Adult Literacy Reading Programs

Teacher helping adult learn to readA well-trained teacher or tutor in an adult literacy program should be trained in at least three methods, including the multisensory approach, which has proven to be effective for adult students with learning disabilities. A multisensory method uses a combination of visual, auditory and tactile-kinesthetic instruction to enhance memory and learning. Following is a list of multi sensory structured language programs.This list does not include every available adult literacy reading program; however, many of the programs listed are based on the “Orton Gillingham-Stillman Approach.” This approach is often described as the grandfather of many successful multisensory
reading programs.

Literacy Reading Programs

Alphabetic Phonics

Alphabetic Phonics was developed by Lucius Waites, M.C. and Aylett R. Cox. Alphabetic Phonics is based on Orton-Gillingham techniques and emphasizes intense phonetic analysis of written language. The program is presented in a structured, multisensory sequence of alphabet, reading and spelling. Contact: Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, 222 Welborn Street, Dallas, TX 75219: 214.559.7815,

Barton Reading and Spelling System

Barton Reading and Spelling System was developed by Susan Barton. The Barton System is an Orton-Gillingham based program designed for volunteer tutors in adult literacy programs. Training is provided on videotape with fully scripted lesson plans. Contact: Barton Reading and Spelling System, 2059 Camden Ave., Suite 186, San Jose, CA 95124, 408.559.3652,

Multi-sensory Teaching Approach

Multisensory Teaching Approach (MTA) was developed by Margaret Taylor Smith. MTA is a comprehensive, multi-sensory program in reading, spelling, cursive handwriting, and alphabet and dictionary skills. Based on Orton-Gillingham techniques and Alphabetic Phonics. Contact: MTS Publications at or 877.552.1090.

The Herman Method

The Herman Method was developed by Renee Herman. Teaches decoding, sight words, structural analysis, contextual clues and dictionary skills with consistent emphasis on comprehension. A remedial reading program that can be taught by trained paraprofessionals. A phonetic, structured, sequential approach based on the Orton-Gillingham Method and specifically designed for students with dyslexia/specific reading disability. Contact: Romar Publications, 4700 Tyrone Ave, Sherman Oaks, CA 94123: 818.784.9566.

Landmark Methodology

Landmark Methodology is a structured multi-sensory reading, spelling and writing program. Contact: Landmark Outreach Program, P.O. Box 227, Prides Crossing, MA 01965, 968.236.3216,


Lindamood-Bell was developed by Patricia Lindamood and Nancy Bell. Lindamood-Bell program offers intensive treatment to develop reading, spelling, language comprehension, visual motor processing, and the ability to follow oral directions. Contact: Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes, 416 Higuera, San Luis Obispo, CA 9430: 800.233.1819 / 805.541.3836,

Orton-Gillingham Method

Orton-Gillingham Method was developed by Dr. Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham. Orton-Gillingham Method was developed and published in 1935. A multi-sensory, structured reading and writing program. Contact: Academy of Orton Gillingham, P.O. Box 234, Amenia, NY 12501: 914.373.8919,

Project Read

Project READ was developed by Dr. Mary Lee Enfield and Victoria Green.  Project READ is a method of teaching that is systematic, multi-sensory, concrete and involves direct instruction. It is a language arts program based on the theories of Samuel Orton. Contact: Project READ, P.O. Box 20631, Bloomington, MN 55420: 800.450.0343,

multisensorySlingerland Approach

>Slingerland Approach was developed by Beth Slingerland. The Slingerland Approach is based on Orton-Gillingham techniques. All learning takes place through the involvement of the auditory, visual and kinesthetic motor channels. It is the linkage of these channels that individuals with dyslexia often find challenging. The Slingerland Approach starts with the smallest unit of sight, sound and feeling – a single letter. Expanding upon that single unit, students are taught through an approach which strengthens inner-sensory association and enables the strong channel of learning to reinforce the weak. It is thorough and integrated, providing a complete language learning experience. Contact: Slingerland Institute for Literacy, 12729 Northup Way, Suite 1, Bellevue, WA 98005: 425.453.1190,

Starting Over Starting Right

Starting Over Starting Right employs multi-sensory phonics, whole words, and language experience techniques to teach the building of words, vocabulary, and sentences. Assessment tools are included. Contact: Knight Education, Inc., 212.769.2760,

Wilson Reading System

Wilson Reading System was developed by Barbara Wilson. The Wilson Reading System is a 12-step remedial reading and writing program for individuals with language-based learning disabilities. The system specifically teaches strategies for decoding and spelling. It also includes oral expressive language development and comprehension. Visualization techniques are used for comprehension. Based on the Orton-Gillingham teaching techniques. Contact: Wilson Language Training, 162 West St, Millbury, MA 01527-1943: 800.899. 8454,

