Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, Inc. National Headquarters

Rating: 3.4 stars   5 reviews

Issues: Disabilities, Education, Human Services

Location: 20 Roszel Rd Anne T Macdonald Ctr Princeton NJ 08540 USA

Mission: RFB&D’s mission is to create opportunities for individual success by providing, and promoting the effective use of, accessible educational materials. Our vision is for all people to have equal access to the printed word.
Geographic areas served: Nationwide-USA

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Learning Ally keeps improving and expanding its services and technology to serve more children and adults with visual and learning disabilities. The organization has streamlined operations and turned itself around financially since massive federal funding cuts went into effect in 2011. The leadership has made many smart hires, bringing in people with strong skill sets and intensifying focus on building and supporting the parent and teacher communities that are crucial to helping students with disabilities succeed. What is most notable is the respect and collaborative trust Learning Ally has built up with influential organizations in the education and disabilities fields. It is good to see such a turnaround for an organization with an important mission and track record of helping students with disabilities succeed.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

With the onset of the new CEO Andrew Fried man @ 3 years ago, this organization has gone rapidly downhill. The service has declined yet they still receive grant money from many state depts. of ed. http://www.charitywatch.org/articles/learningally.html (one article reporting on this charity's new fraudulent identity)
While attempting to serve students with reading disabilities they have severed the outreach staff, cut the employees & become a poor call center. While the CEO & Sr. staff maintain high salaries they have eliminated middle management leaving low level employees many taking salary cuts, benefit cuts & demotions.
http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Learning-Ally-formerly-Recording-for-the-Blind-and-Dyslexic-Reviews-E7703.htm
Their new business model is how can we sell more? While nonprofits need to make money to stay in business this was s service oriented organization. (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic). They do very little to assist students with reading disabilities.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Remove the for profit sr. leadership & CEO. None of them have educational experience or nonprofit experience. The CEO's wife is an independent consultant making a 3 figure salary as well. I believe this organization will ultimately fold, soon.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 2 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic) may be having financial problems due, in part, to the economy, but there is some serious mismanagement going on here. A glance at their 990 (available through GUIDESTAR) shows numerous six-figure salaries, executive bonuses of as much as $50,000, executive severance payouts of over $300,000, a $130,000 consulting contract with the CEO's wife's company, and more. The shuttered studios are, I'm afraid, the beginning of the end.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Unlikely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

In early 2013 Learning Ally closed seven of its studios. They apparently are now under great financial difficulty. The individual office I volunteered at was run well but I guess expenses were too great. I enjoyed the work and I wonder what will happen to the blind and dyslexic students who rely on their services.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I love volunteering at Learning Ally. I've been recording books and working as a director for them for a few years. The staff is excellent at the Austin, Texas, branch. Everything is very organized. When volunteers walk in, they're greeted and paired up to work on books together. This is such a fun volunteer job!

I know they could use money, though. The equipment they have is fine, and they make due, but the computers we use are well past their prime. This is a truly outstanding organization. Please support them!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing how many books we get through on a monthly basis.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

keep on doing what you're doing!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Review from CharityNavigator