The Model Demonstration Center for Promoting Language and Literacy Readiness in Early Childhood (KS MDC) Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) (Walker & Warren, 2008) was completed in 2014 (Dale Walker, Principal Investigator, Kathryn Bigelow and Jane Atwater, Co-Principal Investigators).
The KS MDC was one of three model demonstration centers in the United States funded by the OSEP on the topic of early language and building the capacity of parents and caregivers to support the communication and early literacy development of infants’ and toddlers’ with disabilities and those at risk for language delays. The KS MDC provided staff development and technical assistance to early intervention Part C of IDEA programs in Kansas City, Wyandotte County, Olathe and Topeka, Kansas.
This Center extended the groundbreaking work by the University of Kansas Life Span Institute researchers Drs. Betty Hart and Todd Risley to infants and young children with disabilities. We have documented that infants and toddlers communicate and use language at a higher rate when their parents use the intervention strategies with a high level of fidelity compared to those children whose parents used the strategies less frequently. Parents’ strategy use is a significant predictor of child communication at 36 months and over time.
The Model Demonstration Coordination Center (MDCC) http://mdcc.sri.com/index.html funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and operated by SRI International worked closely with our OSEP Model Demonstration Center Cohort 3 projects as we conducted our projects. Data collected across the three Model Demonstration Centers for Early Communication and Language (Kansas, Vanderbilt/Florida, and North Carolina) were submitted to the MDCC as part of the contractual agreement with OSEP. The MDCC prepared two reports that include data and information from the three Model Demonstration Centers including the Kansas Model Demonstration Center.
These reports are also available through the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) ECTA eNotes