Unlocking Comprehensive Literacy: Empowering All Learners with Complex Needs to Access Instruction

young boy sitting on floor at library reading a book

Training Description

Session 1: Introduction to Comprehensive Literacy Instruction and Emergent LiteracyAugust 8, 2024 4-6pm
This session will provide an overview of the components of Comprehensive Literacy for All learners. Participants will learn how to determine emergent versus conventional literacy stages as well as specific components of emergent literacy. Emergent literacy including alphabetic knowledge, shared writing, and shared reading will be discussed. Tools for implementation and resources for next steps will also be shared.

Session 2: Literacy Instruction for Learners with Complex Needs August 15, 2024, 2024 4-6pm
This session will provide information about the specific components of conventional literacy. Reading comprehension, self-directed reading, independent writing, and word identification/spelling will be covered. Participants will receive resources and tools for implementation in this area.

­Session 3: Putting it all together- Planning, Data, Goals, & Resources for Comprehensive Literacy for All August 22, 2024 4-6pm
This session will cover how to plan for instruction, collect data, and craft IEPs in support of Comprehensive Literacy for All. Participants will receive information about considerations for planning and delivering all literacy instruction. In addition, assistive technology use and how to integrate these instructional methods in mixed ability settings will be discussed. Participants will leave with an action plan for next steps in their educational setting.

Training Objectives

Session 1
1. By the end of this session, participants will be able to differentiate between emergent and conventional literacy stages.
2. Participants will gain proficiency in identifying and implementing key components of emergent literacy, such as alphabetic knowledge, shared writing, and shared reading, equipping them with practical strategies to support literacy development for diverse learners.

Session 2
1. By the end of this training session, participants will demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the components of conventional literacy, including reading comprehension, self-directed reading, independent writing, and word identification/spelling, enabling them to effectively support students in these areas.
2. Participants will acquire practical strategies and resources for implementing conventional literacy components in their educational settings, empowering them to facilitate students’ development of literacy skills with confidence and proficiency.

Session 3
1. Participants will learn how to effectively plan for instruction, collect relevant data, and develop Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) to support Comprehensive Literacy for All learners, ensuring individualized and targeted support for diverse student needs.
2. Participants will gain knowledge on planning for literacy instruction and delivering it effectively, with a focus on considerations for diverse learning needs and integrating assistive technology in mixed ability settings.

About the Presenter

Elisa Wern, ATP, M.Ed., OTR/L, is an occupational therapist with a masters’ degree in special education, certification as an assistive technology practitioner (ATP), and over 20 years of experience in pediatric therapy. She presents at a variety of state and national conferences including regional training, AOTA, CEC, PATINS A2E, and ATIA, OTAP/ECHO TIES Project, CATE, TalkingAAC and AAC in the Cloud. She is the Local Assistive Technology Specialist for Alachua County Schools in Gainesville, Florida, where she coordinates AT services for the district and serves as the Lead Occupational Therapist. In her spare time she has a private practice, AT & OT Consulting and Coaching, supporting students and families primarily through teletherapy evaluations, consultations, and interventions as well as consultation for companies.


August 8, 2024
August 15, 2024
August 22, 2024
All sessions are online via Zoom.

Target Audience

Educators, Administrators, SLPs, OTs, PTs, & Family Members


We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals to engage fully. To request accommodations or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact Dr. Danielle Liso at 352-265-2241 or card-training@ufl.edu.



Additional Information

  • Regional Trainings are hosted by the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, through the Partnership for Effective Programs for Students with Autism (PEPSA), a program funded by the State of Florida, Department of Education, K-12 Public Schools, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services, through federal assistance under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B. www.DOEpartnership.org
  • Be sure to contact your ESE District Staff or Staff Development Contact to determine the process for receiving in-service.