Carbondale, Colorado – August 10, 2009– In a year full of accolades, Digital Directions International (DDI), publisher of the award-winning HELP Math for ELL and Special Needs, in partnership with the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, has been awarded a major, multi-year grant from the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). The grant, entitled The Math Learning Companion: An Individualized Intervention for Students with Math Learning Disabilities, is for the research and development of a ground-breaking mathematics intervention that will be designed to align a comprehensive curriculum directly with the natural development of math understanding for students with a range of cognitive disabilities, such as language processing, working memory, and visual/spatial abilities.

 
 “This new grant will fund exciting cutting-edge adaptive educational technology that will individualize math instruction to serve students with cognitive disabilities,” said Dr. Lindy Crawford, Associate Dean, UCCS College of Education. “The grant will allow for the development of the first comprehensive mathematics intervention designed specifically for students with learning disabilities at the middle school level. It will provide a seamless link between diagnostic analyses, an adaptive standards-aligned curriculum, and a comprehensive monitoring system.”
 
John Ramo, DDI’s Founder & CEO added, “The funding for this new program will enable DDI to continue our focus on cutting-edge technology solutions for the education market. The combination of creating an intervention that is data-driven and can be directly utilized in an RTI (Response to Intervention) context that also contains powerful Sheltered Instruction features will be of great interest to districts and schools across the country. This grant allows us to continue our innovative leadership in math learning.”
 
Within weeks of the grant award, DDI’s HELP Math for ELL and Special Needs program was also honored with the DOE’s highest rating for a technology program for the third consecutive year.
HELP Math was reviewed and “deemed to be of high quality” by the U.S. Department of Education’s Government Performance and Results (GPRA) Act. The independent review panel of qualified experts, chosen by the US DOE’s Office of Innovation and Improvement, gave HELP Maththe highest rating of all technology-based programs. The GPRA evaluation is an extremely rigorous one, making the third-year recognition an even greater accomplishment.
“We are thrilled that HELP Math has once again received the highest rating from the DOE’s Office of Innovation and Improvement.” said Barbara Freeman, DDI’s President and HELP Math’s program creator. “To receive this honor for three consecutive years is a significant accomplishment, as DOE uses a different review committee each year, comprised of technology and math specialists from across the US to insure an independent and thorough evaluation.”
HELP Math for ELL and Special Needs, winner of the 2009 SIIA CODiE award for the Best Educational Program for Students with Special Needs,was initially designed for English language learners (ELLs), but has since been proven to effectively help and engage all students with special needs. 
 
About the HELP Math Program
HELP (Help for English Language Proficiency) MATH for ELL and Special Needs is a web-based math intervention designed to address the needs of English Language and other struggling learners to reach proficiency. Developed according to Sheltered Instruction principles, HELP Math is effective for students in grades 3-8 who need to develop the academic language and concepts in the math content area. HELP Math is the only multimedia, internet delivered math program that embeds research-based principles found to be successful for ELL content area achievement. Visit http://helpprogram.net to learn more.
 
About DDI
Digital Directions International, Inc. is a socially-responsible, educational technology pioneer and publisher of digital educational content. DDI is focused on developing and co-distributing online supplemental and educational intervention software products in mathematics and science, especially for English Language Learners (ELL), Latino, and other students in need.
 
About the Institute for Education Sciences
The Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 established within the U.S. Department of Education, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The mission of IES is to provide rigorous evidence on which to ground education practice and policy. This is accomplished through the work of its four centers.
 
About the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement is responsible for implementing the Government Performance and Results (GPRA) Act, an extremely rigorous review of education products that have received federal grant dollars. The Office sets the standards and uses five categories to assess all products to be reviewed: Content, Technology, Design, Implementation, and Target Audience. The Independent Review Panel of qualified experts rates the product and provides evaluations for each metric.
HELP Math for ELL and Special Needs is distributed in the U.S. by Academic Business Advisors. Please contact Alan Stern at ABA for more information alan.stern@academicbiz.com, 516-429-1877.

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