Anniversary of Early Literacy Skills Builder


We had a chance to catch up with most of the authors of Early Literacy Skills Builder and hear their perspective on how special education and student expectations have changed over the last decade!


"In the last 10 years, educators have begun to expect that all students, including those with moderate and severe disabilities can benefit from literacy. Using literacy and other skills, students can access the full general curriculum in meaningful ways. The science of reading and assistive technology were breakthroughs in the early 21st century that paved the way for promoting literacy for all children. Building on these breakthroughs, the Early Literacy Skills Builder provided teachers with a specific way to teach students with moderate and severe disabilities to find meaning in printed text. I celebrate that students with moderate and severe disabilities have shown us [that] they can learn much more than we ever dreamed possible once given the opportunity and support."

- Diane Browder, PhD


"I remember 10-12 years ago when we began talking about literacy and reading instruction for students with significant disabilities. There was a prevailing expectation that these students would not learn to read. We often responded to questions like "Are you talking about my students?" First, we had to convince the audience that reading was possible. Now instead of questions that ask whether reading is possible, the expectation is that... some of these students will learn to read and deserve the opportunity to do so. The questions now are about how to teach literacy and reading skills: We have moved from 'if' to 'how'."

- Lynn Ahlgrim-Delzell, PhD


"The changes to both special education instruction and student expectations are significant and numerous! There is a teacher quote that is included in a video for Attainment’s Access Language Arts App that illustrates how far we have come, but also how far we still have to go. Here’s the quote: “An outsider looking in might think ‘they cannot’, and now we can say 'yes they can,'…and we have the research to back it up.” Ten years ago, teachers would not have been able to make that statement, some teachers may have even agreed with the “they cannot” sentiment. But today, in part due to quality instruction that promotes evidence-based practices, special educators have seen student successes and have embraced a “presumption of competence.""

- Angel Lee, PhD


"Since the ELSB was first released, I believe that teachers have higher expectations for their students in the area of literacy and academics in general. When teachers understand how to teach the content and can see student gains, everyone benefits!"

- Ginevra Courtade, PhD


What interesting insight and observations! Have you noticed a shift in expectations for students over the years? Do you have a story to share? Feel free to comment below!

Also, enjoy 10% off the blended or print-only kit through 2018 with code ELSB10 at checkout.

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