MindPlay is an educational software development company.

Our mission:  develop, publish, and distribute cost-effective learning tools with clear objectives, inviting graphics, and modern technology to support reading growth and development

MindPlay was founded by Judith Bliss in 1981 to provide a viable and cost-effective solution for overcoming the challenges of learning to read.  Her personal experience with reading disabilities made her acutely aware that learning differences have a real impact on both school and lifetime success.

The company began doing business as MindPlay®, under the parent company of Methods and Solutions, Inc.  Its first line of self-published educational software programs was launched in 1986. MindPlay programs appeal to multiple learning styles, identify individual student needs, and differentiate instruction with customized lesson plans. Students are assigned only the lessons required to fill in gaps in their overall skills.

MindPlay is compliant with:
– Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
– Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
– Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The Personal Story of MindPlay Founder Judith Bliss

“The first key to teaching dyslexic learners to read is hope,” says Judith Bliss, founder and CEO of MindPlay. As a dyslexic learner herself, Bliss understands firsthand the everyday obstacles and challenges struggling readers face.

Like so many other students with disabilities, Bliss was never diagnosed nor treated. Instead, she was left to fend for herself in getting through the academic hurdles presented each day at school. Expectations were low all around, she says. She had low expectations of herself, as did her parents who had not graduated from high school. Nevertheless, Bliss maintained average grades through hard work. “Homework that would take others a half hour to do took me two hours,” she says.

On the other hand, unlike many young students with dyslexia, Bliss was lucky to possess other skills and abilities. She recognized that her dyslexia did not equate to a lack of intelligence. “Although I struggled with reading, I recognized that I could excel over my classmates in other areas, such as math and skills like negotiation and mobilizing resources for a common goal. I was poor at taking notes, for instance, but I developed strong listening skills and negotiated to acquire notes from my classmates. I would head up school committees, and was able to figure out how to enlist the assistance of every student in helping us reach our goals.”

The seeds of today’s MindPlay were sown when Bliss’s son was small and she wanted to motivate him to love learning. Under the brand MindPlay, she built animated problem-solving games with clues that would engage children and inspire them to use higher-order thinking skills. When her son graduated from high school, Bliss revised the MindPlay model to focus on teaching reading to dyslexic and struggling readers, like herself.

In developing today’s version of MindPlay, Bliss spent time in classrooms, studying the techniques of teachers who were successful teaching dyslexic students to read. They understood scientifically based reading instruction. They focused on the basic skills that are the foundation for fluent reading. With their help, at age 48 she learned how to decode words for the first time and had an epiphany: “Is that all there is to it?” She learned that it is not that difficult to overcome reading obstacles when you are taught properly. “Research tells us that 95 percent of students can learn to read with explicit and systematic instruction, which is what MindPlay offers,” says Bliss. “It is unacceptable that we are graduating students without teaching them to read.”

Bliss’ message for parents is not to rely on the school system to diagnose and address their struggling student’s needs. Schools are looking to do the best for everyone, but they often lack the resources and/or expertise to help, and kids have a tendency to fall through the cracks. When that happens, kids write themselves off as failures, she says. With technology, however, one-on-one instruction with an online speech pathologist or virtual teacher makes literacy possible for everyone. MindPlay is a solution that places the student in the center, with built-in teachers providing instruction and targeted feedback for each student. “Learning to read can reverse the downward spiral of a struggling reader’s life and completely transform them, offering new self-confidence and the opportunities to contribute to society that make life meaningful,” says Bliss. “We have a social responsibility to do this for all students.”

Connect with other MindPlay educators

MindPlay feels that community is key to high quality education. Join your educator colleagues in MindPlay’s online professional learning communities on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Learn about and share your own best practices, tips, lesson ideas, solutions and successes. Stay informed on the latest news, resources, and expert perspectives on reading literacy while connecting with others. Join us today!

Our History

MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach™ is updated and a new version released.

The updated version continues to help students achieve impressive gains in as little as 5 hours of usage.

MindPlay Reading Fluency™ is released.

A tool to improve reading comprehension and fluency in average to above average students.

MindPlay Teacher Education Products are released.

MindPlay Teacher Companion™ helps teachers understand scientifically-based reading instruction embedded in MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach.

MindPlay Understanding Dyslexia™ helps teachers understand the symptoms of dyslexia.

MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach™ is released.

The program directly teaches students using scientifically-based reading differentiated instruction and mastery-based activities in phonemic awareness, phonics, grammar for meaning, reading comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary.

MindPlay Universal Screener™ (formerly known as RAPS 360) is updated to expand its reach into K-2 by adding a phonemic awareness diagnostic.

MindPlay Universal Screener™ (formerly known as RAPS® 360) released. This diagnostic assessment system analyzes students reading skills in minutes, provides a prescription to address the student’s specific needs and measures Annual Yearly Progress.

MindPlay Reading Fluency™ (formerly known as FLRT®) – a training program for fluent reading is released. This product improves reading speed along with comprehension.

My Reading Coach™ Platinum is released. based on field input. The new release incorporated updated graphic and grammar content; expanded reporting features and integrated MindPlay Universal Screener™ (formerly known as RAPS 360) test components.

My Reading Coach™ Platinum introduces a Spanish instruction module as an add-on feature.

MindPlay Universal Screener™ (formerly known as RAPS 360) updated version is released.

University of Arizona independent research study of original Larrabee’s Bridge to Literacy program was published.  This and other research studies available on the results page.

MindPlay Universal Screener™ (formerly known as RAPS® 360 -Reading Analysis and Prescription System) is officially released.

Company updated and expanded product to include lessons taught in the MindPlay Lifelong Learning Center, including grammar as a tool for improving syntactic processing, reading comprehension and Embedded Teacher Intelligence™, released as My Reading Coach™ Gold.

MindPlay’s Lifelong Learning Center™ closed as My Reading Coach Gold minimized the need for ongoing teacher assistance and guidance.

Company assigned exclusive territories to dealer representatives.

With updates making the product suitable for ages seven through adult, the product was re-branded MindPlay Larrabee’s Bridge to Literacy™.

University of Arizona doctoral candidate, J. Crews, conducted the first independent research and pilot study of the program at Myers-Ganoung Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona.

MindPlay launched Larrabee’s Bridge to Adult Literacy™.

Florence State Prison, one of 13 prison facilities operated by the Arizona Department of Corrections successfully implemented MindPlay Larrabee’s Bridge to Adult Literacy with inmates.

MindPlay Lifelong Learning Center™ opened in Tucson, AZ, to measure student success using the program in a “real world” learning environment during initial program development.

Bliss began a quest for an effective reading system. She met Tucson-based reading specialist and speech pathologist, Jim Larrabee. MindPlay decided to create a software program modeling Larrabee’s successful reading instruction methods.

Methods and Solutions, Inc. corporate office relocated to Tucson, AZ, for ongoing MindPlay educational software development and publishing.

Methods and Solutions Inc. added (DBA) MindPlay® to encompass self-published line of MindPlay software. With the goal of helping dyslexic students, Bliss introduced her first six self-published MindPlay educational software games: Math Magic™ , Race the Clock™, Cat n’ Mouse™, Picture Perfect™, Bake n’ Taste™, Dyno-Quest™ and later, over 40 other programs.

First corporate office opened in Woburn, MA, for ongoing development for several educational publishers.

Judith Bliss founded and solely funded Methods and Solutions, Inc. as a development company for several educational publishers.