Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Linda Silvernail


This study aims to investigate if students who have been identified intellectually disabled are able to gain phonemic awareness by using Wilson’s Fundations in a self-contained setting. Most research has focused on students who are not identified as intellectually disabled. In this mixed method action research study, the students were given a first grade reading fluency test and a first grade word reading test for six weeks as the quantitative data. Both instruments were tested using a two-tail t-test, week one’s results were compared to week six’s results on both tests. All five the participants showed growth over the six weeks on both tests. The word reading test showed a statistical significance, but the reading fluency test did not. The qualitative data was obtained from student observations and interviews from the paraprofessionals. The qualitative data from these sources supported the research questions. Common themes were found from both sources, and there was an indication that the students were able to read independently. The findings suggest that students with intellectual disabilities can read independently and gain phonemic awareness. The low number of participants and the length of time was a limitation of this study. Future research is needed with a higher number of students with intellectual disabilities and a longer amount of time to validate the quantitative data and support the qualitative data.


© 2023, Theresa Lynne Garcia