Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #197
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Utilizing Visual Phonics to Supplement Reading Instruction for Students with Diverse Needs

Sunday, May 24, 2015
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Texas Ballroom Salon A (Grand Hyatt)
Area: DEV; Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: R. Douglas Greer, Ph.D.
Chair: R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
YE WANG (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Ye Wang, Ph.D., is an associate professor and the coordinator for Education of the d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing (EDHH) Program in the Department of Health and Behavior Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in the School of Teaching & Learning from The Ohio State University. Her primary research interest is the language and literacy development of students who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing. Her other research and scholarly interests include multiple literacies, technology and literacy instruction, inclusive education, research methodology, and early childhood education. Dr. Wang has worked with her colleagues to provide Visual Phonics training workshops for teachers in different programs throughout the nation and to investigate the efficacy of utilizing Visual Phonics to supplement reading instruction for a variety of students who may experience difficulties. Dr. Wang has published extensively on the phonological coding of children who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing. Her 2006 study, "Implications of Utilizing a Phonics-Based Reading Curriculum With Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing," was the first intervention study that directly taught phonemic awareness and phonics skills to children who are deaf or hard of hearing using Visual Phonics in the U.S.

Visual Phonics is a tool that uses a combination of visual, tactile, kinesthetic, and auditory feedback to facilitate the development of phonemic awareness, reading, spelling, and speech production skills. The system consists of 45 hand movements and written symbols, which represent each phoneme and relate to how a sound is produced. Visual Phonics helps deaf, hard of hearing, hearing, and special needs individuals "see" or conceptualize the English sound system and relate it to print. This presentation summarizes the results from three studies collected in three states with various age groups of children. It demonstrates that given instruction from various phonics-based reading curricula supplemented by Visual Phonics, pre-school, kindergarten, and first-grade students who were d/Deaf or hard of hearing could demonstrate improvements in beginning reading skills and the acquired skills could be sustained after intervention. Furthermore, the acquisition of beginning reading skills did not appear to be related to degree of hearing loss. Implications for the use of Visual Phonics for other populations of students in reading, spelling, and speech production are provided.

Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, practitioners, and graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the event, the participant will be able to: (1) exhibit the basic knowledge regarding the definition of Visual Phonics; (2) explain the basic knowledge regarding the research and application of Visual Phonics; and (3) recognize and perform a few Visual Phonics hand cues and written symbols.
Keyword(s): visual phoenics



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