COVID-19 Language and Literacy Project

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth E. Biggs, Ph.D.


Vanderbilt Kennedy Center researcher Elizabeth Biggs, PhD is leading a team who is addressing challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic for children with disabilities and their families through a new research project. This project focuses on learning about the ways families are involved in language and literacy learning for children who are nonverbal or have limited verbal speech. Their goal is to understand how to support strong outcomes for children and their families during this unprecedented time. The team is currently recruiting families to participate, and families can receive up to $220 in gift cards and two new children’s books for participating.

Your family might be eligible to participate if your child attends a public school in Tennessee and:

  1. Is in Kindergarten - 4th grade for the 2020-2021 school year
  2. Has a disability and receives special education services
  3. Is nonverbal or has limited verbal speech (uses 1-3 word phrases, or augmentative or alternative communication such as picture symbols or a speech-generating device or “talker”).

All participation occurs online, at times that are convenient to families. Participation involves completing online questionnaires, interviews, and brief videoconferencing sessions where parents read and talk with their child.

To learn more about the project or complete an interest form, visit: You can also contact Elizabeth E. Biggs, PhD at

Participant Criteria

Families of K-4th grade students with limited verbal speech


Up to $220 in gift cards and two new children’s books

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Enter your name and contact information and this study's coordinators will contact you if there are openings available.