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Success Stories out of the Institute of Education Sciences' SBIR Program: Attainment Company, Inc.

Screen shot of Attainment company products.


Early Reading Skills Builder is blended reading curriculum for students with intellectual disability and/or autism. Lessons include identifying, blending, and segmenting sounds, decoding words, reading sight words and connected text, and answering comprehension questions. The app and software include professionally recorded phonemes that can be blended together to serve as a student's voice. Early Reading Skills Builder incorporates progress monitoring, constant time-delay procedure (modeling), and least intrusive prompting.

Access: Language Arts is an app or software teaching English Language Arts to secondary students with autism or intellectual disability. Grade aligned adapted books with professional narration provide students with access to the content. Instruction in vocabulary, comprehension across Bloom's Taxonomy, and writing is delivered with evidence based practices. Access: Language Arts incorporates progress monitoring, constant time-delay procedure (modeling), and least intrusive prompting.

Research and Development:

Both Early Reading Skills Builder and Access: Language Arts were developed under iterative research and development cycles across the two and a half year Phase I and Phase II SBIR projects. During Phase I, both products used single subject research across authentic classrooms with a prototype of the final shipping product. Feasibility was established as students demonstrated an increase in values measured as a result of using the prototype. Phase II included one year of single subject research studies using iteratively developed beta versions of the app followed by a second year of classroom use across multiple classrooms in a randomized control trial (RCT).

For both Early Reading Skills Builder and Access: Language Arts, students who used the programs outperformed the control group. The Early Reading Skills Builder RCT was conducted with 32 students. Intervention students had statistically significant interaction effects in identifying phonemes, decoding, and total score as compared to the control group students. The Access Language Arts RCT included 54 students. The assessment scores for both the intervention and control groups increased, but the increase in assessment scores was greater for the treatment group than the control group. Specifically, there was a statistically a significant interaction effect for comprehension and total score where the scores of the treatment group exceeded those of the control group.

Following Phase II research, Early Reading Skills Builder was produced as a 26 level multi-year classroom curriculum under Attainment Company funded Phase III development. Access: Language Arts was commercially available with limited content across Phase II. It is now available with expanded features and additional content as a result of Phase II R&D and the Phase III Attainment-funded development cycles.


Early Reading Skills Builder and Access Language Arts are both commercially available for purchase from the Attainment Company, Inc. These programs have been purchased by approximately 800 school districts nationwide (2nd quarter, 2017). Approximately 40,000 students use Early Reading Skills Builder and Access Language Arts each year with that number growing annually given new sales and new students.

Contact Attainment to learn more for your staff and students.

Peer Reviewed Publications from this R&D:


  • 2014 Digital Innovation Learning Award (DILA) from edSurge and Digital Promise for Research@Work.