Supporting Literacy Achievement for Students with Intellectual Disability and Autism through Curricular Programs that Incorporate Assistive Technology

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Education professionals are challenged with re-evaluating the learning capacity of students with developmental disabilities (e.g., intellectual disabilities, autism). Assistive technology (AT) provides both the means for delivery of instruction and the measure of outcomes. Students with developmental disabilities are learning to read and develop general education English Language Arts (ELA) skills across the grade span. This article summarizes ten selected research studies that demonstrate gains of students with developmental disabilities, including individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), who have made measurable strides in literacy general education ELA skills. This selected research focused on literacy interventions specifically created for students with developmental disabilities which incorporated the use of AT, use systematic instruction and shared stories, and are commercially available. The research studies include a range of literacy instruction from picture books and early literacy skills to adapted contemporary fiction novels grade aligned to general education secondary level ELA. In these research protocols, AT facilitated both the delivery oof instruction and measure of outcomes.