Join our virtual sessions with CORNELIUS MINOR and learn more about: • Creating strong relationships to sustain a classroom community • Building self- awareness, empathy and identity in order to participate in a learning community • Integrating social learning into lesson planning and teaching • Using voice and choice to propel agency

The opportunity to learn to read and write should be afforded to ALL, regardless of ability or disability. In this interactive series, we will explore how to build a comprehensive literacy program that will develop reading and writing skills in students that have limited verbal skills and other complex needs. Throughout these courses, you will learn a research-based framework that embodies a comprehensive approach to teaching reading and writing in an adapted way for our most complex learners.

Teaching Foundational Skills of Reading to Students with Limited Verbal Abilities

Typical methods for teaching foundational literacy skills are very difficult, if not impossible, for students with limited verbal skills.   The opportunity to learn to read and write should be afforded to ALL, regardless of spoken communication ability.  Education, self-determination, employment, quality of life, and enjoyment all may hinge on an individual’s ability to read and/or to write.  Students who are nonverbal or who require additional supports such as AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) need comprehensive literacy instruction that is adapted to meet their unique needs.   In this course, you will learn instructional strategies for teaching foundational literacy skills to students with limited verbal abilities.

Teaching Students with Complex Needs to Read and Write

All students need rich opportunities to engage in reading and writing experiences throughout the day.  We will explore a comprehensive approach to literacy that is designed to meet your students’ unique needs.  We will discuss emergent and conventional literacy strategies and how to identify interventions that match your students’ instructional level.  You will learn how to integrate foundational literacy skills into comprehensive literacy instruction so students learn to generalize these skills.  Join this series to explore instructional strategies that build reading comprehension and vocabulary skills, expand decoding skills, and create meaningful reading & writing experiences.

Using AAC Effectively to Support Literacy Instruction

Students with limited verbal skills typically require some form of AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication).  AAC users may rely heavily on reading and writing skills for expressive communication; therefore, comprehensive literacy instruction is particularly important.  In this course, we will connect best practices of literacy instruction to AAC to ensure that non-speaking students have meaningful opportunities to engage in reading and writing.


This is the second post of a mini-series being presented by Julie Ortlieb.  Check the MCIU Learning Network throughout this year to see more posts from this series.

The MCIU Learning Network features a variety of open professional learning resources. Access a range of podcasts, blog posts, and other creative content from the Office of Organizational & Professional Learning.