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Aiming for Access

June Behrmann

June Behrmann is a longtime special education teacher (pre-K to grade 6) who retired for about two seconds, and is now prospecting for accessible instructional resources. Follow June on Twitter @aimnoncat. Thank you to AIM-VA: Accessible Instructional Materials for sharing this blog with us.

Lindamood Bell Reading: Effects Are Potentially Positive, Mixed, Says US DOE Clearinghouse

November 19, 2015

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences describes an update for the Lindamood Bell approach to reading instruction (LiPS®). Findings show some potentially positive effects and some mixed effects.

Can Be Important

I Believe in Myself

Both an adult student and a parent of a student, Christine shares her very personal challenges with Dyslexia that led her to Lindamood-Bell and back again. See how Lindamood-Bell gave her the ability and confidence to face her adversities head on—and to succeed—and how she now sees the same successes in her son.

The update from the What Works Clearinghouse can be important because parents of students who struggle to read, including learners with learning disabilities and dyslexia, ask for multi-sensory structured reading and language programs including this one. These are often programs based on the Orton-Gillingham reading method. Schools officials are more likely to consider programs that have independent evaluations showing proven effectiveness. However, training teachers in these methods and limiting instruction to specific programs can stand in the way of schools purchasing decisions because there are no universally effective reading programs.

Now, Lindamood Bell can add this U.S. DOE research finding to testimonials like the one from a parent embedded above (4:41 min.). In it, one mother describes her difficult journey as a severely dyslexic reader. She was misdiagnosed as having an intellectual disability at first, but later had a successful reading intervention with the Lindamood Bell system. She became a college graduate with a thriving graphic design career. Her journey from poor reader to an able one helps her advocate for one of her sons who has this inherited reading difficulty. 

Here is the education department update: 

What Works

The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) updated an intervention report for the Lindamood Phonemic Sequencing® program to include the most recently available research. The WWC conducts updates to existing intervention reports for programs that are currently in use and continue to be evaluated. These updated reports provide the public with current, comprehensive reviews of the available evidence for a given program.

16 Studies

The WWC updated its 2008 review of Lindamood Phonemic Sequencing®, which is designed to improve reading and spelling skills by teaching students the skills needed to decode and encode words and to identify individual sounds and blends in words. Since the last WWC report there have been 16 new studies, two of which meet WWC group design standards without reservations. Based on the evidence now available, Lindamood Phonemic Sequencing® shows potentially positive effects on reading comprehension and mixed effects on alphabetics for beginning readers. Read the full report.


The What Works Clearinghouse works to provide educators with information that help them make evidence-based decisions through:

Also check out:

  • US DOE's literacy topic area that includes reviews on programs and methods that aim to improve literacy.
  • Lindamood Bell website where you can find success stories on the site's blog: 
  • Reading programs that were created specifically for dyslexics based on the Orton-Gillingham approach, including Lindamood Bell, on the DyslexiaHelp website at the University of Michigan. Also find a table summarizing some of the programs and their features.

Thank you to AIM-VA: Accessible Instructional Materials for sharing this blog with our Reading Rockets audience.

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"Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them. " — Neil Gaiman