a minute with 50% comprehension, I needed to read this contract with 98% or higher comprehension. The internet had come into fruition, so I Googled “Text reading Software” and second in line was Readplease, with “free-download” now called “freeware”. Downloaded the software, it was so similar to my recorder controls it became a part of my life, like an old shoe. The contract was read in about an hour and a half, and I have not stopped reading since.

My spelling has improved by 60 to 70 percent, I read between 300 to 480 words per minute with 90%+ comprehension; fear of the written word is no longer present. There is nothing in my way except for motivation. When I get ready to read a document such a 59 page lease, I have to gear up and focus, and then I’m living the word as I read.

This opportunity to present to you today is to inspire those who still look at the written word as a threat. Today I’m here to say this threat should no longer exist. Reaching goals which once seemed out of reach because of the written word is no longer out of reach; it is available to read and comprehend. Readplease as well as other text reading software are here to give you and your students a “New read on Life”.

And what a glorious life it is.