CAST Grants New Founders' Fund Awards to Staff
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Thanks to generous donations from supporters like you, CAST is pleased to announce the Anne Meyer & David Rose Founders’ Fund for Innovation projects for 2019!
BookBuilder Market Research: Evolving & Sustaining CAST’s Most Popular Platform
Jenna Gravel & Luis Pérez
This project will conduct a comprehensive needs assessment of one of CAST’s most popular and beloved tools, UDL BookBuilder™, in order to create a data-informed plan to update the platform. In 2006 CAST launched UDL BookBuilder, a free tool that allows authors to create digital books with a variety of embedded supports such as text-to-speech, a multimedia glossary, image descriptions, coaches, and more. Originally developed through a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, UDL BookBuilder was intended to help for educators design accessible books for students. However, the platform soon became popular among student authors as well. Today, UDL BookBuilder’s shared public library boasts more than 10,000 books designed by authors of all ages.
Jose Blackorby & Bill Wilmot
CAST Connected is an effort to make the work and thinking of all of the many parts of CAST visible and dynamic by creating live and digital public spaces to learn about, ask questions of, and comment on the ongoing work of CAST. Active, public, visible, informal thinking could have a transformative impact on the ability of CAST to take full advantage of the talents, experience, and perspectives of our unique interdisciplinary staff. A number of digital tools will be considered to power this common thinking space.
UDL in the Classroom
CAST will pilot the design of a multimedia case study of a classroom’s implementation of UDL as a strategy to help build understanding of what UDL actually ‘looks like’ in an authentic setting. We will recruit teachers to co-design and implement lessons, create video documentation of classroom practice, and develop reflection videos on the design process. Student work and student vignettes will inform the development of this suite of materials. giving a more complete picture of UDL in practice and a variety of entry points for new UDL practitioners. This close co-design and reflection work will give us a clearer picture of UDL in practice as well as deeper insights into the various entry points and learning processes of teachers beginning to implement UDL.
Understanding D, E and I: Moving our Work Beyond Acronyms and Aspirations
In this project, CAST will refine and administer a self-assessment instrument on Diversity (D), Equity (E) and Inclusion (I) to benchmark its own workplace practices and uncover ways to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. Feedback generated at CAST on the self-assessment feedback will also be used to shape an assessment that can be used by other companies and organizations that want to build diverse, equitable, and inclusive cultures.
About the Founders’ Fund
Created to honor the legacy of CAST’s founders, Founders’ Fund projects are awarded to CAST staff members who are interested in passion projects that may not necessarily fit into everyday responsibilities. Applications are reviewed by an internal committee and must directly connect to CAST’s strategic plan and mission.
Current Founders’ Fund projects run through September 20, 2019.
Learn more about the Founders’ Fund and how you can help us keep busting barriers to learning, wherever learning happens.