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NATIONAL RESEARCH CENTER INCLUDES FREEDOM SCIENTIFIC’S WYNN™ SOFTWARE IN A PIVOTAL STUDY ON BENEFITS OF EMBEDDING SUPPORTIVE TECHNOLOGIES INTO E-TEXT FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

Palo Alto, CA – January 25, 2006 -- The Learning Systems Group of Freedom Scientific, Inc., developer of literacy software for people who struggle to read, write or take tests, announced today that the company’s WYNN software has been chosen to participate in a $3-million first-of-its-kind research program. The research will be conducted by The National Center for the Study of Supported Text in Electronic Learning Environments to better understand the value of embedding supportive software tools into electronic text (e-text) to help students with disabilities improve reading comprehension.

The newly established Center is a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), the University of Oregon’s Center for Advanced Technology in Education (CATE) and the Education Development Center (EDC) in Newton, MA. The Center will conduct a five-year nationwide series of studies to research ways in which supportive resources, such as those provided by WYNN, embedded in or linked to electronic text can be used to enhance the reading comprehension and content-area learning of students with disabilities.

Research Teams Working Nationwide

Under the leadership of Dr. Lynne Anderson-Inman at the University of Oregon and Dr. Judith Zorfass at the Education Development Center, a series of experimental studies will be conducted in collaboration with research teams across the country. Each team will focus on one or more disability population and will investigate specific supportive resources (individually and in combination) using currently available electronic environments for reading and studying. To the maximum extent possible the research will be conducted in school settings and aligned with existing curriculum.

In the short term, researchers collaborating with the Center hope to understand the impact of specific supportive resources on students’ reading comprehension and academic performance. In the long term, recommendations may lead to the advancement of the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) and increased availability of supported e-text versions of text materials for students with disabilities.

Quantifiable Proof of Efficacy is Goal

“We tapped the Learning Systems Group at Freedom Scientific along with other leading technology companies to join our study because they have demonstrated a deep understanding of the specific needs of students with learning disabilities,” said Dr. Lynne Anderson-Inman. “Our research will explore the efficacy of this type of technology to enhance the academic performance of students with reading disabilities and offer the country’s schools quantifiable evidence that supported e-text can improve learning.”

“Our industry has lacked credible, long-term scientific research that school districts need to understand the extent of the educational benefit of supportive technologies,” said Roberta Brosnahan, VP & General Manager, Learning Systems Group, Freedom Scientific, Inc. and member of the National Center’s E-text Publishers Advisory Board. “With this new study we have the opportunity to prove on a large scale the impact supportive software can have on children who struggle to read. Additionally, we hope to demonstrate how technology companies and forward-thinking publishers can speed the process of getting content to students, assisting the students to make greater progress in reading achievement.”

About WYNN™ Software

WYNN is a literacy software product designed to assist special education students improve their reading and writing by converting printed text into spoken words. WYNN supports individuals with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADD, ADHD or for those learning English as a second language (ELL). With a design based upon Universal Design for Learning (UDL) concepts, WYNN’s features accommodate all learning styles and can be used with any curriculum.

For more information about WYNN or the Learning Systems Group, please visit www.freedomscientific.com/lsg or call (888) 223-3344. For more information regarding the National Center for the Study of Supported Text in Electronic Learning Environments, contact Dr. Lynne Anderson-Inman, Director, at lynneai@uoregon.edu.

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