In schools, the Disability Standards for Education (2005) help guide decisions regarding reasonable adjustments for students so they can access and participate in education without disadvantage. The Standards are currently under review and AUSPELD are preparing a submission as part of the review process.
We are very interested in hearing about the experiences of parents, caregivers and teachers of children with learning difficulties, as well as students who have learning difficulties. To share your perspective, please complete the appropriate questionnaire linked below.
The survey can be completed anonymously and is open until Thursday 10 September, 2020.
(All students under the age of 14 should seek their parent or caregiver’s permission to complete this questionnaire.)
AUSPELD strongly supports evidence informed practice in the teaching of literacy. In order to read well, children need to be taught to read words accurately and fluently, and they need the knowledge and vocabulary to understand what they read.
The Phonics Check is one component of a high-quality structured literacy program. The recent announcement by the Federal Government that stage one of the Year 1 Phonics Check is now available to schools and families across Australia has been welcomed by AUSPELD. It is a simple tool which checks student progress in the second half of Year 1. The results of the Phonics Check provide teachers with a useful overview of students’ individual reading skills and assists teachers to identify students who need additional support.
The Phonics Check is available now via a new online portal for teachers, school leaders and families called the Literacy Hub. The Hub includes information on how students learn to read, as well as resources for schools and families to support literacy development. Additional resources will be added over the coming months.
Go to literacyhub.edu.au to find out more.
AUSPELD is excited to announce an upcoming new webinar series, featuring conversations with international experts as they share some of their acquired knowledge, key discoveries and thoughts for the future. The series focuses on the acquisition of language, literacy and numeracy and includes interviews with Louisa Moats, Mark Seidenberg, Kate Nation, Carl Hendrick, Paul Kirschner, Daniel Ansari, Pie Corbett, Emily Hanford and Pamela Snow.
These interviews (conducted by AUSPELD President Mandy Nayton) will be essential viewing for teachers, administrators, speech pathologists, psychologists and parents concerned with evidence-informed practice in the fields of literacy and learning. More information about how to register for – and contribute to – these free webinars will be shared soon. Be sure to follow AUSPELD on Facebook or Twitter for updates – https://www.facebook.com/AUSPELD/ https://twitter.com/auspeld
This video interview with esteemed child neuropsychologist Dr. Jack Fletcher is a must-watch! Dr. Fletcher is the Principal Investigator of the Texas Centre for Learning Disabilities and is a former member of the NICHD National Advisory Council and the President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education.
In the video, he explains the importance of early intervention for children with dyslexia, the key characteristics of effective reading intervention, the danger of intervention fads, and more.
Dr. Fletcher advocates for “Strong core instruction for everyone, which absolutely reduces risk… in the context of universal screening and progress monitoring.”
Listen to (or read) the interview here: readingrockets.org/teaching/experts/jack-fletcher
Julian Leeser MP, Member for Berowra NSW, recently raised the importance of high quality early phonics instruction in federal parliament. Mr Leeser emphasised the need for explicit literacy instruction in schools which focuses on the relationships between sounds and letter patterns in English. The CEO of SPELD NSW, Georgina Perry, provided pertinent comments regarding this matter which have been included in Hansard.
Mr Leeser also outlined the success of the year 1 phonics screening test in England and the results of the phonics check trial in South Australia. Ms Perry is quoted as saying, “The phonics check is a valuable tool as it helps teachers confirm their students are learning essential phonics skills and may help identify those students who are having difficulty learning to read.”
Mr Leeser’s speech can be found in Hansard here.
This accessible and punchy series, overseen by researchED founder Tom Bennett, tackles the most important topics in education, with a range of experienced contributors exploring the latest evidence and research and how it can apply in a variety of classroom settings.
Guide to Explicit and Direct Instruction
The value and use of explicit instruction to improve academic outcomes is explored across a range of settings and subject areas. Incorporating compelling evidence from the cognitive sciences, the writers include: Kris Boulton; Greg Ashman; Gethyn Jones; Tom Needham; Lia Martin and Amy Coombe; Naveen Rivzi; Hannah Stoten; John Blake; Sarah Barker; Summer Turner; Sarah Cullen and Zig Englemann. Editor: Adam Boxer.
Guide to Educational Myths
The most damaging myths that continue to circulate in education settings are identified and discussed in this edition by a selection of evidence informed writers including: Clare Sealy, Tom Sherrington, Andrew Old, Mark Enser, Robert and Elizabeth Bjork, Harry Fletcher Wood, Greg Ashman and Doug Lemov. Editor: Craig Barton.
Guide to Literacy
What do we mean by literacy, why it matters and what happens if we don’t get it right? An exploration of this important area with contributions from: Kathy Rastle, Rhona
Stainthorp, Tom Needham, Alex Quigley, Jessie Ricketts, Kevin and Robyn Wheldall, Kerry Hempenstall and Dianne Murphy. Editors: James Murphy and Tom Bennett.
Guide to the Curriculum
How can schools get the most out of a rich curriculum? Contributors to this title include: Neil Almond; Andrew Percival; Doug Lemov and Emily Badillo; Sonia Thompson; Christine Counsell; Michael Young; Ruth Ashbee; and Aurora Reid. Editor: Clare Sealy.
Each ResearchED guide is priced at $24 each, or $60 for any three, and $80 for any four.
The Specific Learning Disorders Flow Chart is a useful reference for anyone working with students with SLD. It provides an overview of the types of specific learning disorders including identifying characteristics and underlying processing impairments. The flow chart outlines the functional impact of a learning disorder in the classroom and the implications for intervention. Recommendations for adjustments and accommodations are also detailed.
Two versions of the flow chart are provided below: a printable version designed to be printed double-sided onto A3 paper, and a PDF version suited to viewing on computer or another electronic device.
A web version and a downloadable PDF of Understanding Learning Difficulties: A Guide for Parents (Revised Edition) are now available free of charge on the ULD for Parents website.
This Guide has recently been revamped to provide parents and carers with additional information about the nature of learning disabilities in children, and to offer up-to-date practical guidance on the most appropriate identification, intervention and support.
The first AUSPELD Understanding Learning Difficulties: A Practical Guide was published in 2014 and rapidly became a must-have title for any educator or allied professional supporting students with learning difficulties or specific learning disorders. The guides provide readers with an in-depth understanding of learning difficulties and specific learning disorders, and also share advice and practical information on the best approaches to use with students who have learning difficulties or diagnosed specific learning disorders.
Additional information and several new tip sheets have also been added to the latest edition.
You can also purchase hard copies of the parents and other revised guides from the Resources page.