Friday, October 19, 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.,
204 LC (South)

Title - : Reading Comprehension Supports for Adults with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities: A Synthesis of Three Research Projects


  • Patti Bahr, Director, ICATER
  • Meredith Saletta, Assistant Professor, Communication Sciences & Disorders
  • Erica Kaldenberg, Assistant Director, UI REACH

Abstract: Our research team is interested in the overarching question: how can we promote reading comprehension in adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD)? In partnership with the University of Iowa Realizing Educational and Career Hopes (UI REACH) program, we completed three studies investigating three separate elements of this question. In Study 1, we explored the use of leveled texts in facilitating reading fluency and comprehension for adults with IDD. In Study 2, we inquired whether including illustrations with written text promotes reading comprehension in adults with IDD. In Study 3, we determined how to best support independent reading by using human audio and computerized text readers in adults with IDD. Taken together, the results of these three studies challenge current perspectives on how to best support reading comprehension in this population, and provide an empirical foundation for (or against) the anecdotal evidence often reported by teachers and therapists who serve these students.