Disability Information

Ability Online

  • A free and secure online community for kids, teens, and young adults of all abilities.
  • This website is monitored and contains separate sections for different age groups and specialized tools to help address transitional needs and challenges of the individual child. Parents must register.

ABLE DATA: Your source for assistive technology information
Provides information to consumers, organizations, professionals, and caregivers on assistive technology and rehabilitation equipment.

  • Sponsored by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR): part of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) or the US.
  • Registration is optional; you can access information without registering.

Autism Society of America

  • Provides family members, individuals diagnosed on the Spectrum, professionals, and advocates, with information about the diagnosis of Autism, resources, and relevant research.
  • Provides users with information on local support meetings, training, and other events relating to legislative advocacy.
  • No registration is required to access resources.
  • Virginia Chapter

Autism Speaks: It’s Time to Listen

  • Informational website providing parents and children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, with resources, tool kits, and research information important to the field of Autism.
  • Tool kits and applications can be purchased, but free downloads are also offered.
  • No registration is required to access resources.
  • Provides information on support groups and services available by state.
  • Virginia Website

Beach Center on Disability

  • Focused on making sustainable differences in the lives of individuals  and families affected by disability
  • Part of The University of Kansas, both The Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies and the School of Education’s Department of Special Education
  • Center conducts research, offers training and guides, provides educational videos, shares disability news, maintains a resource library, and offers parent to parent support

CAST:  Universal Design for Learning

  • Nonprofit research and development organization that works to expand learning opportunities (through Universal Design for Learning) for all individuals, especially those with disabilities
  • Staff represents numerous specialties including education research and policy, neuropsychology, clinical and school psychology, technology, engineering, curriculum development, L-12 professional development and more
  • Provides educators with Universal Design for Learning guidelines, curriculum, lesson builders, strategies for tutoring, and teaching resources, as well as professional development opportunities

Cerebral Palsy of Virginia

  • Non-profit organization that advocates for children and adults with cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities (Downs Syndrome, autism, muscular dystrophy, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, and vision, hearing, and speech impairments).
  • Provides users with information on assistive technology, adaptive toys, computer software, books, and various resources available for loan.
  • No registration is required.

Commonwealth Autism Service (CAS)

  • Provides users with links to state resources serving individuals on the autism spectrum: State Resources
  • Provides users with information on autism diagnoses, state legislation, advocacy, and current research.
  • Provides users with information on autism action groups and partnerships in schools.
  • No registration is required to access resources.

Disabled World: Towards Tomorrow

  • Provides parents information on various childhood disabilities and disorders, including; autism, deafness, deaf-blindness, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, hearing impairment, developmental delay, traumatic brain injury, emotional disturbance, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, and visual impairment.
  • Provides links to disability specific sites, articles, and various support groups for children and parents.
  • No registration is required to access resources.

Do2Learn

  • Provides thousands pages of social skills and behavioral regulation activities and guidance, learning songs and games, communication cards, academic material, and transition guides for employment and life skills.
  • Concentrated on Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and other disorders that impact learning, socialization, communication, and self-regulation skills.
  • Contains free resources as well as products for purchase

Family Village

  • An online community full of thousands of resources for children and adults with disabilities, their families, and their friends and allies.
  • Centerpiece of the site is the Library, where visitors can find information on over 300 diagnoses, including: who to contact, where to go to chat with others, learning more about the diagnosis, and related websites.
  • Visitors can also learn about assistive technology, legal rights and legislation, special education, leisure activities and much more.

Inside ADHD: Focusing Together on ADHD

  • Provides parents with diagnosis and treatment information on ADHD.
  • Educates parents on common challenges ADHD present at different age levels in the home and at school.
  • Provides parents with FREE helpful ADHD toolkits (K-12) to assist parents and children with some of the challenges of ADHD.
  • No registration is required.
  • Users are given the opportunity to sign up to receive a monthly newsletter containing updates on the development of ADHD research and useful links to outside ADHD resources.
  • Users are also given the opportunity to follow Inside ADHD on Twitter.

