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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (2004) and No Child Left Behind Act (2001, 2002) require teachers to use evidence-based practices (EBPs) in instruction. This is not an easy task as the evidence base in deaf education tends to be woefully lacking. This chapter begins with a discussion of the challenges that deaf or hard-of-hearing (DHH) children face in acquiring reading skills, focusing especially on the apparent bifurcation in the population between those with access to sound and those without. Next, it provides a review of the relations between early skills and later reading acquisition, examining those factors that are related to positive literacy outcomes. The field of literacy instruction is changing rapidly, and teachers need guidelines for reviewing the existing knowledge base. The chapter presents a discussion of levels of research effort through which educators may examine the knowledge base. In the absence of clear evidence, educators may choose to investigate practices from the perspective of their relation to correlates of language acquisition. Finally, it identifies curricula accepted for use with hearing children by the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) and relates these to our evidence of their use with DHH children. In no other area of deaf education is the challenge to educators more important and complex. We must make the effort to keep abreast of newly identified EBPs as research becomes available.

Keywords: alphabetic knowledge, comprehension, evidence-based practice, literacy, literacy curriculum, phonics, phonological awareness

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