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Unlocking the Foundations of Reading for Learners Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

About the series

Staying up to date on reading research while meeting and assessing the literacy needs of learners who are deaf or hard of hearing can be a juggling act. This module series is designed to provide educators and practitioners with what they need to implement best practices and provide access to reading instruction for each deaf or hard of hearing learner they serve.

This module is brought to you by The Outreach Center for Deafness and Blindness in partnership with The Teaching Diverse Learners Center at OCALI and The American Printing House for the Blind (APH).

Available Modules

Module 1: Setting the Stage

Participants will:

  • define presumed competence and identify how it is presented in conversations about learners.
  • explain three learner profiles of deaf and hard of hearing students
  • describe the layers of instructional planning.
  • name the key components to comprehensive and equitable literacy instruction.

Module 2: Essential Components of Reading

Participants will:

  • Identify the Big 5+ ideas outlined in reading research that are critical components for literacy instruction for all learners.
  • Describe the skillsets of ‘word recognition’ and ‘language comprehension’ and give one reason why mastery in each is needed to achieve reading comprehension.
  • Give two examples of how learners who are deaf or hard of hearing may have access to and utilize phonological skills.

Modules Coming Soon

  • Module 3: Special Considerations for Reading Achievement
  • Module 4: Skilled Readers
  • Module 5: Impact of Deafness on Reading
  • Module 6: Assessment
  • Module 7: Best Practices in Reading Instruction for Learners Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Taking a Deeper Dive

The general education curriculum often consists of courses, lessons, and planned learning activities that are intentionally taught. But, what about the informal and unspoken messages and strategies that are communicated and used in the classroom? These are not part of the formal curriculum, but contribute to student growth, engagement, inclusion, and more. Visit for a FREE, 10-part video series that explores strategies grounded in research that are designed to ensure ALL learners have access to the general curriculum.

To learn more about this topic, and earn professional development credit, log in to your free OCALI ID account and watch Unlocking the Foundations of Reading for Learners Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing!