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Small Business Innovation Research

Related IES SBIR Awards

2011 Fast-Track: $1,049,636
2013 Phase I: $149,930
2014 Phase II: $899,995

Key Information:

Address: 504 Commerce Parkway, Verona, WI, 53593
Early Reading Skills Builder:
Access: Language Arts:
Contact: Carol Stanger,

Project Titles:

Early Reading Skills Builder and Access: Language Arts

Access Language Arts screen shot and Early Reading Skills Builder screen shot


Early Reading Skills Builder is a blended reading curriculum for students with intellectual disability 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 prompting.

Access: Language Arts is an app or software for 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. Access: Language Arts incorporates progress monitoring, constant time-delay procedure (modeling), and prompting.

Research & Development:

Both Early Reading Skills Builder and Access: Language Arts were developed using 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 to validate a prototype of the final 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 apps 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 of students who used standard print curricular materials. 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.


Early Reading Skills Builder and Access Language Arts are both commercially available for purchase from the Attainment Company, Inc. Cumulatively these programs have been purchased by approximately 800 school districts nationwide (2nd quarter, 2017), and are used by approximately 40,000 students each year.

Peer Reviewed Publications:


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