IDEA Pathfinder

“The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation.” (  This pathfinder is intended to help educators find technology resources that they can use to help their students find more accessibility and success in the educational setting.  There are both websites and journal articles to help you find the information you are looking for.

General Information (Technology for a variety of disabilities)

Ability Hub is a website that offers a directory of adaptive technologies for those students with disabilities that may have a difficult time with traditional computers.

Axistive is a site that advertises products that can assist students with physical disabilities to use their computers with greater ease and comfort.  There are a variety of products with photographs.

Family Village School is a site that offers a variety of articles and sites regarding assistive technology for students with disabilities.

Great Schools is a tool for parents and teachers by grade level with more information on disabilities, a guide to advocacy, tools for students, and much more.

Kids Health is an online resource that educators can use to help students understand how to stay healthy and to understand disabilities.National Down Syndrome Society is a resource for information related to the inclusion of students with Down Syndrome.  It has a wide variety of tools and links to information.

Kid Source is an online tool that defines what Assistive Technology Devices are and offers suggestions on tools that educators can use in the classroom from help with organization to literacy skills.

Learning Tools offers a vast list of specific technology tools that students can use for assistance in the classroom.  The list includes physical, cognitive, auditory and visual technologies. 

Reading Rockets is a resource that is dedicated to helping teachers and parents find strategies to improve the literacy skills for students with a variety of disabilities.  They also offer a long list of technologies.

South Carolina Assistive Technology Program offers a site with links to technology like reading pens, talking calculators and listening systems for students with a variety of disabilities.

Technology Tools is a site that outlines the requirements of IDEA and offers some suggestions on adaptive technology for students including portable note taking devices, and talking word processors.

University of Washington this article addresses disabilities from physical to auditory and the technologies that are available for educators and parents to utilize to help increase their student’s success.

Garrett, Jennifer Tumlin; Heller, Kathryn Wolff; Fowler, Linda P; Alberto, Paul A; Fredrick, Laura D; et al. “Using Speech Recognition Software to Increase Writing Fluency for Individuals with Physical Disabilities.” Journal of Special Education Technology 26. 1 (2011): 25-41.   This article describes the benefits of using speech recognition software to help students with reading and writing.  The indications are that this technology will help students improve their fluency and accuracy.

Ludlow, Barbara L; Foshay, John D.  “Assistive Technology in the Classroom: Enhancing the School Experiences of Students with Disabilities.” Journal of Special Education Technology 24. 1 (2009): 65-67.  This article reviews a book called Assistive Technology in the Classroom: Enhancing the School Experiences of Students with Disabilities that helps educators understand the technologies available to students with disabilities. It gives a brief chapter by chapter description.

Morrison, Karen. “Implementation of Assistive Computer Technology: A Model for School Systems.” International Journal of Special Education 22.1 (2007): 83-95.   This article helps school systems understand what kinds of technology may be used for students with disabilities and how to try and implement a technology system.

Jeffs, Tara, Michael Behrmann, and Brenda Bannan-Ritland. “Assistive Technology and Literacy Learning: Reflections of Parents and Children.” Journal of Special Education Technology 21.1 (2006): 37-44.   This article reflects on a study of technologies that students have used to increase literacy skills and the results of those technologies.

Visual Disabilities

Assistive Media is a great resource for those students with visual disabilities.  It is an online reader for students with access to free books.

Stauffer, Mary. “Instruction of Keyboarding Skills: A Whole Language Approach to Teaching Functional Literacy Skills to Students Who are Blind and Have Additional Disabilities.” International Journal of Special Education 23.1 (2008): 74-81.  This article suggests the use of keyboarding skills to increase the literacy success of visually impaired students and other students with disabilities.  It includes the use of Braille on the keyboard.

Adaptive Technology for the Visually Impaired is a resource for product information on technologies that exist for the visually impaired. 

Cummings, Edward O. “Assistive and Adaptive Technologies.” Knowledge Quest 39. 3 (Jan/Feb 2011): 70-73.    This article describes a piece of technology called the Classmate Reader.  It is a handheld device that allows students to listen to their textbook and follow along on the screen.  This could be used with children with learning disabilities or visual impairments.

Auditory Disabilities

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication offers a wide range of information regarding deafness and research, funding, news and events and advances in technology.

Tayfun Tanyeri, et al. “Reflections of Hearing Impaired Students on Daily and Instructional PDA Use.” International Journal of Special Education 24.1 (2009): 8-19.  Article reflects on the importance of using technology in the classroom for special education students.  Specifically, the author is focusing on hearing impaired students and the use of mobile technology.

Reading Disabilities

Esteves, Kelli J, EdD; Whitten, Elizabeth. “Assisted Readingwith Digital Audiobooks for Students with ReadingDisabilities.” Reading Horizons 51. 1 (Apr/May 2011): 21-40   Article reviewed a study done with students who used reading devices during SSR to improve reading fluency.  Results indicated that the devices did increase reading success.


Ayres, Kevin M; Langone, John. “Video Supports for Teaching Students with Developmental Disabilities and Autism: Twenty-Five Years of Research and Development.” Journal of Special Education Technology 23. 3 (2008): 1-8.   Article gives educators tips on using video to help develop educational plans for students with disabilities. 

Cordwell, Tammy. “Improving Access to Computers for Students with Disabilities: Features Available in the Windows 7 Operating System.” Journal of Special Education Technology 25. 4 (2010): 48-54.  Article described how technology with computers can help students learn.  By substituting a mouse and keyboard for a touch screen, students with autism for example can experience greater success.

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