Family Friendly Tech and Advocacy: Tech Psychologist's Guide by Dr. Jeanne Beckman

Family Friendly Tech and Advocacy: Tech Psychologist's Guide   by Dr. Jeanne Beckman
Finally, a book to help families find the right technology to accommodate reading disorders (dyslexia) and other disabilties! ISBN 978-1-60264-089-4

How to purchase my book

To purchase through Virtual Bookworm (my publisher) you can click Virtual Bookworm Publisher: Tech Psychologist's Guide or
Amazon no longer allows Illinois professionals to get credit for referrals to Amazon due to a sales tax dispute. I will be referring to Powell's in the near future.

What is that TinyURL notation that you see in my blog? For those who use a screen reader, the link that is hidden behind words like Tech Psychologist Guide remains hidden. However, screen readers can read aloud the website address, or URL, if it was produced by Also, sometimes these addresses are so long that they wrap around several lines or overlap into colored areas of a website that obscure the actual address. Intrigued? You can create your own tinyurl's at

Saturday, January 5, 2008

My newest friend, author Elizabeth Berg

Often, when I read, I make a new friend with an author, even though he or she may not know it. Today, as I read an article about new resolutions in the Chicago Tribune (non-computer, paper copy), I met Elizabeth Berg, my newest best friend. I found the digital version to share with you:

A new resolution
Author Elizabeth Berg vows to set aside more time for reading in the coming year

By Elizabeth Berg

January 5, 2008
Click here to find out more!

Every year, for the last several years, I have made the same New Year's resolutions: Don't criticize. Don't control. Don't complain. By five minutes after midnight, I usually have broken every one. Imagine the scenario: The ball drops, I give my honey a little smooch, take a little sip of champagne and remind myself of my worthy resolutions. Then I say:

"Jeez, I'm tired. I'm so tired, I get tired so easily now. I'm so tired of how tired I get. Let's go to sleep. Turn off that television; you don't need to watch anymore. You watch too much television. You should go to sleep too. You must be tired. Come on, you're going to bed."

It occurred to me that it might work better if I have only one resolution this year, one that might be easier to keep. And here it is: read one hour a day.
Some of my favorite quotes include:
  • It may be true that music hath charms to soothe the savage soul -- I think it is true, actually. But books soothe our souls too. They're like comfort food without the calories or the dishes to clean up afterward.

    Books inspire us, because they suggest things we might never have thought about before, and they give us ideas for things we might never have conceived of otherwise, and they make us want to try things, or be things, or make things, from creme brulee to sensible foreign policy.

    Books educate us about art and politics and people and ideas. This happens in non-fiction and fiction. And in poetry, of course. So many of us have been moved to a deeper understanding of things -- or many things -- by taking in a few dark lines on a cream-colored page.

    Books exercise our creativity, because they are a uniquely interactive art form. The author may write, "She was a freckle-faced redhead," but it's the reader who sees those freckles forming a tiny constellation at the angle of the jaw. It's the reader whose imagination provides extra details for a kiss, a punch, a description of open land, or a dimly lit bedroom where a character kneels to pray.
  • For this is what we have wrought: Many of us have no idea how to keep still. We have forgotten that in stillness is a great richness, as well as opportunity for reflection and repair. Stillness offers a way to learn perspective and therefore kindness, for in such purposeful quiet we are often reminded of our connection with others, and of the need for that connection. We need to relearn the art of conversation, we need to take a moment to really look into each others' eyes when we shake hands, we need to see and appreciate and be empathic with each other. All of this takes time that we cannot afford not to have.
  • So what's the link here, you might be thinking? I think there is a link. Because I believe that no matter what the genre, books help move us in the direction we need to go, because they require a kind of contemplation. And contemplation will suggest that we need to save ourselves from drowning in a sea of dullness, of virtual rather than actual reality, of communication that fails to really communicate, all of which leads to a deadness of spirit, which leads to a lack of respect for life, which leads to violence and destruction. In many wonderful ways, books make the dominoes fall the other way.

As Berg so eloquently reminded me, reading also takes me to a special place that is free of isolation and "shoulds," to shared communities where each person has the opportunity to seek out new information, new connections, and new ways of looking at the world.

To read her full article, please go to,0,5489972.story

person of every age and every ability level should have every opportunity to fully access the written word, whether by reading traditional books, computerized text, recorded books, Braille or by human readers (the only acceptable "low tech" manner, in my opinion).

Tear down those walls that blame, shame, and discourage those who seek to find the truths in scientific exploration and human existence.

If you have difficulties in reading and are curious about the multiple ways to read, please contact Dr. Jeanne Beckman via email:, via phone at 847-446-1251, or visit her website at

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