Project Core Aims to Improve Implementation of Technology Tools for Students with Disabilities

The Center for Literacy and Disability Studies (CLDS) has been awarded $2.5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education, for Project Core, an Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities–Stepping-Up Technology Implementation grant.

Project Core Aims to Improve Implementation of Technology Tools for Students with Disabilities click to enlarge Students utilize technology tools.

Stepping-Up Technology grants are aimed at identifying strategies needed to effectively implement evidence-based technology tools that benefit students with disabilities as well as disseminating products that will help a broad range of schools to effectively implement these technology tools.

Under the direction of Dr. Karen Erickson, the four-year project (with a contingent fifth year) will improve access to evidence-based augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) interventions required for access and academic achievement in the general education curriculum for students with significant cognitive disabilities (SCD) and complex communication needs (CCN).  The evidence-based technology that is the target of the intervention is the Dynamic Learning Maps ™ Core Vocabulary (DLM® Core).

DLM® Core includes words determined to be necessary for students with SCD and CCN to engage, learn, and demonstrate knowledge in an academic environment.  Grounded in the principles of implementation science and scaling up to 10 schools over five potential years, the project will entail iterative cycles of collaborative planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of the DLM Core.  Throughout each stage, tools will be refined for training, coaching, assessing readiness, and monitoring fidelity of implementation. 

The project will result in a web portal of professional development resources for school-level implementation teams, coaches, and educators supporting students with SCD and CCN.
The project will start January 2015.  Additional members of the research team include Penny Hatch, Lori Geist, Claire Greer, Skip Ryan, and Allison Dennis.

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