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Accessible Literacy Framework

Course Coordinator:

Lisa Thomas

About the course

How does one provide reading instruction to students with developmental or intellectual disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy or Down syndrome? This course is grounded in the premise that reading is at the center of most activities—in and out of school. The essential components of reading instruction—phonological awareness, sound blending, initial phoneme segmentation, letter-sound correspondence, decoding and shared reading—will be covered and framed to address emerging literacy needs of students with complex communication needs. This course is designed specifically for educators and school staff who are responsible for providing and/or adapting materials for students with disabilities who have complex communication needs, use assistive technology to access curriculum, or require adaptive materials to participate in a learning environment. Course participants will learn specific strategies designed to augment existing curriculums or to serve independently as a literacy tool to reach this academically underserved and challenging student population.

Course Objectives:
• Provide research-based practices on providing early literacy for development for children with complex communication needs, with intellectual disabilities, or at-risk learners.
• Examine the use of augmented or assistive technology to access curriculum.
• Explore how to adapt content for a variety of pre-emerging readers.
• Makes strategies available to educators and support staff that will help them provide pre-readers with complex communication needs or intellectual disabilities or at-risk learners access to academic content.

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