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Independence Through Technology

Dyslexia/Reading Impaired

CSB seforim software for the reading impaired was initially developed as audio reproductions of seforim to give blind users the ability to randomly navigate the written word much like their sighted counterparts. Shortly after creating this technology, CSB began distributing this audio software to dyslexic and reading impaired children. These clients would listen to the text of the audio version while viewing a hardcopy of the sefer so as to integrate the material through a multi-sensory experience.

In 2003, a group of special education professionals from Monsey, NY contacted CSB to discuss the feasibility of adding a visual component to the software to make it user-friendly for children with reading difficulties. Although this demanded a full rewrite of the software, CSB began the program development immediately. By April 2005 the first version of the CSB Multisensory Chumash was available for distribution, and was presented at the Torah U’Mesorah Convention.

CSB now distributes hundreds of its multisensory Chumashim to reading specialists and their clients. This software presents the entire Chumash and Rashi -- and the translations of each -- both auditorally and visually. It also allows for sophisticated random access and searching through voice recognition.

Moreover, one division of CSB is dedicated to the custom recording and preparation of many other materials for children across the country. Currently, the CSB library has grown to include many Mesechtos of Mishnayos, full perakim of Gemara, the entire Mesechat Makkos, and many other texts being used in the elementary grades in Yeshivos and Bais Yaakovs across the country.

Facts about Reading Disabilities and multisensory reading

  • Multisensory reading enhances reading fluency. Highlighted text accompanied by audio output accelerates sight word acquisition and improves decoding skills.

  • Children are more successful when they read independently.

  • Typically around third grade, children go from ‘learn to read’ to ‘read to learn’. Delays in this transition will adversely affect a child’s ability to learn. This can lead to more severe learning and behavioral issues.

  • Fluent readers focus on content and comprehension. Non-fluent readers must focus their attention primarily on decoding individual words. Therefore, they have little attention left for comprehending the text.

  • Automacity – the ability to quickly decode and read text – and fluency – the ability to read and comprehend text – are both enhanced by listening to good models of fluent reading.

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