Literacy Instruction for the Older Student


March 23, 2022


It is critical for students who experience complex communication needs (CCN) develop sound literacy skills in order to increase their participation and communication interactions with as many people as possible. Without the requisite mature literacy abilities, this group will be disadvantaged in that they may be unable to access the dedicated, sophisticated, high or low technological AAC systems which are available to support their educational, vocational and social experiences throughput their lives. This means that they will neither be able to enrich their life experiences, nor develop their cognitive potential to the full.  Reading is a complex process that places many cognitive demands on the reader. It is well documented that individuals with CCN who have sufficient intellectual ability and receptive language have greater difficulty than their peers in becoming literate. Yet, it is possible for individuals with CCN to master the code, despite the often irregularity of instruction as well the fact that English orthography is often variant and unpredictable.  This presentation will aim to highlight teaching strategies and approaches that have been successful in teaching the older student become literate.


Maureen Casey, MA, BA (hons), ACE (Incl), DSE (Re), DE (JP)

Learning Outcomes:

Discuss the process of learning to read.

Explain how to assess for literacy instruction.

Discuss how to develop a reading program for a client.


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