Teaching Reading and Literacy Skills to Students with Intellectual Disability

Authored by: Susan R. Copeland , Elizabeth B. Keefe

Handbook of Research-Based Practices for Educating Students with Intellectual Disability

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138832091
eBook ISBN: 9781315736198
Adobe ISBN: 9781317566243


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Being able to read is a critically important skill for children and adults. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 2004) underscored the importance of being able to read when it noted that acquiring literacy skills contributes to quality of life and full participation in society. Reading forms the foundation for learning other academic skills (e.g., acquiring social studies and science knowledge). Reading also opens up opportunities for full participation in social activities (e.g., corresponding with friends and family; Forts & Luckasson, 2011), employment (e.g. using literacy skills to complete work-related activities; Vaccarino, Culligan, Comrie, & Sligo, 2006), and civic activities (e.g., learning about issues that affect one’s rights; Reichenberg & Lofgren, 2013). Having basic reading skills is also associated with improved health outcomes (Institute on Medicine [IOM], 2011).

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