One Million Dollar Donation: Druide informatique Supports Literacy Research at UQAM

November 3, 2022 Press releases
Credit: Nathalie St-Pierre

Druide informatique has announced a landmark gift of one million dollars to the Fondation de l’UQAM. This gift has allowed the creation of a Research Chair for Fundamental Learning in Literacy and the establishment of the Antidote Scholarship in Remedial Education. The Chair was inaugurated this morning during the 33rd Colloquium and Symposium of the Association des Orthopédagogues du Québec. UQAM is the university that trains the largest number of remedial teachers and educators in Quebec.

“The consequences of illiteracy, at the individual, familial and social levels, are major. However, the research conducted at UQAM has immense potential to improve reading and writing skills, for the benefit of learners and the people who guide them alike. This is innovative work in line with the values of our university, especially the right to education, inclusion and social justice”, says Rector Magda Fusaro.

Led by Professor Line Laplante, an internationally recognized expert in reading and writing intervention and assessment, the Chair aims to develop pedagogical or remedial practices to support children, adolescents and adults in vulnerable situations. “One in two Quebecers has poor literacy skills”, explains Laplante, a professor in the Department of Language Didactic. “Thanks to the practices developed by the Chair and shared with the educational community, we will be able to train teaching staff and remedial teachers to respond to reading and writing difficulties and prevent illiteracy.”

The Antidote Scholarship in Remedial Education, with a value of $25,000, will be offered annually to students in the master’s or doctoral program in education whose thesis project or doctoral project is in the fields of remedial education or reading and writing learning difficulties.

The creation of the Chair and the Scholarship is the result of an exceptional donation announced as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Antidote writing assistance software, widely used to support learning in writing. “Antidote can be a useful tool for people who experience difficulty processing language, such as helping with spelling for people with dyslexia,” highlights André d’Orsonnens, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Druide informatique. “Some of the Chair’s work will even make it possible to assess how Antidote could do more to help these learners. The entire francophone community will benefit from UQAM’s expertise in education.”

“Druide informatique’s support for the Research Chair for Fundamental Learning in Literacy, a flagship project of the 100 Million Ideas campaign, will enable UQAM to continue to innovate in this field, in which it is already a leader”, adds the Executive Director of the Fondation de l’UQAM Michelle Niceforo.

Created in 1969, the Université de Québec à Montréal (UQAM) is a public university with international influence. In the heart of the city and at the center of the evolution of Montréal and Quebec, it uses its expertise to address the issues affecting our planet. The originality and rigor of its 300-odd programs, its research activities rooted in social issues and its innovations and inventions have contributed to building its reputation.

The largest fundraising campaign in the history of UQAM, aiming to raise $100 million, was launched in 2018 under the name 100 Million Ideas. Thanks to the support of donors, the Fondation de l’UQAM funds many promising projects of the University and supports the next generation, in accordance with the mission it has pursued since 1976: to contribute to the vitality of education, research and creation, and promote accessibility to university studies by offering scholarships to students.

Druide informatique produces and markets Antidote, the most comprehensive writing assistance software suite available for English and French, as well as Typing Pal, the renowned typing tutorial application. The company is also the creator of WebElixir, a quality assurance service for websites. In addition to its software, Druide publishes French-language literature and reference works through its subsidiary, Éditions Druide.

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