Training Video

Dyslexia Training Program

Dyslexia Training Program was developed by the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital Laboratory. The Dyslexia Training Program (DTP) + Rite Flight: A Classroom Reading Rate Program (RF Rate) and Rite Flight: A Classroom Comprehension Program (RF Comprehension) is a two-year dyslexia intervention that meets the National Reading Panel recommendations as a comprehensive Tier III reading intervention program. This video-based series provides expertise and classroom instruction delivered by a trained professional while an onsite facilitator provides attention to individual needs. he multisensory lessons target six instructional components which include both explicit and systematic instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and spelling. For more information, go to

Note from editor: There are multitudes of materials available online regarding teaching with multisensory instruction – far too many to list here. For more ideas, search for multisensory instructional materials and/or videos on your web browser.

Download Adult Literacy Reading Programs

© 2014 Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA). LDA encourages the distribution of this information. Please provide appropriate credit if portions are cited. Information may not be reprinted for the purpose of resale.

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  1. L. Klein says:

    Someone one should offer materials and ideas for free. Every person with a reading problem is not rich! Dyslexia and other undiagnosed reading problems are a life-long handicap for many poorer people.

  2. Lisa Ray says:

    I am 41 and I’m embarrassed about not knowing how to read

    • LDA of America says:

      Seeking help should never be embarrassing. I seek help all of the time from friends, colleagues, and staff. I suggest going to your local Library, which typically has reading programs for the public. If you choose to not participate as a group, see if one of the volunteers or instructors will provide private reading assistance. Some Libraries do this as a free service, while others do charge. It is never to late to learn to read. I am proud of you for reaching out.

  3. Constance says:

    I need to learn to read better so I can get a better paying job I really need help bad

    • LDA of America says:

      Look online for your statewide literacy organization. They can refer you to a local literacy program. Or look for your local program at While you’re working on improving your reading skills, you should explore the new assistive technology that’s available for free or cheap that can read text for you. There’s information about assistive technology at and at There’s also a great app-finder to help you find free/cheap apps that can help a lot at . You should be able to find any number of apps to help you with your basic skills. • Natural Readers software is a free text-to-speech software program you can download on your computer at With this program installed on your computer, your computer will read out loud everything on your monitor after you highlight the text. This includes internet sites, email, and word processing documents. Actually, it can read anything you see written on your computer. • Voice Dream Reader is an app for your android OR iPhone that lets you use your phone to take a picture of what you want to read and then it reads it out loud to you. This works great for books, magazines, menus, or whatever else you need to read that’s not on a computer. You can check it out at It costs $9.99 at the App Store or Google Play. Voice Dream also has tools for writing. Their website is worth checking out. So don’t panic – you should be able to read just fine with access to affordable or even free technology – so don’t wait to start using it!

  4. Ann Pearce says:

    My name is Ann and I have been a special ed teacher/literacy specialist for many years. I live in Easton, MD. I am in the process of cleaning out a few things from my house and I have a wealth of Project Read materials that have hardly been used ( I used to tutor with these materials, but because of my current job in the last several years I no longer tutor). I would love to donate them to someone that would be interested in having them. I could send pictures so you can see what I have to donate.
    I travel for work so I could possibly deliver them if I was in an area where they were wanted, or could drop them off . Please let me know if you would know someone who might use these- or someone I could contact to see if they are interested.

    • LDA of America says:

      LDA has a Chapter in Maryland. The contact person is Judith Lantz PO Box 744 Dunkirk, MD or email I am sure someone would value your resources. Thank you for thinking of LDA.

    • Dana Gaspar says:

      Gateway Recovery Systems
      4103 Lac Couture Dr, Harvey, LA 70058
      (504) 368-9935
      There are many people in their program that struggle with learning to read.
      *This is a referral. I am not a participate of the program nor am I affiliated with their organization.*

    • June Baker says:

      I have a child that is 48 years old he cannot read he went to school at BOCES they didnt teach him to read he is now out of work because they closed down Acheive he worked there for 26 years i live near Binghamton NY Scott is in a program that is trying to help meet some goals one of the goals is reading i would like to help him meet this goal

    • Do you have any of these items left? Would they help if I am teaching an adult to read. If so, I would love a few of them. Also, while I have you here, I am an adult who is fluent in reading and writing, but, by no means a teacher. I am going to help an adult friend learn to read. Several have started the task, but no one has gone the distance. Any advice?


    • Hi Ann,
      I’m very much interested in your Project Read materials.

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