Font Size:



Highlight text on the page to convert it to speech.

Staff Access

“Literacy is a right: thinking about literacy for people with developmental disabilities across the lifespan”

Individuals with significant developmental disabilities are often excluded from educational and day-to-day opportunities to develop as literate citizens. Join us for a World Café with Dr. Chris Kleiwer, Regents’ Professor of Special Education at the University of Northern Iowa and author of Seeing All Kids as Readers: A New Vision for Literacy in the Inclusive Early Childhood Classroom. We will discuss how to ensure that all individuals, from young children with disabilities to adults with extensive support needs, are supported to benefit from literacy instruction and opportunities.

Dr. Kleiwer will be presenting on literacy and young children with significant disabilities, and the impact of literacy on the lives of adults with developmental disabilities. Participants will have opportunities to actively engage with their colleagues on a variety of literacy topics.

This professional development day is for speech-language pathologists, literacy coordinators in schools and community agencies, direct support workers, social services or education students, early childhood educators, supported child development providers, non-profit agencies providing community living supports to adults with developmental disabilities, family members and self-advocates.


Chris Kliewer, Ph.D., has focused his career on supporting full inclusion and literacy for all students including students with complex developmental disabilities. He is a Regents’ Professor of Special Education at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA. Chris’ work encompasses social justice, action-ethnography, interpretive inquiry, historiography, and philosophy in the analysis of traditionally marginalized groups associated with significant disability. Recent publications include At the End of Intellectual Disability [Harvard Educational Review with Douglas Biklen and Amy J. Petersen) and Seeing All Kids as Readers: A New Vision for Literacy in the Inclusive Early Childhood Classroom [Baltimore, MD: Brookes].

This event is co-hosted by the Next Chapter Book Club and Spectrum Society for Community Living.

Spectrum Society is currently celebrating its thirtieth anniversary of offering individualised supports in the neighbourhoods of greater Vancouver by hosting 30 events, including this one. Thanks to all our friends, neighbours, colleagues and families who have supported our mission!

Spectrum’s Next Chapter Book Club

The Next Chapter Book Club is made up of all kinds of readers, who meet at the Grind coffee house every Thursday evening from 6:30-8pm in Vancouver. It is based on the Next Chapter Book Club model out of Ohio, which has now got hundreds of community based book clubs around North America.

“We work together as a team to read and talk about books. We read out loud to each other. If someone gets stuck on a word we help them out. We stop every once and awhile and talk about what we have been reading. We also look up words and pictures to help us understand what we are reading.”


Thu, 20 April 2017

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM PDT

Add to Calendar


Oakridge Centre Auditorium

319 – 650 West 41st

Vancouver, B.C V5Z 2M9

View Map

Link to Tickets: