Dynamic Assessment of Phonemic Awareness

This is a Level 2 Strategic Initiative Grant from the University of Kansas Center for Research. The grant will support the submission of two related proposals—one to the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and one to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Our proposals will focus on continued development of an instrument to assess early reading skills for children with severe speech impairments. Because these children often have difficulties learning to read, it is crucial to assess the important pre-reading skill of phonemic awareness, the knowledge that spoken syllables can be broken into smaller elements. But because most current measures of phonemic awareness require spoken responses, they cannot be used with children who have speech impairments. Thus, our computer-based instrument—the Dynamic Assessment of Phonemic Awareness and the Alphabetic Principle (DAPA)—was designed to eliminate the need for spoken responses.

Our published work (Barker, Bridges, & Saunders, 2014) provides strong preliminary evidence of its validity. The NIH and IES proposals to be submitted in the coming year will seek funding for further refinement and large-scale validation studies.

Funding Agencies: 


Funded from: 
Sunday, November 1, 2015
Friday, June 30, 2017
Principal Investigator: 

Kathryn J. Saunders, Ph.D.


Cummings, Carol, B.A.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
KU Today