Current Research

The four decades of DSRP have produced a wealth of research material which can be viewed here.

Current projects are listed below.


The Longitudinal Study

Research Team

Professor Monica Cuskelly, Dr Anne Jobling, Dr MariaRosa Mallardo, & Ms Jan Lloyd

The longitudinal study has changed its focus as the individuals with Down syndrome age in an effort to contribute to the challenges facing individuals and their families at different times in the life span. The members of the longitudinal cohort are now approximately 35-45 years of age. One of the issues at this life stage is mental well-being. Our current efforts are focussed on this area of health, with the intention of contributing to knowledge about how to support good mental health in this population.

For more information contact Professor Monica Cuskelly

Inclusive Secondary Mathematics

Research Team

Dr Rhonda Faragher, Professor Karen Nankervis, Professor Kim Beswick & Professor Monica Cuskelly

LYLAC Project – Learning Year Level Appropriate Curriculum: Secondary Mathematics for Students with Down Syndrome

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Partnership Research Grant 2018-2019

In collaboration with Edmund Rice Education Australia, Down Syndrome Australia and the Down Syndrome Association of Queensland, a project commenced in 2018 that investigates the practices of teachers as they teach secondary mathematics to their classes that include a student with Down syndrome. The project aims to find ways to adjust regular secondary mathematics to make it accessible for learners with Down syndrome.

For more information contact Dr Rhonda Faragher


Literacy Project

Research Team

Associate Professor Karen Moni, Dr Anne Jobling & Ms Jan Lloyd

Latch-On, a literacy program for individuals with intellectual disabilities, was initiated and designed by Karen B. Moni, PhD and Anne Jobling, PhD at the School of Education, in The University of Queensland with the assistance of Mrs Jan Lloyd and Dr Michelle Morgan.

The program began in 1998 and has a strong foundation in educational research and practice.  The researchers were able to draw on and extend the knowledge and understanding they had gained over many years in the fields of intellectual disability, English curriculum and literacy learning in the development of this innovative program.

From the beginning research has been an integral component of the program. Initially, the longitudinal study of children with Down syndrome provided evidence that there were gains in development over time (Jobling & Cuskelly, 1998) and that with opportunities young adults with intellectual disabilities could broaden their literacy education through appropriate teaching and learning strategies, and continue to develop and improve their language and literacy skills.

Within the six years of the development of Latch-On our research component has two key foci.  First, the program’s content and strategies were trialed and evaluated longitudinally (over six years). In addition, more targeted research opportunities in areas such as technology use, developing comprehension, and developing oral literacy have also been undertaken by several master’s students. The program was framed by philosophical underpinnings connecting it to communities of practice, where Latch-On students and teachers work together to develop new understandings of and about language, literacy and texts.  In developing this community the literacy is linked to other social endeavours that assist the students to develop as lifelong learners (Moni & Jobling 2000).

The focus on multiliteracies recognises that the learner needs to engage with texts in print, oral and multi-media domains, in a wide range of contexts, for different purposes in order to understand the world in which they live. So the Latch-On program is comprised of all the interwoven elements: speaking and listening, viewing, reading, writing, and the use of technology.

Second, using data that has been collected during the first six years of the program, the achievements of the students involved in the program has been documented (Moni & Jobling 2001). These data validated the program’s philosophies as well as the program’s focus and strategies.

For more information contact Associate Professor Karen Moni