ABOUTWhat We Do
Although phonological awareness is a crucial skill kids need as they are learning to read, current tests of phonological awareness are designed for children who can speak clearly.
How ATLAS Came To Be
Lori and Ryan realized that their son, Zander, could not participate in these traditional assessments because he has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and a limited ability to speak. His teachers weren’t sure what kinds of instruction to provide to him as he was starting to learn to read, so Lori and Ryan set out to develop a test of phonological awareness that is accessible to a broader range of children, including children with any amount of speaking ability. They intend for this to be just the first of many assessments of early reading and pre-reading skills for children with disabilities, so teachers and other educational professionals can most effectively support literacy development for children with disabilities.
We are the researchers involved in creating ATLAS
Lori Skibbe, PhD
Lori Skibbe, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Human Development & Family Studies at Michigan State University. She is an expert in early language and literacy development and has over 50 publications related to her work in this area. Lori was the Principal Investigator on the grant from the Institute of Education Sciences that funded the creation of ATLAS-PA.
Ryan Bowles, PhD
Ryan Bowles, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development & Family Studies at Michigan State University. He is an expert in the statistical analyses needed for the assessment of early childhood language and literacy skills. Ryan has more than 50 publications in early childhood development and statistics.
Gary Troia, PhD
Gary Troia, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education at Michigan State University. His research interests include the connections between oral language and literacy in typical and atypical learners, writing assessment and instruction, and teacher professional development in literacy.
Sarah Goodwin, PhD
Sarah Goodwin, PhD, is a postdoctoral researcher in Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University. In their Early Language and Literacy Investigations Laboratory, she conducts psychometric analyses of assessments of phonological awareness and manages lab data. Sarah’s research interests include language assessment, specifically Rasch measurement approaches, and language acquisition. Her work can be found in Language Assessment Quarterly, Assessing Writing, and the TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching.