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Teaching Literacy to Students With Significant Disabilities

Teaching Literacy to Students With Significant Disabilities
Strategies for the K-12 Inclusive Classroom

Edited by:

January 2005 | 192 pages | Corwin
Break down literacy barriers to enrich the lives of students with significant disabilities!
All educators and family members would agree that depriving any student of the enhanced self-esteem, independence, social skills, and general quality of life afforded by literacy would be wrong. However, because of the particular challenges-perceived or otherwise-of providing literacy instruction to children and youth with significant disabilities, these students are often overlooked in receiving meaningful experiences and equal access to this aspect of the core curriculum.

Teaching Literacy to Students With Significant Disabilities offers tangible support for obliterating the obstacles to effective literacy instruction, including:

  • Effective strategies for tailoring literacy materials to students with disabilities
  • Tactics for adapting state standards and meeting No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requirements
  • Straightforward chapter summaries, frequently asked questions, Web sites, and other resources that reinforce key points
  • Easy-to-implement planning and assessment guidelines
Brimming with practical ideas, tips, and examples, this definitive guide offers K-12 educators the research findings and means for creating an inclusive environment that encourages students with significant disabilities to become actively engaged in literacy learning. It empowers teachers, family members, and all team members with creative, sensitive, and all-embracing ways to successfully set and meet realistic communication-development goals that yield lifelong benefits.

Douglas Fisher
About the Author
1. Literacy and a Free Appropriate Public Education
Key Concepts  
What Is Literacy?  
Literacy and Federal Mandates in Education  
Barriers to Literacy Instruction for Students With Significant Disabilities  
Attitudinal Barrier  
Low Expectations  
Limited Opportunities  
Limited Means of Accessing Literacy  
Limited Time  
The Age Factor  
Literacy and Quality of Life Issues  
Information Gathering  
Why Teach Reading to Students With Severe Disabilities?  
2. Literacy and Communication
Key Concepts  
The Relationship Between Communication and Literacy  
Building Relationships  
Reading Together  
The Benefits of Play Interactions  
Emergent Literacy for Students of All Ages  
Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices  
Building Shared Experiences for Literacy Development  
Documentation of Shared Experiences  
Photograph Books  
Tactile Books  
Frequently Asked Questions  
3. Planning Literacy Activities
Key Concepts  
General Considerations  
Literacy Rich Environments  
Benefits of Learning in a General Education Classroom  
Access to the Core Curriculum  
Not Just Physical Presence  
Identifying Literacy Goals  
What Are the Literacy Goals of the Individual and the Family?  
Determining Present Literacy Skills  
Analyzing the Environment and the Need for Literacy Skills  
Identifying When Literacy Skills Can be Taught Throughout the Day  
Creating Literacy-Learning Opportunities for All Ages  
Integrated Related Services  
Developing Literacy Materials for Individual Students  
Age Appropriateness  
Individual Consuderations  
Physical Considerations  
Visual Considerations  
Cultural Considerations  
Interesting Material  
High Quality  
Assistive Technology  
Computer Access  
Frequently Asked Questions  
4. Teaching Literacy Skills
Key Concepts  
Concerns With Some Past Practices  
General Considerations When Teaching Literacy Skills  
Offering Choices  
Following Interest Level  
Providing Opportunities  
Make Accessible  
On the Spot Accommodations  
Meaningful Literacy Experiences  
The Use of a Daily Planner  
Within Task Directions  
Self-Monitoring Checklists  
Language Experience Stories  
Interactive and Fun  
Clear Literacy Goals in Mind  
Drawing Attention to Conventional Literacy  
Balanced Literacy Approach  
Specific Instructional Strategies  
Draw Attention to the Stimulus and Shape the Response  
Model the Behaviors of Reading and Writing  
Check for Comprehension  
Wait for a Response  
Provide Corrective Feedback and Praise  
Fade Instructional Support  
Teaching Generalization of Skills  
Frequently Asked Questions  
5. Evaluating Progress: Next Steps
Key Concepts  
Alternative Assessments  
Review of Past Records  
The Link to IEP Goals and State Standards  
Adapting State Standards on Literacy  
Developing Appropriate IEP Goals and Objectives  
Passive Versus Active IEP Goals and Objectives  
Standard Linked IEP Objectives  
Procedures for Measuring Student Progress  
Data Collection  
Easy to Use Forms  
Portfolio Assessment  
Using Data for Instructional Purposed  
Determining Next Steps  
Review Literacy Goals  
Raise Expectations  
What Are the Logical Next Steps?  
6. The Future for Literacy Access and Instruction
Key Concepts  
Improved Strategies to Support Literacy Goals  
Strengthening Early Intervention Services  
Future Advances in Technology  
Bridging the Research-to-Practice Gap  
Impact on Personnel Preparation  
Impact on Quality of Life  
List of Tables
List of Figures

“Literacy is power—power to control your own life and influence the world around you. This book makes an important contribution. June Downing has challenged our assumptions about and expectations for students with significant disabilities.”

From the foreword by Douglas Fisher
Key features
  • High-profile author
  • Excellent companion to new projects in Autism and Asperger's Syndrome.
  • Coverage of the NCLB Act and the 2003 reauthorization of IDEA

For instructors

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ISBN: 9780761988793
ISBN: 9780761988786

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