Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic)

  www.learningally.org
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Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic) Reviews

Updated August 18, 2014
Updated August 18, 2014
16 Reviews

2.0
16 Reviews
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Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic) President & CEO Andrew Friedman
Andrew Friedman
13 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    not bitter, just disappointed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic) full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Great staff who care about the cause
    - laid back culture
    - pay was competitive

    Cons

    the organization has lost over half of its revenue and fired over half of its workforce in response, including many people who have been there for along time. Some were even laid off after 1 year for a position that was created for them. why create position then fire that person a year later?

  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Can't Believe They're Still in Business

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Volunteer  in  Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Volunteer in Philadelphia, PA

    I worked at Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic) for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great cause - providing much-needed service to people with print disabilities. Staff and volunteers at local recording studios are incredibly committed.

    Cons

    Management is horrendous. Upper management draws inflated six-figure salaries while closing recording studios across the country. They demonstrate absolutely no understanding of the nonprofit world and no compassion for staff, volunteers, or the people they serve.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management should take significant pay cuts, or, better yet, resign en masse.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Interesting Job. Great training. Management was lacking

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Development Associate  in  Hollywood, CA
    Current Employee - Development Associate in Hollywood, CA

    I have been working at Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic) full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Provided training on the job.

    Cons

    Management was lackluster and decisions were not handled in a timely manner.

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  5.  

    This once-fine organization has entered a death spiral.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Princeton, NJ
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Princeton, NJ

    I have been working at Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic) full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Great "feel good" mission, laid-back nonprofit culture, prime location.

    Cons

    After failing utterly to adapt to technological and funding trends, the organization has lost over half of its revenue and fired over half of its workforce in response, including many people who have been there for decades. The Senior Management, who have zero nonprofit experience between them, are resorting to increasingly desperate, flailing endeavors to get things on track with increasingly disastrous results. The organization will likely be insolvent in the near future.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's likely too late, and you know it. Run.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Outstanding organization to work for, passionate about the mission

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Princeton, NJ
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Princeton, NJ

    I have been working at Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic) full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    This organization cares about career growth and truly listens to their employees. Have felt comfortable since day one, and have had the opportunity to learn from experienced management.

    Cons

    Not many downsides, may wish to have more collaborative workshops.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Would be beneficial to hold more multi-disciplinary workshops when conceptualizing new products.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Our Founder would be Sad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic) full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Learning Ally's founder believed that "Education is a right, not a privilege" and being the driving force of the mission to make all textbooks and literature books accessible to all who are print challenged, was and could still be the best job in the best workplace in the world.

    Cons

    Using a for-profit business plan to sustain a non-profit organization. Marketing to the check writer instead of the end user. Moving from the goal of being user friendly for the actual user to slick and pretty in the competitive market. A web site designed for those who diagnose our members, grade our members and live with our members, but not for our members.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Talk with employees, not down to employees. There is value in what we have learned at our level. Downsizing is not the only answer to downturns. It takes a larger community of workers to reach a larger community os users and just 1 VP salary equals the salary of 3 customer serving workers. Sustainability is maintained with a community of workers who take pride in the service they provide and feel valued. Sustainability is not threatened by economic downturns but it is always at risk in hostile work environment and a workplace of incivility and disrespect.
    We could have spent less time with the blind veteran or the frustrated teacher and completed a goal of many more calls each week without cutting our staff and making trained professionals a call center. We just never believed profit was the goal

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Organization Gaining Ground after a Downturn

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic) full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I feel increasingly positive about where Learning Ally is heading after undergoing some tight times and major changes over the past several years. It's a leaner organization now, but individual staff recruiting and team building has been intelligently conducted -- to me, the talent pool is in many respects outstanding; teams are focused on business goals, new production innovations and new ways of serving membership, more than ever before. All of that is noticable lately and bodes well for the future. Management has recognized a need to share more information to staff about our place in the industry, the state of the business, financial performance, strategic and practical planning, etc. Mostly I feel positive about constant improvements in response to member needs; much deeper integration into the community of parents and educators around us; the organization's great service is steadily becoming more widely known to families and schools that can most benefit from it.

    Cons

    Criticism has been heaped on by several staff who left or were let go; I don't think all of it is fair or grounded in understanding of what is happening in our space and the need for change in order to be sustainable. Many nonprofits are by necessity adapting to new business models and so personal fallout is inevitable, but I regret seeing some of the ad hominem attacks on leadership and think they should be taken with a grain of salt.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate consistently, courteously and thoroughly.... Try to recognize when 'stretch' goals turn into 'strain' goals; avoid freneticism; keep improving our products and services; seek balance to get the job done for the fiscal year and build bedrock for years to come.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    A good non-profit gone bad!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic) full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great mission with many staff members working hard to try and get help to children in need.

    Cons

    A senior leadership team who is running the company into the ground. They have lost the original mission of the company and are running as if it were a for profit business.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your staff and customers, pay your employees fairly and provide them with reasonable benefits.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    outstanding mission and dedication but no leadership

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director  in  Princeton, NJ
    Former Employee - Director in Princeton, NJ

    I worked at Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic) full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    great dedicated volunteers and service oriented staff.

    Cons

    dysfunctional top management not customer or employee focused. Arrogance permeates management. Inability to bond with key federal departments for support. Deliberate vagueness of direction to avoid accountability. Poor ineffective communication.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    define organization structure, clearly present chain of command, develop clear precise unambiguous job descriptions. send President to "charm school".

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Poor management, including a few arrogant people who think they're geniuses. Great mission

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Princeton, NJ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Princeton, NJ

    I worked at Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic) full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good mission, a great service for those who need their special audiobooks, and work hours are not bad.

    Cons

    Layoffs come often, as management apparently can't achieve their goals and then get rid of people below them via "organizational restructure" twice in as many years. There are some in leadership positions who seem to think they're geniuses because they've read some self-help books. Received no training and just had to pick things up as I went along.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a look in the mirror: perhaps the problem lies there.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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