Palo Alto, Sept. 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Benetech, the leading software for social good nonprofit, today announced the results of its first annual Benetech Back-to-School Survey. The survey data represents input from 744 teachers across the United States who serve students with reading barriers including dyslexia, low vision, blindness, or a physical disability that interferes with reading.

“The Benetech Back-to-School Survey takes the pulse of the dedicated teachers who serve students with reading barriers,” said Brad Turner, VP of Global Literacy, Benetech. “While numerous factors contribute to teachers feeling they and their students are prepared, the survey data shows that three factors pull significant weight with students and teachers: support from school administration, access to books in various formats, and access to technology resources. Other potential factors such as types of reading barriers, school location, and number of students did not demonstrate a large impact on feelings of student preparedness.” For detailed analysis of the data including an interactive data visualization, visit: https://benetech.org/benetech-survey-back-school-reading-barriers.

Teachers of students with reading barriers feel prepared for the 2018-2019 school year but are less confident about student preparedness:

-- Sixty-eight percent of teachers feel prepared for the 2018-2019 school year while 40 percent of teachers feel their students are prepared.

Support from school administration contributes to student preparedness:

-- When teachers do not feel they have support of their school administration, 18 percent feel their students are prepared. -- When teachers feel they have support of the school administration, 49 percent feel their students are prepared.

Access to books in the formats students need contributes to student preparedness:

-- When teachers do not feel they have access to books in the formats students need—including audio, audio with highlighted text, braille, and large print—22 percent feel their students are prepared. -- When teachers feel they have access to books in the formats students need—including audio, audio with highlighted text, braille, and large print—60 percent feel their students are prepared.

Access to technology resources to read and learn contributes to student preparedness:

-- When teachers do not feel their students have the technology resources their students need to read and learn, only 23 percent feel their students are prepared. -- When teachers feel their students have the technology resources their students need to read and learn, 48 percent feel their students are prepared.

“As the operator of Bookshare, the largest online library of books for students with reading barriers, Benetech understands the importance of working with teachers and school administrations to ensure students with reading barriers have the technology and books they need to succeed,” said Turner. “That’s why Benetech is proud to work with more than 25,000 schools and school districts that use Bookshare to provide students with reading barriers access to books in formats that work for them.”

Types of reading barriers, school location, and the number of students a teacher supports do not demonstrate as great an influence on student preparedness.

-- Types of reading barriers students possess—dyslexia, low vision, blindness, or a physical disability that interferes with reading—do not demonstrate as great an influence on student preparedness; neither does location of school—rural, suburban, urban—nor the number of students a teacher supports, ranging from one to more than 30.

About BenetechBenetech is a nonprofit that empowers communities with software for social good. Our work transforms how people with disabilities read and learn, makes it safer for human rights defenders to pursue truth and justice, and connects people to the services they need to live and prosper. We’re constantly pursuing the next big social impact. Visit www.benetech.org.

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