Date of Award

Winter 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Disorders & Special Education


Special Education

Committee Director

Sharon L. Judge

Committee Member

Anastasia M. Raymer

Committee Member

Silvana M. Watson


There is a paucity of research identifying instructional methods that promote the reading development of students with significant intellectual disabilities (ID). This research study employed a single subject, multiple baseline design to evaluate the effects of computer-assisted sight word instruction employing constant time delay (CTD) procedures with incidental phonics and comprehension stimuli on the reading skill development of six elementary students with moderate ID and expressive language impairments. Study results suggest that the seven week PowerPoint slide show sight word intervention had very small to moderate intervention effects on receptive sight word identification. However, students learned some incidental letter-sound correspondences and demonstrated gains in sight word comprehension. Study results suggest that the computer-assisted sight word intervention may provide a means to foster the development of foundational reading skills with students with moderate ID. Future research is needed to determine if students generalize the essential reading skills acquired through the computer-assisted intervention to the reading material they encounter in home, school, and community environments.