Celebrating 40 Years of Giving Access to Learning

by Don Johnston

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It was 40 years ago (back in 1980) when I started my company.


Back then, imagining the possibilities of what we’re doing today with technology would have fallen into science fiction—talking to computers, driverless cars, and we can’t forget the impact of the Internet (how soon we forget!). I was most intrigued by the potential technology had for learning.


Learning is the source from which everything flows. That’s why we got into education—because of the impact it has on young people. I feel fortunate to have worked with so many talented and passionate people both within my company and across school districts. I’m proud of what we accomplished together (and it truly took a village!):

  1. We reached over 35,000 schools with our Human Learning Tools.
  2. Millions of students rely on our tools every day.
  3. We help students go to college who wouldn’t have been afforded the opportunity.
  4. We even helped several people go on to write books.

You work hard to give students the gift of learning, and that gift will be the most important gift anyone gives them. It’s the gift that my 8th grade teacher gave me, and without her, I don’t know where I’d be today. Thank you for giving this most precious gift to your students—their lives have been transformed because of you.


Happy New Year, and I’m looking forward to working together to reshape the next 40 years with what we can do together.

Don Johnston's Signature

For the last 40 years Don Johnston has tried to make education work for everyone—from basic access to raising human potential, Join the Don Johnston team in showcasing what the last 40 has looked like—and help us plot the next 40.

Download a timeline for your classroom showcasing the growth and change of Assistive Technology over the last 40 years.

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