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$4.4 Million to Improve Literacy and Education Outcomes for Students with Disabilities

  • Published: 2016-10-09 : U.S. Department of Education (
  • Synopsis: U.S. Department of Education announces over $4.4 million in grants to improve literacy skills, outcomes and results for children with disabilities

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Quote: "These awards will continue to address inclusion, equity and opportunity for all children, including those with disabilities."

"When we improve literacy skills for children with disabilities, including those with dyslexia, we are not just teaching them how to read, we are opening doors to a lifetime of more positive opportunities, such as improved academic skills, reduction in behavioral incidences, increased school completion, and lifelong learning," said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. "These awards will continue to address inclusion, equity and opportunity for all children, including those with disabilities."

The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) awarded the following:

  • A national center to focus on improving literacy skills of students at risk of not attaining full literacy skills due to a disability, including dyslexia (University of Oregon, $1.5 million grant). The center will assist states, local education agencies, schools, and instructional personnel in identifying students and using evidence-based interventions and assessments to improve students' literacy skills. The center will also provide information to families and collaborate with parent training and information and community parent resource centers funded by the Department.
  • A national center on intensive intervention (American Institutes for Research, $2.1 million grant). It will assist state and local educational agencies in their efforts to support schools and educators to implement intensive intervention to improve academic and behavioral outcomes for students with disabilities who have persistent learning and behavior difficulties. The center will provide technical assistance and disseminate resources to state and local educational agencies and schools to refine and coordinate their system of instruction and intervention for students who need intensive intervention to succeed in school and be prepared for postsecondary opportunities.
  • Three grants for the development of model demonstration projects aimed at improving literacy outcomes for English learners with disabilities in grades 3-5 (recipients listed below). The purpose of this effort is to establish and operate model demonstration projects that will assess how models can improve literacy outcomes for English Learners with disabilities within a culturally responsive multi-tier system of supports (MTSS) framework in both general and special education settings.

These grants align with the My Brother's Keeper (MBK) initiative, a coordinated federal effort to address persistent opportunity gaps and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.

To ensure that all youth have opportunities to improve their life outcomes and overcome barriers to success, MBK is focused on six milestones, the second of which is literacy, Reading at Grade Level by Third Grade, ensuring that all children read at grade level by age 8 - the age at which reading to learn becomes essential.

The grants announced today will bolster the efforts of MBK Milestone 2 by supporting early literacy and positively impacting reading outcomes for students through the third grade.

National Comprehensive Center on Improving Literacy for Students with Disabilities
University of Oregon$1.5 million
National Center for Intensive Intervention
American Institutes for Research$2.1 million
Model Demonstration Projects
University of Oregon at Portland$295,676
The University of Texas at Austin$245,905
American Institutes for Research$269,856

Related Information:

  1. States Receive $39M in Grants to Prepare Students with Disabilities for College and Employment - U.S. Department of Education awards grants to five states to help students with disabilities prepare for postsecondary education and competitive integrated employment - U.S. Department of Education
  2. Teaching K-8 Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder - New professional book by author Barbara Boroson from scholastic breaks down barriers for teaching K-8 students with Autism Spectrum Disorders - Scholastic Inc.
  3. Fulfilling Unmet Need for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) - Project goal is to develop and pilot a reading comprehension intervention that helps children with ASD not only to read, but understand and learn from the text - University of California - Riverside

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