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NICHCY Connections...to Literacy

February 19, 2004
Resources added, April 6, 2006
Approx. 12 pages when printed

Theresa Rebhorn
Assistant Director of Publications, NICHCY

NICHCY is pleased to connect you with sources of information and assistance on literacy. Literacy is knowing how to make meaning from written language by:

  • reading,
  • writing,
  • thinking, and
  • communicating.

This includes everything from knowing how to read and write your name and address to reading or writing scholarly works, and everything in between. With appropriate access, active learning, and balanced instruction every child can gain their own personal literacy level. We hope this resource list will help parents and professionals find the tools they need so that all children reach their fullest literacy potential.

The list below isn't intended to be exhaustive of the literacy resources available---it's ever-growing. We'll be adding to this page constantly, so check back often to see what's new!

Reading with Older Children

  • Adolescent literacy workshops.
    A series of workshops was held to review and summarize the critical issues relevant to adolescent literacy. Results are summarized on the Partnership for Reading's Web site, at the link above, and include Video Summary of the Second Adolescent Literacy Workshop: Practice Models for Adolescent Literacy Success.
  • Need high interest / low reading level materials?
    Try the Accessible Book Collection. Here you can find age-appropriate reading materials for students reading below their grade level (often called high interest/low reading level materials). Qualified students can borrow digital copies, or e-books from the vast collection. These are great for students who are prevented from reading standard print due to visual, perceptual or physical disability such as: blindness, physical disability, visual impairment, learning disabilities and dyslexia.
  • For middle schoolers and up.
    The goal of the Literacy Matters project is to improve the literacy development of middle grades and secondary school students, especially those students who are struggling to succeed. Find helpful resources for teachers, parents, and students themselves. Electronic workshops are available, too!
  • When secondary students struggle
    The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) offers insight into and suggestions for addressing reading instruction with students in high school.
  • 15 elements of effective adolescent literacy programs.
    Written by five of the nation's leading researchers, "Reading Next: A Vision for Action and Research in Middle and High School Literacy," charts an immediate route to improving adolescent literacy.
  • Adolescent Literacy Learning Link.
    Called ALL-Link, Adolescent Literacy Learning Link is a field-initiated research and development project. Currently being field tested by adolescents with severe speech and physical disabilities across the country, ALL-Link is a comprehensive, integrated, web-delivered set of reading and writing instructional materials at the beginning levels. Spanish is coming soon, according to the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies (CLDS).
  • Heard of the SIM, the Strategic Instruction Model?
    The University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning has developed the SIM, which is a comprehensive approach to adolescent literacy that addresses the need of students to be able to read and understand large volumes of complex reading materials as well as to be able to express themselves effectively in writing. Visit the Center (use the link above) and take a look at their available materials on the SIM---and more!

This information is copyright free.
Readers are encouraged to copy and share it, but please credit the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY).

NICHCY Connections pages are published in response to questions from individuals and organizations that contact us. We encourage you to share your ideas and feedback with us!
Project Director: Suzanne Ripley
Editor: Lisa Küpper & Mary Kate Gutiérrez
Author: Theresa Rebhorn
NICHCY thanks our Project Officer, Dr. Peggy Cvach, at the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), U.S. Department of Education.

P.O. Box 1492
Washington, DC 20013
(800) 695-0285 v/tty
(202) 884-8441 fax


*Please note: at time of publication all links were current. To maintain the fidelity of the original resource, we have kept the links to show original sources.

Publication of this Web resource page is made possible through Cooperative Agreement #H326N030003 between the Academy for Educational Development and the Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.