Head of the Class

Huron, Ohio—Sandusky RegisterA worldwide renowned festival recently recognized a local company for its innovative strategies in helping students with special needs learn through various technological platforms.

Headquartered in Huron, OH, n2y, an organization creating unique and dynamic learning materials, was one of 19 companies to receive what’s called “special visibility” at the Texas-based South by Southwest EDU (SXSWedu) festival.

This meant n2y could showcase its “playground display.” It’s a location where education-related professionals across the globe could experience n2y’s products through various hands-on demonstrations.

“It gave teachers an opportunity to see our products in action,” n2y vice president of Marketing, Margaret deBoer said. “We set up a mock classroom for teachers to interact with our products as if it was an actual classroom.”

During the presentation, executives stressed their materials would help children not only understand classroom lessons but also overcome challenges those with special needs often face.

“All students need exposure to the general standards of education, and we need to raise expectations, through a structured lesson plan, to help them make gains,” company president, Chrissy Wostmann, said.

The company also underscored its innovative nature. “No one before n2y developed a full curriculum that allowed students a chance to learn,” deBoer said. “They deserve the opportunity to learn and learn the same kind of content that the general population of students are learning. We want them to do algebra and biology, but we modify it to give them entry into the same kind of standards that their peers are also learning.”

Upon reflecting on the recent visit, occurring in early March, company executives appeared thrilled about making their first appearance at South by Southwest. They estimated interacting with about 1,000 different professionals. “It was an incredible opportunity,” deBoer said. Best of all: Many around the globe know what n2y strives to accomplish.

“Our mission is to provide the world’s best age-appropriate education solutions for students with special learning needs,” Wostmann said.

Located in Austin, Texas, the annual South by Southwest festival is known for celebrating the convergence of technology, education, film and music. It’s considered by many the premier global event for such attractions.

Bio blast: n2y
  • Founded in 1997, the company specializes in online, interactive products, allowing students with special needs to access a school’s general curriculum and become connected with the world around them.
  • n2y offers its products to teachers and school administrators through a cloud-based subscription platform. Tens of thousands of classrooms across the country, including Perkins Schools, rely on n2y’s products for students with complex needs.
  • Among the company’s three main building blocks for learning:
  1. Unique Learning System, a standards-based accessible curriculum program designed specifically for students with special needs in classrooms across the U.S.
  2. News-2-You, a weekly current events newspaper providing updates on programs and spotlighting individuals benefitting from these initiatives.
  3. SymbolStix PRIME, a proprietary symbol-based language used in learning materials.
  • Through these programs, n2y helps improve student performance, teacher efficiency, school compliance and parent satisfaction by providing highly customizable and easy-to-use solutions differentiated by leveled activities and support.
  • In 2009, n2y moved into a newly built 5,600-square-foot building in Huron near BGSU Firelands.
  • In 2014, n2y expanded to 16,800 square feet of space.
  • Today, construction is now underway to optimize the existing space.
  • The company has grown from 26 employees at the end of 2009 to 72 at the end of 2016 and expects to have 106 employees by the end 2017.
  • The company has invested more than $15 million, primarily in employees through payroll, during the past three years. With the exception of a handful of employees working remotely, all of the company’s payroll is at the Huron headquarters.