Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Document Type



Although No Child Left Behind (2001) encourages the inclusion of all children within the regular curriculum, children with severe speech and physical disabilities rarely are provided with the literacy education provided to grade-level peers. This study taught alphabetic skills to three children with severe speech and physical impairments in the context of traditional alphabet books versus Phonic Faces Storybooks. Both storybooks were converted into e-books using Microsoft Office PowerPoint (Microsoft Office, 2003) and accessed using a single rocking lever switch. Two graphemes were selected based on incorrect responses from the pretest administration of the The Phonological Awareness Test (Roberson & Salter, 1997). The three subjects were exposed to the target graphemes using an ABAB design where the treatment conditions were reversed following the second baseline period. Five probes assessing phonological and grapheme awareness skills for targeted graphemes were administered following each baseline and intervention session. Results revealed greater improvements on letter/sound identification, sound to letter identification, identification of letter names, and identification of location of letters and sounds in all word positions words for all three subjects during the Phonic Faces Storybook phases. Improvement was also seen in the pre and posttest scores on seven subtests (rhyming, deletion, substitution, isolation, segmentation, blending and graphemes) of The Phonological Awareness Test (Roberson & Salter, 1997) and on word recognition, and silent and oral reading on the Informal Reading Inventory (Burns & Roe, 2006). Anecdotal evidence also demonstrated eagerness to work on the computer, preference for Phonic Faces e-books vs. alphabet books, and an increase in speech production (imitation of speech sounds). Limitations of the study, which include a small number of subjects and use of a small number of sounds need to be addressed in future research studies.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Janet Norris