LD Online
The world’s leading website on learning disabilities and ADHD with sections for:

  • Students: See others student’s art work, stories, and book lists
  • Parents: Articles on life success for students, goal setting for children, and the process of discovery along with state specific resources
  • Educators: Includes newsletters, kids books, art gallery and e-cards

Learning Disabilities Association (LDA) of America

  • Provides parents with overviews of several different types of learning disabilities and strategies to assist at home and at school.
  • Provides parents with an understanding of learning disabilities and the special education process.
  • No registration is required to access resources.
  • Parents are also provided with a list of state chapters of the LDA.
  • Learning Disabilities Association of Virginia (LDAV)

Medical Home Plus

  • Nonprofit organization aiming to facilitate resources between families, professionals, and communities to improve the quality of life of children with special needs and disabilities.
  • Information can be found on financing needs, planning for education, referral resources, preventative services, and information on more specific diagnoses.
  • Also includes free interactive online learning courses; this section does require login.

National Center for Learning Disabilities

  • Provides user with lists of resources and links to websites relating to child learning disabilities.
  • Resources and links provide journal and research articles, updates, and helpful tips to assisting children affected by a learning disability.
  • Provides an overview of the basics of learning disabilities, useful strategies for home and school, and warning signs.
  • No registration is required to access resources.

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)

  • Provides users with vast amount of information on various childhood disabilities. This is a central source of information on disabilities affecting infants, children, and youth ages 3-22.
  • Provides users with information on IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), helpful resources and services, research information, and a monthly newsletter.
  • No registration is required to access resources.
  • Registration is required to access the monthly newsletter.
  • Provides information per state.
  • Virginia Resources

NICHQ: National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality

  • This site provides parents with free downloadable toolkits with information and resources for ADHD and Autism diagnoses, as well as various child healthcare problems.
  • Although it is intended for clinicians and healthcare providers, the kit has a Parent Information and Support Section that includes tips for parents on dealing with homework, the school system, and sleep problems associated with their child’s particular diagnosis.
  • Registration is not required to receive toolkits and alternative resources.

NPR’s  Beyond Affliction:  The Disability Research Project

  • A documentary radio series from National Public Radio about the experiences of individuals affected by disability from the early 1800s to the present
  • Examines how attitudes about disability developed popular culture
  • Includes show excerpts and primary resources

Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center

  • Works collaboratively with families, schools and communities to improve success in education and in the community for children with disabilities.
  • Provides free trainings and workshops that are easy to understand, experience based, and research tested, many of which are available online.
  • Connects families with state and local resources that would be of assistance.
  • They also work to reach out to traditionally underserved populations to provide resources to all.

Parent to Parent of Virginia

  • Connects parents of children with special needs/disabilities to serve as mentors for each other, exchange information, and provide peer support.
  • Provides educational materials, workshops, opportunities for networking, and connections to state resources.

PBSparents: Children with Disabilities
Provides information and resources for parents about inclusive education and rights.

 

Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America

  • Non-profit professional organization dedicated to contributing to the knowledge and practice of rehabilitation and assistive technology.
  • Provides information on current rehabilitation equipment and assistive technology, conferences, and certification.
  • Membership is free.

The Family Center on Technology and Disability

  • Provides thousands of assistive and instructional technology resources of interest to families of children with disabilities
  • Offers access to fact sheets, Power Point presentations, monthly newsletters, online discussion and summer institute transcripts, a database of more than 3,500 organizations, a resource review database with hundreds of reviews of AT resources and more

The IRIS Center

  • A national center, housed at Vanderbilt University and funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, that provides quality disability resources and professional development opportunities for educators
  • Provides free, online interactive training modules to put research to practice
  • Designed to serve college faculty in the preservice preparation of general education teachers and other school personnel, but is friendly to all adult learners

Trace Center: University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • Provides user with quick link information to various resources and tools associated with web accessibility, assistive technology, disability, and government resources for disabled persons.
  • Sponsored by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).
  • Registration is not required for access to this website.

