This literacy curriculum was evaluated by Dr. Janice Light and Dr. David McNaughton through a series of research studies funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) as part of the Rehabilitation Research Center on Communication Enhancement (The AAC-RERC) (grant # H133E030018).
Overview of the research studies
Each of the studies:
- Used a single subject multiple baseline across participants experimental design
- Targeted a different literacy skill
- Employed the instructional materials and procedures described in this website
A total of 10 individuals have participated in the research project to date.
Participants include learners of various ages:
- Children as young as 3 and 4 years of age
- Older individuals who never had the opportunity for literacy instruction
Participants include learners with a wide range of special needs:
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Cerebral palsy
- Down syndrome
- Developmental apraxia
- Multiple disabilities (vision, hearing, and motor impairments)
- All of the participants have complex communication needs.
They communicate using many different means, including:
- Speech and speech approximations
- Signs and gestures
- Communication boards with pictures
- PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)
- Speech generating devices (SGDs) or computers
The literacy instruction participants received:
- followed the procedures described in this website
- used the materials described in the website
- was conducted in one on one sessions at the learner’s home, preschool, or school
- was typically scheduled 1-2 times per week for approximately 30-45 minutes per session.
- This amount of instruction was not ideal.
- Ideally, participants would have received instruction daily.
- Results illustrate outcomes in less than ideal circumstances.
All of the participants made substantial gains as a result of the literacy instruction.
- All of the participants learned all of the letter-sound correspondences.
- All of the participants acquired phonological awareness skills such as sound blending and phoneme segmentation.
- They learned to apply these skills during decoding and writing activities.
- All of the participants learned to read simple words.
- All of the participants learned to apply their decoding/sight word recognition skills during shared reading activities.
- All of the participants learned to read and understand simple sentences and stories.
Click here to see videos of the students’ success stories.
Last Updated: August 31, 2012