Learning for All

Instructional Planning: Literacy

“Meaningful, purposeful communication is at the heart of learning to read and write. Students who learn that they can use reading and writing to investigate areas of interest, share their ideas, thoughts, and feelings, or interact with new people understand that the primary purpose of literacy is communication.”
(Quick-Guides to Inclusion, page 184)

Literacy for All: A Community of Practice for Teachers of Students with Significant Disabilities

The Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium (through the Alberta Regional Consortia), in collaboration with Alberta Education, hosted year long communities of practice for teachers from 2011 to 2016. The goal of these professional learning opportunities was to enhance teacher capacity to better meet the literacy and communication needs of students with significant cognitive disabilities. Participants met face-to-face twice during each year and collaborated in a private online environment from September to June.

The purpose of the Literacy for All web site is to provide information and strategies for teachers in Alberta who want to learn more about literacy and communication instruction for students with significant cognitive disabilities. Much of the content on this site has been co-developed with participants of the Literacy for All communities of practice based on the work with their students.



More Language Arts, Math, and Science for Students with Severe Disabilities

Participants in the Learning for All Community of Practice selected some of the chapters of this resource and created summaries of key ideas. A PDF of each summary is provided below for each of the chapters reviewed.


Chapter 5:
Reading for Students Who Are Nonverbal

Research identifying evidence-based practices for teaching literacy skills for students who do not communicate verbally, and guidelines for using these practices are reviewed in this chapter. Examples of how these practices can be implemented are also provided.

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Chapter 6:
Beginning Reading

In this chapter, the latest research on beginning reading instruction for students with significant cognitive disabilities and practical techniques for putting this research into practice are described.

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Chapter 7:
Teaching Written Expression to Students with Moderate to Severe Disabilities

A range of instructional activities and considerations can be used to teaching written expression to students with moderate or severe disabilities. The link below will lead to a video created by participants to summarize this chapter.

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Chapter 13:
Promoting Learning in General Education for All Students

Rationale and strategies that support the inclusion of all students, including those with the most significant disabilities in general education classrooms are the focus of this chapter. As well, nine action steps for schools committed to promoting students’ membership, participation, and learning are highlighted.

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