Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Early Childhood, Special Education, and Rehabilitation Counseling

First Advisor

Dr. Belva Collins

Second Advisor

Dr. Melinda Ault


Literacy includes many skills involving the use of language to read, write, listen, and speak. The ultimate goal in acquiring literacy skills is to function as independently, and in as integrated a manner as possible, in a literate society. Literary skills are critical skills for all students, both with and without disabilities. Since the 1990s, literacy has moved closer and closer to the forefront of our collective awareness regarding students who are at risk of not acquiring sufficient literacy ability. However, students with moderate and severe intellectual disability (MSID) have not always been included in this group of students. In recent years, there has been a greater effort to examine how to provide literacy instruction in a more complete and comprehensive manner for students with MSID. At the present time, there is limited research obtained directly from classroom teachers on their knowledge, beliefs, and practices about students with MSID and literacy. If we are to make effective and meaningful changes in literacy instruction for students with MSID, it is important to further investigate these variables as reported by teachers themselves. This research study examined, through the collection of survey data, teachers’ perceptions about literacy skills for students with MSID. The research questions were: (a) What do classroom teachers of students with MSID in Kentucky report as having learned in their university/college teacher preparation programs about literacy? (b) What do special education teachers in Kentucky believe about their students with MSID and literacy? and (c) In which literacy skill areas (phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension) do teachers of students with MSID in Kentucky report they are providing instruction?

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)