Working with Students with Disabilities

The Special Education Support Center, with support from OSPI, provides resources and training to help teachers and parents provide appropriate and effective learning experiences for students with disabilities.

The resources and trainings provided by SESC are aligned with disability categories as defined by IDEA. Click on the Disability Links (below) to see definitions and links to additional online resources.

See also resources and courses that focus on:

Challenging Behaviors | Complex Needs | Special Ed Rules & Regs

Working with Students with Disabilities (Inclusive Instruction)

Inclusive education is a real implementation of the basic human right to education. It is not only about attaining universal access to education, but universal access to meaningful and purposeful knowledge and learning for all students, achieved in an environment that exemplifies the value of equity and cultural competence and responsiveness to individual needs.

Inclusive education requires a mutli-faceted approach which addresses instructional practices, universal design for learning and cultural competency.

While schools and classrooms can accomplish more inclusive environments through instructional changes, in order to create a deeply inclusive system, the district must also play a role.

Districts, looking through a lens of cultural competency and equity must review and revise as necessary all policies and procedures that undermine the creation of inclusive schools and classrooms.

As educators work together to design inclusive educational environments, they must recognize that, for those students who qualify for special education, they must ensure that they are incompliance with all IDEA regulations, with particular attention paid to the provision of Specially Designed Instruction, in the Least Restrictive Environment, and that the students are continuously monitored to ensure benefit.

The disabilities addressed include:


Resources for Improvement of Instructional Practice:

  1. High Leverage Practices. The IRIS Center at Vanderbilt University has developed an interactive alignment tool, developed in collaboration with CEEDAR, identifies which IRIS resources provide information on High Leverage Practices
  2. Evidenced Based Practices

IRIS Center provides modules that assist educators in identifying evidence based practices to meet the needs of diverse students.

  1. PowerUp What Works Research Based Instructional Resources offers you resources, strategies, and practical tips to personalize your instruction with technology to meet the needs of struggling students. For administrators, PowerUp provides you with the tools necessary to build an effective, school-wide technology infrastructure to transform teaching and learning.
  2. The UDL Guidelines are a tool used in the implementation of Universal Design for Learning, a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. In addition, UDL Curriculum Toolkit, a web-based platform, that allows for the development and publication of web-based curricula and other content built according to the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL).Universal Design For Learning Toolkit
  3. Assistive Technology

Special Education Technology Center  is a Washington State Special Needs project that provides support to educators and schools to meet the needs of students with disabilities. They will consult with school staff regarding options and opportunities.

Reading Well provides information and options for the use of text to speech and other assistive technology supports for students with specific learning disabilities.

Techmatrix Assistive and educational technology tools and resources to support learning for students with disabilities and their classmates.

Designing for Accessibility

CAST Book Builder

Accessible Educational Materials. Making Everyday Materials Accessible for All Learners

Cultural Competency

The National Education Association provides information and resources for educators regarding cultural competence.

Specific Trainings/Courses we offer to support teachers and parents working with students with disabilities:

(click the course titles for descriptions and registration information)