Literacy Instruction for Learners with Moderate to Severe Intellectual Disabilities: A Chance for Growth in Reading through Adapted Materials and Evidence-Based Strategies
AuthorMolina, Leslie A.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of adapted materials paired with evidence-based strategies during literacy instruction for high school students with moderate to severe disabilities. Historically, students with severe disabilities have been denied consistent and quality literacy instruction in the educational setting. If reading instruction was provided, it traditionally centered on sight words used throughout a student’s daily life (Browder Ahlgrim-Delzell, Spooner, Mims, & Baker, 2009). No Child Left Behind (NCLB) (2002) and the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (2004) mandated that students with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities participate in school accountability through large-scale assessments for annual yearly progress (AYP). Those alternate assessments no longer target daily living skills and functional activities, but instead focus intensely on academic alternate state standards, aligned with the general education state standards/Common Core State Standards for core subjects (English Language Arts and math) that are assessed at designated grade levels (Mims, Hudson, & Browder, 2012). This study focuses on literacy instruction using adapted materials that incorporate photo/line drawing support delivered through systematic instruction to enhance the literacy skills of high school aged students with moderate to severe disabilities. Key Words: Literacy, reading instruction, vocabulary instruction, functional academics, shared reading, comprehension, constant time delay, adapted materials, photo/line drawing support, moderate to severe disabilities, significant disabilities, high school