Welcome to the Academic Intervention Lab!
It is an exciting time in the field of education for students with learning difficulties as we are developing and strengthening both the knowledge and the tools to change lives. The challenge is disseminating the information and training to front line workers. Through research, we are examining the barriers to sharing information, and are utilizing telepsychology, evidence based interventions, and enhanced assessment techniques to make a positive difference in the lives of students with learning disabilities, both locally and in remote Northern communities.
Since 1963 when Dr. Samuel Kirk coined the term “Learning Disability,” education, psychology, and medicine have been trying to understand how to support a group of students who have difficulties mastering the academic skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Students with Learning Disabilities are not the only ones who have academic challenges. A greater number of students in our school systems have various types of learning difficulties. These learning difficulties can be caused due to a number of factors including ADHD, ADS, as well as histories of trauma, disruptions in school, or mental health challenges.
However, today we have the knowledge to be able to help many of these students. We know how to screen students early to understand their learning challenges, and how to “fix” many of the problems students can encounter. The Academic Intervention Lab at OISE/UT is focused on pushing the frontier of support for students. Below is a list of the projects that we have currently ongoing.
investigates how to best identify and support students with learning difficulties
Text to speech
Many new technologies have promise, but are missing the evidence to show how well they work. We have several active studies going on at any given point testing the empirical effectiveness of assistive technology on the market, with a special focus on popular but untested products. This has started with Text to Speech and move out to a variety of other cutting edge programs, in an effort to make better recommendations for student needs. Read more here!
We provide individual weekly consultations with teachers in northern communities and perform psychological assessments for preschool all the way to highschool children. We also use video conferencing to create innovative parent-child communities for fostering a safe environment to discuss learning disabilities. Click here to learn more.
Hypothesis Driven INtegrated Psychological Assessment Model
Due to incredibly long waitlists, the pressure is on to find ways to create faster reports. We're using our work in northern communities to cut the report time in half, or faster. Click here to learn more.
Evidence-Based Teacher Instruction
We're working to implement Response to Intervention Classroom models and educate teachers. We provide educational workshops and professional development sessions for northern and southern Ontario communities. We're also working on ways to implement better screening with the end goal of feasible school wide screening protocols. Click here to learn more.
With over 400 different assistive technologies on the market, it's become increasingly challenging for clinicians to keep up and match the right tech to the needs of a child. This project documents literature on assistive technologies and compiles them into one database on a website we built ourselves. Read more and see the website here!
With his engaging presentation style, weaving together research, compelling stories, and humour, Dr. Todd Cunningham has empowered thousands of educators to optimize the education of individuals who learn differently in their classrooms. See what he's doing to pass his knowledge onto others.