The program LATCH-ON (Literacy and Technology Hands-On), a post-school literacy program for young adults with intellectual disabilities, has, since 2008, generated gross license fees in excess of $510,000 from community-based program delivery partners in Canada, Ireland and Australia. License fee income, together with external funding, is re-invested to support ongoing research, particularly the Latch-On longitudinal study that has been running for 18 years. In addition, seven other research projects e.g., Literacy skills and opportunities for older adults with intellectual disabilities; COOL (Community Outreach Opportunities for Literacy); and Investigating Health Literacy: Investigation and intervention focusing on the health knowledge of young adults with intellectual disabilities, Students with intellectual disabilities and basic relational concepts have been made possible with the support of the income generated by Latch-On and Faculty strategic funds. The concurrent research ensures our current community partners maintain confidence that they have invested wisely in a program with a strong, ongoing evidence base, but also positions partnering in research with Latch-On as an attractive option for disability-based organisations.
LATCH-On also exemplifies other UQ research on literacy learning where original research on students’ learning strategies is deployed to design professional development programs for teachers in a range of educational settings. In 2014 Latch-On won an inaugural UQ PIREA award for Excellence in research partnerships that recognised the long-term partnership with Endeavour. The program was also recognised externally in 2014, receiving a Business Higher Education Round Table - Highly Commended award, with Endeavour, and Down Syndrome Ireland for Community Engagement. Internationally, Latch-On has been short-listed twice for the AONTA (adult learning) awards in Ireland.