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“Scientific Research Supporting WYNN”
June 2009 (Abstract)

“The psychological, social, and economic consequences of reading failure are legion. It is for this reason that the NICHD [National Institute of Child Health and Human Development] considers reading failure to reflect not only an educational problem, but a significant public health problem as well.” 1 Thus began Dr. Reid Lyon's testimony to the Committee on Education and the Workforce in the House of Representatives.

With enactment of No Child Left Behind in 2001, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development published the basis for legislation that requires explicit and systematic instruction to teach reading. Educators know that people do not all learn the same way and do not all benefit from the same tools. An ideal learning environment would provide opportunities for students to learn the best way for their individual learning style. One way to provide such an environment is with Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL contains methods for teachers to use “multiple approaches to meet the needs of diverse learners,” 2 giving teachers guidelines to provide:

  • Multiple means of representation
  • Multiple means of expression or action
  • Multiple means of engagement

Students who are struggling readers or who have learning disabilities, physical disabilities, or English language barriers, often exhibit a number of shared problems. However, the presence of shared problems or challenges doesn't mean one solution will fit all these groups. It does mean solutions with certain features and approaches could benefit multiple students. Solutions that incorporate good UDL principles can work for all students.

Some of the difficulties that struggling students encounter include: difficulty with reading, fluency and comprehension; written language difficulties, including initiating writing, spelling, and word usage; and mechanical aspects of writing. Difficulties also include higher-order skills required for writing, such as planning, organizing, reviewing, and revising.

All these challenges are addressed in the white paper “Scientific Research Supporting WYNN.” The white paper substantiates features of WYNN with research. The research studies are summarized in five sections. Each section includes a detailed review of applicable research.

Select Scientific Research Supporting WYNN to order a full copy of this white paper.


1 Lyon, Dr. Reid. “Report on Learning Disabilities Research.” Adapted from testimony given by Dr. Reid Lyon before the Committee on Education and the Workforce in the U.S. House of Representatives on July 10, 1997.

2 CAST. “CAST: What is Universal Design for Learning?” http://www.cast.org/research/udl/index.html.


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