If you are interested in learning more about or participating in a study, please email us at LearningLab@unl.edu.

Project Pathways

Project Pathways is a study to develop the reading and writing profiles of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Participants complete a series of standardized reading, writing, and cognitive tasks that assess their literacy and cognitive skills. Participation will take approximately two hours, but can be spread over multiple days, if needed. Participants receive a $20 gift card for participating. The results will help us develop interventions for critical reading and writing skills for these learners.

Participants: Middle and high school students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, ages 13-21 years.

Participation Location: Online via Zoom.

Simple View of Reading in Down Syndrome

The purpose of the Simple View study is to learn about the strengths and weaknesses individuals with Down syndrome exhibit in reading comprehension and what subskills help predict reading achievement success. Participants will be asked to complete a series of reading, writing, language, and cognitive tasks. Participation will take approximately two-and-a-half hours. Breaks will be given as needed and testing can be broken up into two sessions, if necessary. Parents/legal guardians will also be asked to complete two short questionnaires. Participants receive a $30 gift certificate for participating.

Participants: Adolescent and adult readers with Down syndrome, ages 16-40 years.

Participation Location: In-person on campus at UNL or another location of participant's choosing.

NIH Grant: Language and Reading Comprehension of Students with and without Developmental Disabilities

This NIH-funded study assesses reading in children with intellectual disability (including Down syndrome) compared to children who are typically developing. It is a collaborative project with the University of Mississippi and the University of Alabama. We are specifically interested in understanding how language skills relate to reading skills. We have an idea of what slows reading progress for children with Down syndrome and intellectual disability, and we will test our idea in this study. We feel that this information could lead to better ways of teaching reading to kids with intellectual disabilities/Down syndrome. Participants will complete a series of standardized reading, language, and cognitive assessments. Testing will take approximately 2.5-3 hours, but can be broken up across multiple days. Participants will receive a $40 gift card for participating.

Participants: Readers with Down syndrome or other intellectual disabilities, 10-15 years old; and children with typical development, 6-10 years old.

Participation Location: In-person on campus at UNL, the University of Alabama, or another location of participant's choosing.

Teacher Survey: Perceptions of Special Educators on the Reading and Writing Skills of Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The purpose of this study is to survey secondary special education teachers to gain insight into their literacy instructional practices for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We also aim to learn about teachers' opinions regarding the importance and malleability of literacy skills. The results will help us determine current literacy practices for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities and identify areas of need.

Participants: Special education teachers who teach reading and/or writing to students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Participation Location: Online via Qualtrics.