Culturally Responsive Literacy Instruction in Special Education with Dr. Shawn Robinson

Literacy includes all four domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Quality literacy intervention is structured, multi-sensory, and incorporates diverse literature. It is imperative that children and adolescents have access to literacy intervention and instruction that will enable them to attain grade level standards and thrive after graduating from high school. Speech-language pathologists, educators, reading specialists, intervention specialists, consultants, professors, children, and families can work together to improve the literacy skills of struggling readers. According to the 2019 National Assessment of Education Progress, only 34 % of 4th graders in the U.S. were reading at or above grade level.  Literacy is truly the foundation for academic and life success. Professionals and families must know how to connect with dyslexic individuals for them to attain effective literacy skills and set them on a path to succeed. 

In this interview, Dr. Shawn Robinson shares his mission to reach, serve, and empower students with dyslexia in special education to achieve greatness. Dyslexia is a language based learning disability that is neurobiological. It is genetic and is characterized by challenges with reading accuracy, reading fluency and poor spelling. Individuals with dyslexia have a phonological language impairment. The learning differences that a dyslexic person experiences are not due to cognition or their level of intelligence. However, phonological deficits contribute to difficulty with reading comprehension and writing as well. Did you know that 1 in 5 children or 80-90% of children with learning disorders have dyslexia? They can attain success if they are provided evidence based and quality intervention. 

Dr. Robinson is committed to improving the lives of individuals who struggle with language and literacy. He is a reading instructor for adults at Madison College in Wisconsin, a Senior Research Associate in Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, an entrepreneur, and co-founder of Doctor Dyslexia Dude LLC. You will hear his journey as an individual with dyslexia  and how he was not diagnosed until he was a junior in high school (11th grade). You will learn about some of his current research projects, about the International Dyslexia Association,  how he positively influences children as Dr. Dyslexia Dude, how he makes an impact in the lives of adults with dyslexia, and more. According to the International Dyslexia Association, approximately 85 % of all students in special education with a learning disability  have impairments specifically in language processing and reading. Therefore, speech language pathologists, educators, and parents will benefit from the information shared in this interview. We have the direct opportunity to continue building successful lives for children, adolescents, and even adults by providing culturally responsive literacy instruction. Access the interview now. I welcome your comments on my website. 


International Dyslexia Association-


Tamara Anderson, M.S., Ed.S., CCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist

Education Specialist & Consultant

Diversity & Equity Advocate


  • Denise Glasco-Sims says:

    I am interested in learning more about the role of SLPs in literacy.

    • Tamara Anderson says:

      SLPs should directly provide intervention for phonological awareness and other domains of literacy (listening, speaking, reading, writing). Read blog articles on this website and subscribe for more details.

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