Research Supervisor Connect

Developmental Disability and Literacy Project (DDLP)


We are seeking research students (Honours, Masters and PhD) to be part of the DDLP.


Associate Professor Joanne Arciuli.

Research location

Disability and Community Research Group

Program type



Literacy, defined here as the ability to read and write to an age-appropriate level, is strongly correlated with favourable and lifelong social, academic, vocational, emotional and health outcomes (e.g., Benett et al., 2003; Evans, Moore & Strnadová, 2008; Roman, 2004). High levels of literacy allow a society to prosper through effective communication (Ruben, 2000). The mechanisms underlying reading and writing continue to be of great interest within social/health science (e.g., special issue of Reading & Writing edited by Arciuli, 2009; Wilson & Colmar, 2008). An extensive research base is now available on strategies to assist teachers and parents to address the learning needs of typically developing students with literacy difficulties (e.g., National Reading Panel, 2000; Snow, Griffin & Burns, 2005). Unfortunately, we know relatively little about literacy in children with developmental disorders – in terms of disability-specific literacy profiles (e.g., What is the ‘average’ literacy level of a child with autism? Precisely how is severity of autism related to literacy?) and in terms of what these children might be capable of achieving if they were to receive targeted literacy programs and remediation.  The recently initiated Developmental Disability and Literacy Project (DDLP) is investigating children’s literacy across different developmental disorders (e.g., autism, specific language impairment, apraxia, stuttering, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, cleft/lip palate and auditory processing disorder). The current data set comprises comprehensive assessment of literacy for around 80 children (2-hour individual testing session with each child).

Additional information

We  welcome research students from a variety of backgrounds including: psychology, linguistics, speech pathology, education, medicine.

Want to find out more?

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 910