Teaching Students with Intellectual Disability to Read using a Comprehensive Text-Centered Curriculum

This two-day workshop will provide teachers with practical, empirically-validated methods for teaching foundational literacy skills to students with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

The materials were designed to appeal to students who are in elementary school, though the techniques are appropriate for anyone who has not mastered foundational reading skills. The materials have been used successfully with teenagers; the older students enjoyed the materials and made progress.  Though the target of the workshop is students with ID, the materials are completely appropriate for beginning readers (K-1) who are typically developing and for struggling readers, including those with dyslexia who have not mastered foundational skills.


Friends on the Block © is a unique curriculum which includes carefully designed books with scaffolds that allow students to begin reading books very quickly while enhancing comprehension through teacher-read "helper" text. Explicit, systematic lessons accompany  each book and facilitate transfer of skills immediately to the books.©2018 Jill H. Allor, Jennifer P. Cheatham, & Stephanie Al Otaiba

Registrants will receive:

  • 12 hours professional development
  • electronic access to the entire curriculum including
    • 58 e-books
    • lessons
    • activities
  • 13 high quality, full color paperback student books
  • Sample lessons
  • Sample activities

Friends on the Block Agenda

Registration fee: $290 per person-includes materials, parking pass, and buffet lunch each day.



Dr.Jill Allor
Jill Allor, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Teaching and Learning
Southern Methodist University

Jill Allor is a Professor and former chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning at Southern Methodist University.  She received her doctorate in special education from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. A former special education teacher, her research is school-based and focuses on literacy acquisition for students with and without disabilities. She was awarded the 2000 Award for Outstanding Research by the Council on Learning Disabilities and is the co-recipient of the Best Article in Learning Disabilities Research and Practice for 1999. In 2012, the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council presented her with the Innovator Award for Outstanding Educator at a College or University. After being nominated by her students, she received the Rotunda Outstanding Professor award at SMU in 2016. Her research has been supported by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and she was principal investigator on an IES research grant just completed during which her team developed a literacy curriculum for students with intellectual disability (Friends on the Block, friendsontheblock.com). She is co-principal investigator on an IES research grant to explore Response to Intervention variables related to stronger student reading outcomes for students with disabilities. She teaches graduate courses related to literacy, assessment and research. She has published literacy curricula for both general education and special education.

Monday, June 18, 2018 & Tuesday, June 19, 2018
8:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Middle Tennessee State University
McWherter Learning Resources Center


To register, click here.