Resources for Supporting Learners with Disabilities
This page contains a curated list of special education resources and edtech products to support learners with disabilities in a distance learning context.
Questions? Feedback? Email COVIDresponse@digitalpromise.org.
About Special Education Resources
- Apple: Mac
- Apple: iPad or iPhone
- Google: Chromebook or Android
- Google: G Suite
- Microsoft: Office
- Microsoft: Windows
Before trying a new tool or product, consider how you can provide individualized supports and accommodations for the products you are already using and that students are familiar with. Chunking directions into smaller steps or providing sentence starters could be simple ways to support students without introducing a new tool. Also, check out the products your district has already vetted and purchased, and if those do not meet your needs, then please feel free to explore this library.
In addition to built-in accessibility features and basic support strategies, there are numerous edtech products designed to support learners with disabilities. Many of the resources in this library require an adult for support and should not be used independently. Some are free, have a limited free trial, or are for purchase. All products in this library meet robust student privacy criteria. This list focuses on learning products and does not include data management tools or packaged curriculum materials.
*Please note that the tags for categories of disability under IDEA are based on product descriptions. These products have not been thoroughly vetted by Digital Promise staff from a learning or efficacy perspective.
Share your story. Create and share visual stories and schedules with this app for iOS. Adding your own pictures, videos and recordings to stories you create makes it easier to share information while building literacy skills, as well as confidence in storytelling.
To stay connected with your students with special needs, consider PresenceLearning’s proprietary teletherapy platform, built by clinicians for clinicians, specifically to serve K-12 special education students. Pending approval as signatory of Student Privacy Pledge.
Speak up with symbol-based AAC. Not being able to speak isn’t the same as having nothing to say. Children, teens and adults who can’t speak can use this Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) app for iOS as a daily communication tool and to build language skills. From the first time someone opens the app, a few taps are all it takes to start talking to the world.
Help struggling students create and engage with content across all grade levels and subjects, optimizing their own personal learning styles.
Review360 is a web-based behavior improvement system. It gives general and special educators the training, recommendations, and decision-driving data they need to manage classroom behavior and help their students succeed academically.
Rewordify.com helps with reading comprehension and vocabulary development by simplifying English to a lower reading level. It lets you reword a sentence or reword a paragraph. It will simplify English by reducing text complexity. It’s a dictionary alternative that will improve comprehension and teach vocabulary. It’s an important part of reading instruction and vocabulary instruction for ESL students, people with reading disabilities, people with a learning disability, or anyone who wants to improve reading skill.
Robots4Autism integrates a variety of evidence based practices shown to improve social skills in students with autism (tools most of us are already using), packaged together in a highly systematic way, and delivered using Milo. Partnering a humanoid robot with a social and emotional curriculum provides a tool for evidence based practices to “unpack” social skills for students with autism.
Scan and Read Pro
Scan and Read Pro is a fully-powered scanning application that creates an electronic file for scanned documents. It comes complete with voice capabilities for reading, auditory highlighting, multi-lingual support and summarization features. The program assists in reading and comprehension by highlighting each word as it is read aloud. Its easy-to-use graphical interface lets you change the appearance of the page to fit your individual needs, using your strengths to overcome any reading weaknesses.
Seeing AI is a free app that narrates the world around you. Designed for the blind and low vision community, this ongoing research project harnesses the power of AI to open up the visual world and describe nearby people, text and objects.
Skill Champ uses your interactive, customized lessons to teach early learners new skills! Combine any of the 10 early academic lessons with your student’s favorite theme to create engaging lessons – use sailboats to teach numbers or train signs to teach colors!