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Special Education Information for Teachers

This section provides teachers and other education professionals with information and resources about teaching students with disabilities. Some of the content will be of use to any classroom teacher. Other topics may be more appropriate for special education teachers or specialists working with disabled students.

This site is about effective teaching:
The federal IDEA statutes specify the procedures for identification and program planning for students who have a disability that interferes with their learning. While this section includes a discussion of these procedures, our primary focus is on providing teachers with strategies to meet the individualized instructional challenges these students present. Some of these are extensions of good teaching practices you may already be using. Other strategies are specific to particular disabilities or situations.

Go where you wish:
This is not a linear presentation. Feel free to jump to the sections that will be most directly helpful to you and your students. We have included some general information on differentiating instruction as a starting point. You will also find more detailed information on specific disabilities and their instructional implications, as well as listings of appropriate print and web resources that may also be useful in specific situations. Our goal is to help you quickly find the resources that will help in your classroom.

Here are some starting points for your visit:

Basics – Hints to make the student and yourself comfortable. These suggestions are particularly useful for teachers working with special education students for the first time.

Case Studies – Examples of specific strategies that can make a difference in outcomes for special education students.

Differentiated Instruction – Strategies for modifying instruction to help accommodate special needs students.

Disabilities Defined – A collection of definitions, explanations, teaching strategies, and resources sorted by disability and, in some cases, by specific disorder. We have placed special emphasis on conditions found in schools and mixed-setting classrooms.

An introduction to IDEA regulations and provisions – An overview of the process by which schools determine and deliver special education services.

Dealing with Stress in Special Education – Tips from the field to reduce stress at work and at home.

Special Education Assessment Strategies – Methods for evaluating special education students.

Special Education Lesson Plans – A collection of lessons adapted or created for special education students.

Transition and Vocational Planning – Ways in which teachers and parents can help students plan their futures

Programs for preschoolers – Tips on assessing preschoolers and preparing them for school.

Using Assistive Technologies – A look at ways to use technology in special education.

A Glossary, containing definitions of many special education terms

Listings of National Organizations – A collection of general resources. Disability-specific resources are listed as part of the Disabilities Defined section.

Don’t forget the parents:
Remember that this site has a companion Parents’ Section. Information in the parents’ section is keyed to the contents of this section. Effective special education is a partnership among the student, the student’s family, and all the teachers and specialists who work with that student. The resources in the parent section can help build the common understandings that will make this partnership work. We hope you will suggest these resources to the parents whom you encounter.