Kay Thomas was the 2005 recipient of the Copper Black Award, given annually by the Mensa Foundation for exceptional creativity and problem solving. Dr. Thomas' method of teaching bilingual literacy was selected by a panel of eight distinguished Mensans. The award includes a plaque and a cash stipend of $500.
“Kay's innovative approach to bilingual education was the key to her success in being chosen as this year's outstanding problem-solving recipient," said Greg Timmers, foundation president. "The judges were very impressed with the Bilingual SpeedReading method of foreign language literacy learning. It is an excellent example of the creativity the award was created to spotlight.”
Bilingual SpeedReading was inspired by a data communications technique. By applying the technique to two computer languages instead of two human languages, Kay developed a specific method to arrange bilingual reading material so that the student reads (learns) both languages simultaneously. This form of forced biliteracy acquisition is effective with a wide range of two-language combinations and topics.