Funding and management assistance from NewSchools Venture Fund will fuel efforts to create exceptional special education tools for PreK-12
iTherapy, LLC is proud to announce its selection as a member of the 2017 Ignite cohort at NewSchools Venture Fund.
iTherapy, LLC is one of 15 ed tech companies awarded funding through the NewSchools Ignite Special Education Challenge. Each cohort member is committed to create or expand an innovative ed tech product to help millions of students across the country who receive special education services achieve their most ambitious dreams. In addition to the funding, NewSchools will provide management assistance and create a community of practice for the cohort members.
Co-founded by speech-language pathologists Lois Jean Brady (Martinez, CA) and Matthew Guggemos (Napa, CA), iTherapy designs educational software for people on the autism spectrum. Additionally, iTherapy, LLC provides communication therapy to children, aged three to 18, throughout Northern California Counties.
For many children with autism spectrum disorder, educational technology is often the key that unlocks hidden potential, particularly in the areas of language and literacy. All around the world, people with autism are learning to communicate by acquiring literacy skills -- by first associating written text with photographs -- and thereby opening up new worlds of social, vocational, and educational opportunities.
“While it may sound obvious that students with disabilities need additional support, few ed tech tools exist to support this diverse group of students,” said Tonika Cheek Clayton, Managing Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund. “We believe ed tech tools have the potential to address many critical needs in special education. That’s why NewSchools Ignite is proud to invest in iTherapy to develop engaging tools to reimagine special education learning.”
iTherapy, LLC designs educational technology that improves communication skills, using a combination of science, technology, and play.
In 2015, iTherapy, LLC received a National Science Foundation Small Business Innovative Research Grant to develop emotional communication technology, designed to teach people with autism social communication skills. Read about it here: https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1520587
iTherapy’s app, InnerVoice, features the NSF-funded emotional communication technology: InnerVoice allows users to express their thoughts, feelings, and words through an amazing combination of facial expressions and emotional speech. InnerVoice allows users to communicate via handwriting, typing, or selecting picture icons -- any of which are converted to speech delivered by an avatar bearing the user’s image, helping to model speech and express emotions. InnerVoice is currently available for sale on the Apple App Store.
iTherapy recently partnered with Gibraltar and Drum Workshop (DW) -- two prestigious percussion hardware and drum manufacturers -- to design mounting hardware for communication devices, used by people with ALS, cerebral palsy, and other disabilities.
NewSchools Venture Fund is a national nonprofit that finds, funds and supports promising and innovative education entrepreneurs, teams of educators and education leaders. We help them accomplish their missions to achieve outstanding results for the schools, students and educators they serve. We are committed to helping students graduate high school prepared and inspired to achieve their most ambitious dreams and plans. Through our investing, management assistance, network building, and thought leadership, NewSchools helps to reimagine K–12 education.