Generalization of literacy skills through portable technology for students with severe disabilities


Literacy is an important skill for accessing all academic content areas, and there has been an increased focus on using a variety of assistive technology (AT) to support the acquisition of literacy skills for students with severe disabilities. Literacy also provides these students with skills to increase community participation, with independence, with skills to make individual choices, and with opportunities for potential employment. Portable technology such as an iPad2® can be used to enhance literacy skills for students with severe disabilities in elementary school. A typical way to teach literacy to this population is through the use of a shared story. Although systematic instruction has proven to be an effective teaching strategy, the generality of the literacy skills usually has not been the focus of the training. In this study, five students with severe disabilities (IQ below 55, range in age 7-11 years, grade range 2nd-6th grades) were taught to generalize literacy skills via multiple exemplar training. A multiple probe design across participants demonstrated a functional relation between student responding and the intervention. Extension of what we currently know, limitations, and future research are discussed.

Publication Title

Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities