WRI’s primary service is developing new information, translating new information(ours or the work of other researchers) into actual practice and using new information to develop training for professionals in the fields of education and the human services. For example, our research provides new knowledge about how to prevent reading failure among young children; our development activities prepare curricula that teachers use to implement effective ways to prevent reading failure; and our training activities prepare teachers to use new approaches or curricula that are effective in teaching children to read.

Below, we have described our current projects:

Washington Research Institute ProjectsLadders to Literacy Outreach Project

This project offers training and technical assistance to early childhood and early childhood special education programs in the area of emergent literacy. The training is based upon Ladders to Literacy, a research-based model designed to facilitate the early literacy development of preschool and kindergarten children in inclusive settings. 

Neurobehavioral Curriculum for Early Intervention

We are developing and testing a curriculum to assist parents and early intervention staff to recognize and support the neurobehavioral organization of infants with severe disabilities or very low birth weight. The curriculum assists professionals, paraprofessionals, and parents in providing appropriate neurobehavioral support to these infants during assessment, intervention, and care giving sessions. 

Postsecondary Innovative Transition Technology: Post-ITT

Post-ITT Outreach is an outreach training project funded by the United States Department of Education Office of Rehabilitative Services. Project staff are disseminating the Post-ITT model, which is designed to help students with disabilities prepare for college during their high school years. Project activities include expansion of the Post-ITT website, full day training of educators in Washington State, awareness training at conferences, and the development of Web-based training for parents, teachers, and counselors.  

Scaffolding Emergent Literacy: Supporting the Early Development of Young Children with Disabilities in Natural Environments

The purpose of this project is to develop, field-test, and evaluate methods and materials for Early Childhood Special Education staff to use with families and childcare providers serving young children with disabilities in community-based programs and that will enhance their abilities to facilitate children’s emergent literacy skills. 

Sound Partners Dissemination

With assistance from local foundations, staff provide technical assistance to schools that train local tutors to provide one-to-one instruction in early reading skills to students at-risk for reading disabilities. 

Sustainability of Promising Innovations

This project focuses on a one-to-one tutoring program in early reading skills, and an inclusive high school model. The project is examining: whether and in what form school reforms and innovations are sustained or adapted, and factors influencing levels of continued use.