T/TAC Online

  • Links people and resources to help children and youth with disabilities in Virginia.
  • Its mission is to improve educational opportunities and contribute to the success of children with disabilities.
  • Provides training and technical assistance to meet needs at the local, regional, and state level.

United Cerebral Palsy

  • A nonprofit that advocates, educates and provides support for a spectrum of disabilities. Connects families with resources at a state and local level to best provide for their needs.
  • Additional resources include: information on financial assistance, laws & advocacy, and disability publications.
  • Also provides a support community for parents, called My Child Without Limits, an early intervention resource focusing on ages 0-5. This site connects parents with resources related to their needs and interests as well as provides a community for parents to interact with each other and professionals.
  • Local Resource Affiliates:

Virginia Assistive Technology System

  • Increases awareness, accessibility, and acquisition of assistive technology for users.
  • Established assistive technology recycling programs across the state of Virginia.
  • Provides information on assistive technology products, funding options, and resources.
  • No membership required or registration is required.

Virginia Autism Resource Center

  • Promotes and facilitates best practices for those diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Provides information, resources, and education/training for parents and other providers.
  • Also allows access to its lending library for anyone in the Commonwealth of Virginia; this allows access to more than 1,000 books and 200 videotapes on topics related to autism spectrum disorders available to check out for free.

VCU Autism Center for Excellence

  • Mission is to build statewide capacity to improve outcomes of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by improving the knowledge, skills and understanding of families, educators, and professionals who support someone with a spectrum disorder.
  • Using training, technical assistance, collaboration, and research, they aim to help individuals living with ASD achieve to their fullest potential.

 

GAMES AND ACTIVITIES (FREE)

 

ADDitude: Living Well with Attention Deficit

  • Provides parents with a variety of ADHD information, helpful tips to working with an ADHD child on numerous topics, free resources, and current research.
  • No registration is required to access resources.

Apps For Children With Special Needs

  • Provides a list of free apps for children with special needs along with descriptions.
  • Produces videos showing the usability of resources developed for these children from a user perspective.
  • Sections include: app videos, community favorite apps, and free educational apps.

Get Ready to Read!
Is a service of National Center for Learning Disabilities and offers FREE resources for early childhood learning (skill building, communication with adults, math and literacy skills).

 

Kid’s Quest: On Disability and Health

  • Intended for 4th-6th graders, intended as a learning tool for parents and kids to get them to think about people with disabilities and issues related to daily activities, health, and accessibility
  • Comprised of “quests”, where a disability is explored through facts about the disability, links to learn more, stories of people with the disability, books relevant to the topic, and thinking about how their community supports these disabilities.

SparkTop

  • For children who learn differently; a site where everything is free and provides a safe space for children to create, play games, connect with other kids, ask questions, and learn new ways to succeed
  • Registration required by parent to participate fully on the site; ensures privacy and safety

The Autism Angle

  • Provides parents, teachers, and other professionals with numerous free resources, including games, file folder activities, and more.
  • No registration required to access resources.

Resources:  Special Education Blogs

 

ADHD & LD Resource Blog

  • Written by a mother of two children with disabilities, this blog shares personal experiences and discusses everyday issues, learning strategies, public school policies, and much more through the eyes of a parent

Edutopia Blog

  • This collection of blogs covers education topics from education trends, to project-based learning, to technology integration, and is a valuable resource for exploring teaching and learning strategies with all learners

LD Blog:  News, commentary, and resources about Learning Disabilities

  •  Written by a UVA Professor, this blog provides great information about Learning Disabilities including a long list of specific topics helpful for both educators and parents.

MindShift

  • This blog is written by a journalist and mother of a grade-schooler, and highlights the technology revolution in the classroom and its effect on learning.

Special Education Law Blog

  • Written by an education consultant, this award-winning blog discusses special education law topics of all kinds.

Special Education Today

  • This blog is a collection of the special education blog entries as well as resources and links on special education, current research in special education, and more.

The Innovative Educator

  • Written by a certified teacher and educational administrator at NYC DOE and Columbia University, this award-winning general education blog focuses on creative teaching strategies and ways to support learning to prepare every child for success