Foundations for Literacy

Foundations for Literacy is an early literacy intervention that was developed specifically for deaf and hard-of-hearing young children. Foundations is taught an hour a day four or five days a week for the school year. Targeted learning objectives include vocabulary, narrative skills, alphabetic knowledge, phonological awareness, and reading decodable words and short connected text. Foundations uses fun, age-appropriate, integrated activities. Each lesson includes strategies for differentiating instruction based on children’s speech perception and language abilities.

Our research suggests that children make educationally meaningful gains in all areas taught. Teachers in Georgia have taught Foundations to over 100 DHH children, and they made significantly larger gains on phonological awareness, alphabetic knowledge, vocabulary, and story comprehension than children in comparison groups. Children’s standard scores in vocabulary, phonological awareness, and alphabetic knowledge increased on average 9 to 10 points.

Foundations for Literacy will be available for purchase by the general public after the study is complete (Summer 2017).

For more information, contact Dr. Amy Lederberg ( or Dr. Susan Easterbrooks (

Download: Sample Materials (PDF)


Research about Foundations for Literacy

Click each title to download PDFs for the articles below.

Lederberg, A .R.. & Easterbrooks, S. E., Tucci, S., Burke, V. & Goldberg, H. (2016). Effective intervention strategies for teaching early literacy skills to deaf children with cochlear implants. Proceedings of the Annual Symposium of the American Cochlear Implant Alliance. Cochlear Implants International, 17(5), 211-237.

Lederberg, A. R., Miller, E. M., Easterbrooks, S. R., & Connor, C. M. (2014). Foundations for Literacy: An early literacy intervention for deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 19(4), 438-455. doi: 10.1093/deafed/enu022  |  Abstract

Miller, E. M.., Lederberg, A.R., & Easterbrooks, S. R. (2013). Phonological awareness: Explicit instruction of young deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 18, 206-227.

Beal-Alvarez, J. S., Lederberg, A. R., & Easterbrooks, S. R. (2012). Grapheme–phoneme acquisition of deaf preschoolers. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 17(1), 39-60. doi:10.1093/deafed/enr030

Bergeron, J. P., Lederberg, A. R., Easterbrooks, S. R., Miller, E. M., & Connor, C. M. (2009). Building the alphabetic principle in young children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Volta Review, 109(2-3), 87-119.