Fingerspelling Our Way to Reading is an evidence-based, supplementary literacy program for deaf and hard of hearing students in K-2nd grade. The program has two components, a 3-day per week fingerspelling program and a complementary 2-day per week reading comprehension program. The fingerspelling program enhances phonological awareness of fingerspelled words, which increases expressive and receptive fingerspelling skills and identification of printed words. The reading comprehension program provides additional reading opportunities using fingerspelling words in sentences and stories that are used in each unit.
To access this program, professionals will initially participate in the Fingerspelling Our Way to Reading full-day professional development training. Professional development training provides a review of the research, an overview of each program, and modeling of specific teaching strategies that are unique to this program.
Once the professional development is complete, professionals will be allowed to purchase the instructional materials. Daily instructional materials are systematic and unique to each unit and include both electronic materials with videos and hands on materials. The materials provide consistent practice to build fingerspelling phonology, to link fingerspelling to print and to provide mulitple opportunities to practice reading the target words in connected text.