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Learning Disabilities Research Program

Our guiding principles

Our belief is that everyone deserves the opportunities that improved levels of literacy functioning can afford them. Effective treatment of literacy learning problems in our schools will lead to improved individual and family outcomes, greater productivity of disabled readers later in life, and will reduce the adverse psychiatric and general health outcomes associated with illiteracy. If students with disabilities are to be taught the reading skills they need, research is needed to define the underlying causes of their reading failures and to clearly identify the best instructional approaches and combinations of approaches for their effective remediation.

Since 1979, the LDRP has used rigorous research standards to advance our knowledge of what constitutes successful literacy programming for struggling readers in both elementary and secondary schools, for beginning readers at significant risk for reading acquisition failure, and for struggling adult readers. Drawing from over three decades of research involving more than 6000 students, we have identified many of the components that define effective literacy instruction. In addition, the students who have participated in our intervention programs in our laboratory classrooms have demonstrated significant improvement in their reading and reading-related skills.