Benetech President Betsy Beaumon to receive 2016 Community Service Award at annual gala
Betsy Beaumon, Benetech President, will receive the 2016 Community Service Award, given by Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, Inc., a Connecticut-based nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering the parents of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders via its educational programs. Jane B. Ross, M.S., the executive director of Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, is a former publishing executive who founded the organization to help other parents who were as clueless as she was when she discovered that her bright and resourceful ten-year-old son could not read.
The ceremony will take place on Saturday, April 30, during the Building On Kids’ Strengths annual gala at the Stamford Marriott in Connecticut. Dr. Lydia Soifer, Director of The Soifer Center for Learning and Child Development, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.
“Receiving this Community Service Award is an honor,” said Ms. Beaumon. “I am personally gratified to be part of a vibrant community of providers, parents, and educators, working to open doors to education and enjoyment for all persons with disabilities and learning challenges.”
Today, as a social entrepreneur, Betsy is a recognized authority on digital accessible materials in education and the leader of what she calls the “born accessible” strategy. Under this vision, all future digital books, courses, and content would be integrated into the publishing process, including math formulas and STEM graphics.
Early in her career, Betsy founded Social Online Services, the first web-based information and referral service for social services organizations. Today, as many Benetech supporters and Bookshare members know, she has led Benetech’s Global Literacy Program, first as general manager and now as Benetech’s president.
For the last several years, Betsy has spearheaded a ten-fold growth of Bookshare, the world’s largest library of ebooks for people with visual, physical, and learning disabilities like dyslexia. The library recently passed a significant milestone of 400,000 titles and more than 400,000 members. Memberships are free for U.S. students who qualify.
Betsy has also testified on accessibility before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. She serves on the board of DAISY – the Digital Accessible Information System Consortium -and on the Advisory Board of the National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials.
Note: Betsy will also be speaking at the Westport Public library on May 2, 2016 from 7:00-8:30 pm. The event, hosted by Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, is free and open to the public.
About Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, Inc.
Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, Inc. is a Westport-based nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering the parents of children with learning disabilities (LD) and attention deficit disorders (ADHD) via its educational programs, award-winning website and blog, and free e-newsletter. The organization also educates the public about these children’s gifts and talents. Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy is an Honorary Board member and Henry Winkler, Golden Globe award-winning actor, director and author, serves as the organization’s Honorary Chairman. For more information, visit www.SmartKidswithLD.org.