Preschooler reading a book

Georgia Learning Disabilities Research Hub on Reading in African American Children

Reading failure among African American children is a longstanding, high impact public health concern. This failure has been attributed to a myriad  of factors, most involving the social and demographic circumstances of African American (AA) children.

While there is a growing recognition of the difficulties faced by AA children there also has been enormous progress in our understanding of normal reading processes, reading disabilities (RD) and the reading deficits associated with a clinical diagnosis of learning disability (LD).

The Georgia Learning Disabilities Research Hub project seeks to advance our knowledge of the mechanisms underlying reading difficulty in AA children, allowing us to distinguish AA children who exhibit a RD from those whose reading difficulties arise from other sources (e.g., environment).

Dr. Julie Washington, Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and Dr. Nicole Patton-Terry, Associate Professor of Special Education, are the project investigators for the study.  Now in it’s second year of four, the $2.6 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has allowed the College of Education & Human Development to develop one of four national Learning Disabilities Innovation Hubs. The Georgia Hub study is being conducted in the Atlanta Public Schools.