Education should be an exciting life-long journey. The web can make that journey an easy and exciting one, regardless of your age or ability.
We've looked through hundreds of sites to create this guide on education for persons of disabilities. Take a look through this guide on education, scholarships, financial aid, distance learning and much more.
Parents are concerned about the education their children receive, even more so if the child has a disability. The following sites provide information for parents and advocates about what educational resources are available (or mandated) for a child with disabilities and how to ensure that they are provided.
The Family Village School has a very good selection of education related resources covering educational advocacy, assistive technology for students with disabilities, "disability awareness" educational resources, computers and technology: hardware and software, early intervention resources, government agencies, IDEA and other education related laws, inclusive/special education resources, individual education plan resources, parent training and information centers, protection & advocacy organizations, and transition. It also has some resources just for kids.
Wrightslaw provides information about special education law and advocacy. The site has articles, cases, FAQ's, tips and other resources in the Advocacy and Law Libraries. Information is also organized by topic.
Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004, web site of the Department of Education provides a variety of information about resources related to individuals with Disabilities Education (IDEA).
The Families and Advocates Partnership for Education (FAPE) project provides links to information about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It seems to have good information but you may have to go through several levels of pages to get to it.
Education after high school includes college, vocational-technical, or other training opportunities. Students with disabilities are eligible for the general scholarships and financial aid available to all students. With that in mind, check out these articles in the StreetWise Parents' Guide: Preparing for Your Child for College, Helping Your Child Choose a College, Financing Higher Education, and Researching Scholarships. In addition, the following resources provide information about college scholarships and financial aid designed specifically to support persons with disabilities and to help cover some of the special educational expenses they may incur.
The HEATH Resource Center is a good place to begin your school search. It is an information exchange about educational disability support services, policies, procedures, adaptations, and accessing college or university campuses, career-technical schools, and other post secondary training opportunities. Publications, a quarterly newsletter, and a useful answers section are part of the information found on the web site. The HEATH Resource Center is part of the George Washington University, Graduate School of Education and Human Development.
Standardized testing support is available for the standardized tests required by many colleges and universities as part of the admissions paperwork. These sites provide information about securing available accommodations for the SAT, ACT, GRE, and other tests.
The College Board Services for Students with Disabilities provides testing accommodations for Advanced Placement (AP), PSAT/NMSQT, and SAT for students who have documented disabilities. Information on eligibility, documentation, and accommodations are provided.
American College Test provides ACT testing accommodations for students who have documented disabilities. Information on testing options is provided.
Educational Testing Service (ETS) provides testing accommodations for students who have documented disabilities. Sections include documentation policy statement and form, testing accommodations, tips for test takers, tips for evaluators, test readers and scribes, resources and organizations, frequently asked questions and research. Tests include the GRE PRAXIS, and TOEFL.
While most scholarships and financial aid resources below focus on post high school education, please note that the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has several educational financial aid programs for preschool, elementary, middle, and high school. These are the Parent-Infant, Preschool, School-Age, and Arts & Sciences Awards.
The College Board offers a Scholarship Search that helps locate scholarship, loans, internships and other financial aid programs from non-college sources. Fill out the questionnaire providing your education level, talents, and background. Your disability information can also be included.
The National Federation of the Blind awards many scholarships each year at its National Convention. This page provides more information.
Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing awards College Scholarships to graduates and undergraduates. It is not renewable and can be awarded twice.
Also check out resources for scholarships available to students with the StreetWise Parents' Guide under Researching Scholarships.
The following resources provide a good place to start your search for information on financial aid available specifically for persons with disabilities.
Creating Options: Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities is a report from the HEATH Resource Center. You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this report. This is a guide to grants, loans, work-study, and scholarships. It describes the various types of funding and how to find each. It also includes scholarship and financial aid resources.
Financial Aid for Disabled Students from the FinAid! site. The site is an excellent resource for finding financial aid for all students. This page on the site is specifically about scholarships and fellowships for students with disabilities.
Also check out resources for financial aid available to all students with the StreetWise Parents' Guide article on Financing Higher Education.
Student assistance can be provided in class and out of class in numerous ways. It can take various forms of non-technology, low technology, or high technology devices, services and strategies. Support is tailored to each individual. Here are a few sites that provide information primarily on assistive technology. For additional information on adaptive computing check out the Adaptive Computing resource guide pages.
ABLEDATA provides information on assistive technology and rehabilitation equipment. They are sponsored by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). The product database contains detailed descriptions of thousands of products, including price, manufacturer and distributor information.
assistivetech.net provides information on assistive technology products. Search the assistive technology database by function/activity, keyword, product type or vendor.