Janet Sturm, Ph.D, CCC-SLP, BCS-BL, is a professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Central Michigan University. Dr. Sturm has been working in general and special education classrooms for over 30 years. Her research and development work focuses on writing instruction for students with disabilities, computer-supported literacy, formative and summative assessments of beginning writers, and classroom communication. She has been named Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is a Board Certified Specialist in Child Language.
There is growing appreciation of the need for quality literacy instruction for students with complex learning needs (CLN). At last educators are seeking academic measures to drive and align instruction with standards and measure progress. Across the age-span students with significant disabilities often present as beginning writers and demonstrate a mismatch between performance and grade level standards. Educators need solid knowledge of the connections among standards, curricula, and student abilities, and needs. The purpose of this presentation will be to show the uses and power of the Developmental Writing Scale (DWS) in highlighting gains and driving instruction for individuals with significant disabilities. Participants will see how this data enables changes in mindset that written language is an important form of communication for ALL individuals.