cross posted at I Speak of Dreams
This should be exciting news for anyone interested in reading acquisition, school success --even the achievement gap.
There are two needs here:
- Additional sources of funding
- Researchers with a background of evaluating reading instruction
The International Dyslexia Association will be awarding multiple $20,000 grants to evaluate the effectiveness of multi-sensory, structured, language instruction (MSL). While MSL has had decades of success, there has been very little replicated research to point to.
As Carolyn D. Cowen wrote in IDA’s Multisensory Research Grant Program: A Bold and Challenging Initiative Download CCowanMSIInitiativePDF
In this era of evidence-based instruction, citing clinical intuition and testimony may not suffice, even when authoritative and compelling. We risk criticism of the sort directed at whole-language and other unfounded or discredited approaches. Worse, without evidence of efficacy, we risk the wellbeing of students with dyslexia who might not receive instruction they need (a point that rests on the premise that the multisensory component is indeed vital for these students). Lack of scientific evidence can be misconstrued, particularly as public-education policy makers, leaders, and teachers struggle to implement daunting federal regulations while juggling formidable competing priorities. In this pressure-cooker climate, unsubstantiated practices risk being overlooked, if not dismissed outright....
... IDA has launched a bold and challenging research initiative. Its purpose is to shed light—via vigorous scientific investigation—on the value of the multisensory component in MSL reading instruction, particularly for students with dyslexia. The immediate goal of this competitive grant program is to fund replicable studies with promise for stimulating research on a larger scale.
As far as the first need is concerned -- funding:
Gifts in any amount will be appreciated deeply. Donations can be made by calling or emailing Kristi Bowman, IDA Director of Development at 410-296-0232 x402 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also give online through the secure portal at https://www.interdys.org/olssecure/donation.aspx
The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) is a 501(c)3 organization. Donations are fully tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Guidestar's report on IDA is here.
The second need is for qualified research proposals. (Note: the grant program will not fund studies that investigate multisensory components of a particular program or approach, commercial or otherwise.) Interested parties should read the guidelines on IDA’s website: http://www.interdys.org/IDAResearchGrantGuidelines.htm.
I'm excited by this and plan to support the fundraising effort. If your family has been affected by dyslexia, I hope you will too.
Also see John Wills Lloyd's post at Spedpro