This section of Info to Go includes information and resources related to literacy for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Clerc Center Resources

Fifteen Principles for Reading to Deaf Children

Principles developed at the Clerc Center sharing effective practices for how to read aloud in American Sign Language to deaf and hard of hearing children, based on research on how Deaf parents read to their Deaf children. The resource is provided in print and ASL.

Literacy: It All Connects

Nine evidence-based practices in reading and writing, identified at the Clerc Center as being integral to creating a comprehensive approach to literacy learning, are shared. Provided is information about these practices and associated links on this topic.

Shared Reading Project 

The Shared Reading Project (SRP) is a Clerc Center program for parents and caregivers to teach families how to read to their young children in American Sign Language. SRP matches participating families with Deaf tutors.  

Odyssey: New Directions in Deaf Education
(Annual magazine published by the Clerc Center)

The Early Years: Parents and Young Deaf Children Reading Together (2017)  

Massachusetts Offers Trilingual Reading Saturdays to Increase Reading Skills and Confidence (2017)  

Measuring Success One (Sight) Syllable at a Time (2017)

Getting Students Excited About Learning: Incorporating Digital Tools to Support the Writing Process (2015)  

Bilingual Storybook Apps: An Interactive Reading Experience for Children (2015) 

High Expectations + Reading Intervention Plan = In Students' Reading Scores (2014)

Reading For Real: Our Year with Reading Buddies (2014)

Reading Above Grade Level-We'd Expect Nothing Less (2014, Odyssey Extra)

Gallaudet University Resources  

VL2 Research Briefs:

Research Brief 1: The Importance of Fingerspelling for Reading (2010)

Research Brief 2: Reading Research and Deaf Children (2011) Available in Spanish and Chinese.  

Stakeholder Resources

Center on Literacy and Deafness (CLAD)

Grant awarded to Georgia State University to identify child and instructional factors that affect reading growth in deaf and hard of hearing students from grades K-2, and to develop individualized interventions specifically designed for these students. Provided are links to numerous resources integral to literacy including a list of assessments used at the center.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children: Federal Support for Developing Language and Literacy, May 2011 (Government Accounting Office)

Report from the U.S. Government Accounting Office examining a) the extent of hearing loss among students in publicly funded education, b) the types of settings in which students who are deaf or hard of hearing are educated, c) the factors that help children who are deaf or hard of hearing acquire language and literacy skills, and d) the challenges to providing appropriate interventions to these students.


Early Literacy Development in Deaf Children (2015)

Book bringing attention to the research gap in literacy development and recommended practices for deaf children.

Educating Deaf Learners: Creating a Global Evidence Base

Chapter 7: Literacy and Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students: Research and Practice

Chapter 18: Enhancing Emergent Literacy in Preschool Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children Through Interactive Reading

Chapter 19: Language Skills and Literacy of Deaf Children in the Era of Cochlear Implantation: Suggestions for Teaching through E-learning Visual Environments

Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education (Oxford UP)

Foundations for Literacy: An Early Literacy Intervention for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children (2014)

Reading Books with Young Deaf Children: Strategies for Mediating Between American Sign Language and English (2013)

Raising and Educating Deaf Children: eBulletins
(Associated with the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, Oxford UP)

Writing and Learning to Write for Deaf Children (2015)  

Literacy Programs and Tools

Fairview Learning

A reading program designed specifically for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, the program provides literacy tools to guide students in making connections between ASL and English. The components of the program include adapted Dolch words, the bridging process and reading comprehension, phonemic awareness, literature-based instruction, and ASL and spontaneous written English.

Hi-Lo books (high interest, low/easy reading level)

These books can be used with students who are reading significantly below grade level. The subject matter for Hi-Lo books is geared toward high school students' interests while making them accessible to students reading at beginning levels. A resource for locating Hi-Lo books can be found at Saddleback Educational Publishing.

Reading A-Z

Web-based program with thousands of downloadable books that range from emerging reading levels to fifth grade. It includes printable/projectable books in addition to lesson plans, instructional materials, and evaluation tools.

Story Grammar Marker, from MindWing Concepts, Inc.

Tool that can be used with students to develop telling, retelling, writing, and comprehending stories by learning the structure of a story. Story Grammar Marker uses visually appealing icons to represent elements in a story in the form of a concrete bookmark or graphic organizer.

ThemeMaker, from MindWing Concepts, Inc.

Program to help students comprehend and write nonfiction/informational material, as well as narratives. ThemeMaker focuses on expository text structures such as description, listing, sequencing, cause and effect, problem and solution, compare and contrast, and persuasion.

Phonemic Awareness  

See-the-Sound Visual Phonics

System of 45 hand signals and written symbols to assist in developing phonemic awareness, speech production, and reading skills. Formalized training, provided by ICLI trainers is required to implement this system.


Program to support phonemic development and reading. It includes an instructional manual and materials. The program can be used as part of a reading and/or speech development program.

Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program (LiPS)  

Program that focuses on development of phonics using visual/kinesthetic strategies.


Program that provides 193 colored-coded magnetic tiles representing all of the English graphemes that can be manipulated by teachers and students to work on phonics and word structures.

Fundations-Wilson Language Basics for K-3

A multisensory phonological/phonemic awareness, phonics, and spelling program based on the Wilson Reading System principles that was developed for the general education classroom, but provides a visual component that may be successful with deaf or hard of hearing students.

Last revised November 2017

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