What is CLAD?

“The Special Education Research and Development Center on Reading Instruction for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students of the Institute of Education Sciences was awarded to a team of researchers led by Georgia State University.

This project aims to identify child and instructional factors that affect reading growth in this population and to develop individualized interventions specifically designed for deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) struggling readers in grades K-2. The award provided funding to create the National Research and Development Center on Literacy and Deafness (CLAD), the first of its kind to focus on deaf children.

The Center will involve collaboration among researchers at Georgia State University, the University of Arizona, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and Arizona State University.”

According to Principal Investigator Lederberg, the focus on DHH children is important given that poor literacy outcomes have long characterized the DHH population, despite the fact that most of these students have normal intellectual potential.

Historically, many DHH children graduated from high school with reading skills insufficient to access many post-secondary opportunities. The DHH population is diverse, requiring researchers to investigate different ways in which a range of children learn to read.

For example, there are DHH children with hearing aids or cochlear implants, as well as those who learn American Sign Language (ASL) as a first language. Each population faces challenges associating their language of communication (spoken or ASL) with printed English.

The Center on Literacy and Deafness will address the need for interventions for the range of DHH struggling readers in elementary school through an iterative process of development followed by a small cluster randomized controlled pilot study to demonstrate the promise of the developed intervention. For more information see Georgia State University’s press release on their website.