Foundations for Literacy (FFL) is a one-of-a-kind, evidence-based intervention designed specifically for preschool and kindergarten-aged children who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH). Targeted learning objectives include vocabulary, narrative skills, alphabetic knowledge, phonological awareness, and reading decodable words and short connected text. Each lesson includes strategies for differentiating instruction using fun, multi-sensory, age-appropriate, integrated activities. The lesson plans include guidance on how teachers can adapt lessons depending children’s use of sound-based or visual-based reading strategies. Teachers have successfully implemented FFL in Listening and Spoken Language, Total Communication (those that use both speech and sign to communicate with their students), and bilingual ASL-English programs. Classroom teachers typically implement Foundations for Literacy an hour a day every week for the school year, Itinerant teachers teach the parts of the lesson plans that are consistent with their students’ learning goals.

Foundations for Literacy was developed over 10 years with support from the U.S. Department of Education. Our extensive research shows it is effective in improving DHH children’s early language and literacy skills.

You can download an overview and sample lesson plans from the Teacher’s Manual.

You can also listen to Dr. Lederberg present an overview of Foundations for Literacy as well as how the Science of Reading  can inform teaching literacy to deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

We began offering training workshops and distributing the intervention materials in the summer of 2017. Over 1000 classroom teachers around the country have successfully implemented Foundations for Literacy in center-based programs and resource classrooms. Additionally, itinerant teachers, speech language pathologists and special education teachers have adapted FFL lessons to meet the needs of DHH students in various settings. Educators have also used components of Foundations for Literacy for remediation with elementary-school students.

Foundations for Literacy was developed by an interdisciplinary team of professionals:

Dr. Amy R. Lederberg, an educational psychologist, is a Professor, Emerita in the Learning Sciences department at Georgia State University

Ms. Elizabeth Malone Miller, is a teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing.

Dr. Susan Easterbrooks, a deaf educator, is a Professor, Emerita in the Learning Sciences department at Georgia State University

Dr. Stacey Tucci, a former teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing, is the lead trainer for Foundations for Literacy

Dr. Victoria Burke, a reading specialist, was a Research Scientist at the Center on Literacy and Deafness, GSU

Dr. Carol M. Connor, a former speech pathologist and reading specialist, was a Chancellor’s Professor, School of Education, University of California-Irvine

And many classroom teachers.

Information about Foundations for Literacy can be obtained by emailing us at  foundationsforliteracydhh@gmail.com.

You can also contact Dr. Amy Lederberg at alederberg@gsu.edu

Foundations for Literacy was developed with support by the National Center for Special Education Research and the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education through Grants R324E06035, R324A110101 R324C120001 awarded to Georgia State University. The content on this site does not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.