Understanding Disabilities

Students with disabilities are first and foremost general education students. Some students with disabilities may require unique accommodations or have adapted learning needs, which are supported through an Individualized Education Program. All professionals working with a student who receives special education services must focus on the individual needs of the student while maintaining high expectations for the student’s participation in the general education classroom and achievement of CCRS.

The resources below provide information of how teachers and other professionals can ensure that students are able to fully participate in the general education setting.

The Center for Parent Information and Resources provides resources on various types of disabilities for educators.

IRIS Center offers a wide variety of free, online resources about evidence-based instructional and intervention practices, including modules, practice guides and research summaries developed in collaboration with nationally-recognized researchers and education experts, to support the education of all children, particularly those with disabilities.  See the “Resources Locator” for information on how to serve students (birth to 21 years) with individualized needs in math, literacy and reading, and behavior, and how to improve instructional and behavioral supports using evidence-based practices.

The National Center for Intensive Intervention provides technical assistance and disseminates information that builds state and district capacity to train interventionists to effectively implement intensive interventions in reading, mathematics, and behavior in Grades K-12. Activities of the Center include reviewing and disseminating information on interventions, assessment tools, and implementation strategies.

National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) provides numerous resources for engaging students in the process of planning for their future. There are evidence- and research-based practices for teaching them how to lead their IEP meetings under the Transition Planning, Education, and Student Focused Planning - Student Participation resources.

National Center on Accessible Educational Materials for Learning provides resources addressing eligibility and services to ensure equitable opportunities for children with disabilities to:

  1. participate in high-quality early learning  programs,
  2. be involved in and progress in the general education curriculum,
  3. prepare to meet college and career-ready standards,
  4. participate in assessments, and
  5. transition to postsecondary education and the workforce.