Announcing the launch of Understood: A comprehensive resource to help parents of the 1 in 5 children with learning and attention issues
Three-year national ad campaign kicks off for new, free resource that empowers parents through personalized support, daily access to experts, specially designed tools and an online community to help millions of children go from simply coping to truly thriving
Starting today, a three-year public-service advertising (PSA) campaign developed in partnership with the Ad Council will begin to raise awareness nationwide about learning and attention issues and connect parents to Understood’s one-stop, easy-to-use online resource and community. In addition to the PSA campaign, Understood is working with leaders in a variety of fields including entertainment, sports, media and politics to help inspire parents on their journey and remind them that they’re not alone. Understood’s Board of Advocates includes Robert De Niro, Grace Hightower De Niro, Harry Belafonte, Ari Emanuel, Brad Falchuk, Whoopi Goldberg, Daymond John, Kenny Johnson, Lisa Ling, Greg Louganis, Howie Mandel, Steve McQueen, Alyssa Milano, Holly Robinson Peete and California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.
Available in English, Spanish and read-aloud mode, Understood provides parents with clear explanations about learning and attention issues. It also offers practical advice for parents on everything from how to partner with their child’s teachers and help with homework to how to explain their child’s issues to friends and relatives and plan family gatherings that are less stressful and more fun for everyone.
Through personalized content that is tailored according to a child’s grade and issues, Understood is designed to cut through the confusion and give parents a clear path to confidence. Because many children with learning and attention issues do not have—and may never get—a diagnosis, information is presented in plain language as often as possible. Using design that works equally well on a smartphone, tablet or computer, Understood offers customized support to parents who don’t know yet why their child is struggling as well as to parents who have been on this journey for years.
Created by 15 nonprofits, Understood developed many of its key features based on its survey of more than 2,000 parents of children with learning and attention issues. These parents provided important insights about the best ways to meet their needs. Understood offers free daily access to experts through chats and webinars, a safe online community that encourages parents to reach out to and learn from each other, and a suite of specially designed, first-of-their-kind tools including:
- Through Your Child’s Eyes: A series of interactive simulations and videos that enable parents to experience firsthand how smart people can struggle with a seemingly simple task when they have reading, writing, math, organization or attention issues.
- Tech Finder: Expert-approved apps and games searchable by a child’s grade and issues.
- Just For You: An opt-in system that provides additional levels of personalized content recommendations. (Parents don’t need to sign in to start getting customized recommendations on Understood; all they need to do to hit the ground running is check the boxes about their child’s grade and issues.) Parents who choose to complete a secure, confidential profile will receive recommendations for each child in their profile as well as for topics they’ve expressed interest in, such as siblings, travel and communicating with family and friends.
- Parenting Coach: Practical, age-specific strategies to help with everyday challenges, such as getting ready on time in the mornings and setting the stage for homework success.
- Decision Guide: Key questions to help parents think through big topics, such as whether it’s time to request a formal evaluation, let a child start dating or decide which path to pursue after high school.
For parents whose children have a diagnosis or want to learn more about specific conditions or special services available in schools, Understood offers in-depth information about Individualized Education Programs, 504 Plans, ADHD, auditory processing disorder, communication disorders, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dyslexia, dyspraxia, executive functioning issues, nonverbal learning disabilities, sensory processing issues and visual processing issues.
The three-year PSA campaign will include television, radio, print, outdoor and digital PSAs in English and Spanish. The PSAs will be distributed to more than 33,000 media outlets nationwide and will run in time and space donated by the media. The campaign was developed in partnership with the Ad Council and created pro bono by Publicis Kaplan Thaler.
“In our work, we always try to show empathy and understanding,” said Rob Feakins, President and Chief Creative Officer of Publicis Kaplan Thaler. “This campaign shines a light on the significant learning and attention issues that affect one of every five children by making them completely relatable and instantly understood. We are delighted to partner with the Ad Council and Understood.org to help make a difference in the lives of so many families.”
“Understood.org and this campaign provide crucial information and resources for parents throughout the country who may not know where to turn to get support,” said Peggy Conlon, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “We are proud of the breadth of this partnership and the extraordinary resource—Understood.org—and believe that together we will create a national conversation about the importance of addressing learning and attention issues.”
“Understood’s founding partners are united by a common belief that the most effective way to help children with learning and attention issues is by informing and empowering their parents,” said Ned Hallowell, a world-renowned psychiatrist and bestselling author who is also a member of Understood’s team of experts. “I have been waiting 30 years for a resource as simple and life-changing as Understood. This really is the dawn of a new era.”
For more information about Understood and resources for learning and attention issues, visit www.understood.org.
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Understood.org is a comprehensive, free nonprofit resource designed to empower parents of the 1 in 5 children who have learning and attention issues by providing clear information and practical advice to help kids thrive in school and in life. Understood’s founding partners are Benetech, CAST, the Child Mind Institute, Common Sense Media, the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Eye to Eye, GreatSchools, the Learning Disabilities Association of America, the National Center for Learning Disabilities, New Profit, the Oak Foundation, Parents Education Network, the Poses Family Foundation, Reading Rockets and the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation.
About the Ad Council
The Ad Council is a nonprofit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver crucial messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has effected, and continues to effect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit www.adcouncil.org.
Understood greatly appreciates the passion and creativity of the agencies that helped design, build and promote this powerful new resource, including:
- Agency Oasis http://www.agencyoasis.com
- Digital Pulp http://www.digitalpulp.com/
- Echo & Co http://echo.co/
- Edelman http://www.edelman.com
- Propper Daley http://www.propperdaley.com
- Publicis Kaplan Thaler http://www.kaplanthaler.com/
- Siegel + Gale http://www.siegelgale.com/
- Starcom MediaVest Group http://www.smvgroup.com
Diana Torres-Bixby – Diana.Torres-Bixby@edelman.com; 212-819-4895