• Resources for Individuals with Disabilities




    This site is designed to give school library media specialists and other educators a starting point for retrieving information to assist individuals with disabilities and those educators who serve them.  Links were checked and updated on June 5, 2013.


    Library Resources


    New York State School for the Deaf (NYSSD) Library Catalog:



    NYSSD has served deaf students in New York State for over a hundred years.  They have an in-depth collection of materials related to education of the deaf, materials on the deaf community as well as a general collection to serve their students.  Materials may be borrowed through your local library system. 


    New York State Talking Book & Braille Libraryhttp://www.nysl.nysed.gov/tbbl/

    The New York State Talking Book and Braille Library provides recorded and Braille books and tape recorders to adults and children who, owing to a disability, can't read print, or hold a book, or turn its pages. People qualify for this free, public library service if they have a permanent or temporary visual, physical or learning disability. The Library offers 65,000 book titles and over 60 magazines.


    Resource Center for Visually Impaired

    2A Richmond Avenue, Batavia, NY 14020 Phone: (585) 343-8100   email:ldesanti@mail.nysed.gov

    The mission of the New York State Resource Center for Visually Impaired is to provide assistance to support students who are blind and visually impaired in achieving high standards of learning and independence.  Certified Teachers of the Visually Impaired, an Orientation and Mobility Specialist, and a Rehabilitation Teacher are on staff to discuss instructional strategies, specific eye diseases and many other topics with teachers and other service providers, parents and family members who need to know about blindness and visual impairment. Professional services include training and consultation.

    Resource Center patrons can also take advantage of the special library, which circulates large print and Braille literature, adapted assessments and curricula, descriptive (voice captioned) videos for students, educational videos, professional journals and other reference materials regarding students who are blind and visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities.

    Specialized instructional materials manufactured by the American Printing House for the Blind are provided to teachers and other service providers to enable them to better serve their students. Students can borrow Braille and large print books.

    American Printing House for the Blind Inc.  http://www.aph.org/

    P.O. Box 6085, Lousiville, KY  40206-0085   Phone:  (800) 223-1839   Fax:  (502) 899-2274  Email:  info@alph.org


    Learning Ally - Making reading accessible for all

    20 Roszel Road, Princeton, NJ 08540, (800) 221-4792. The nation's educational library with textbooks for those with print disabilities can be found at http://www.learningally.org/

    The Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education has awarded Bookshare.org a $32 million five-year grant to dramatically expand the Bookshare.org collection and provide all U.S. students with qualifying print disabilities free access to the service. Bookshare.org will add educational titles in high quality DAISY and Braille formats and deliver millions of books for free to disabled students. Bookshare.org is working with publishers, authors and technology companies to gain access to books in digital formats that can be converted to DAISY.  Go to http://www.bookshare.org/

     Universal Access to Libraries Project of the University of Washington aims to "educate librarians and other educators about adaptive technology and accessible Web design..."  Go to http://www.washington.edu/doit/UA/ to learn about ways to make electronic resources accessible to all.

    Local library collection development should reflect a wide range of readability in the print and non-print resources and a range of information formats to meet the needs of our special clients. Examples include providing access to audio books, large print books, and audio-visual resources. Part of your collection development plan may be to be a member of a regional media consortium to provide a wider range of materials not readily available at an individual school.


    Children's & Young Adult Books About Disabilities - A resource of the Curriculum Materials Center at the SUNY Old Westbury Library, this guide to the center's collection is an excellent source of children's and young adult titles that feature characters with a wide range of disabilities, including autism, physical impairments, emotional and behavioral disorders and more.

    Learning Disabilities Association of America - With sections for parents, educators, adults and professionals, this site offers a wealth of information and resources, including articles, videos, fact sheets on specific disabilities, suggestions for best practices and links to related organizations.
    Special Olympics: Project UNIFY - Project UNIFY is "an education- and sports-based strategy powered by an engaged youth community that increases athletic and leadership opportunities for students with and without intellectual disabilities."  The site provides a toolkit for implementing the program along with related classroom resources.
    Deaf Education - Links to resources for issues relating to educating deaf students.
    The Center for Children with Special Needs - Grade 9 and Up - Written for teens with physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional conditions, this guide provides support as young adults begin to take charge of their own health, with tips and information on communication, advocacy, and planning for the future.
    Disability in Kidlit - Grade 7 and Up - Edited by three writers of middle grade and YA fiction, this site focuses on the portrayal of disability in literature for young people with articles, interviews, discussions and book reviews.  All contributors are disabled, but everyone is welcome to participate in discussion and ask questions.
    TeensHealth: Mind  - Grade 7 and Up - Easy-to-read information for teens explores a wide variety of adolescent concerns, offering perspective and advice about physical, emotional and behavioral health, including anxiety, depression, stress, eating disorders and more.


    Internet Resources


    Special Education Resources on the Internet (SERI) is a collection of Internet accessible information resources of interest to those involved in the fields related to Special Education. This collection exists in order to make on-line Special Education resources more easily and readily available in one location. This site attempts to continually modify, update, and add additional informative links. The web address is http://www.seriweb.com/


    LD OnLine is a "site on learning disabilities for parents, teachers and other professionals."  "LD OnLine is a service of The Learning Project at WETA, Washington, D.C., in association with The Coordinated Campaign for Learning DisabilitiesLD OnLine is made possible in part by generous support from Lindamood-Bell® Learning Processes, The Eisner Foundation, Inc., The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, The Law Firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge, and The Charles Lafitte Foundation."  Find them at http://www.ldonline.org

    "Awesome Library organizes the Web with 23,000 carefully reviewed resources, including the top 5 percent in education." They have an extensive list of links under their Special Education Section.  Find them at http://www.awesomelibrary.org/Library/Special_Education/Special_Education.html

    Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities will answer your questions about programs, services and supports for individuals with disabilities and their families. The information & referral staff will direct you to the nearest and most appropriate resources on Rights & Responsibilities; Education & Training; Technology Services & Devices; Transportation & Parking; ADA & 504; Jobs & Independence; Benefits & Assistance; Housing & Accessibility; & much more.  The Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities (TRIAD) Projects provide information and sources for assistive technology.  There are several TRAID Centers in NYS. In New York State call 800-624-4143 or the Advocate's site is at http://www.justicecenter.ny.gov/commission-quality-care-archives


    For information about library services for people with print-related disabilities, see:

    Upstate New York Regional Library--55 counties: New York State Library, New York State Talking Book & Braille Library 

    New York City and Long Island Regional Library: The New York Public Library, Andrew Heiskell Braille & Talking Book Library 

    Nassau and Suffolk Counties Subregional Library: Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Long Island Talking Book Library 

    National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress

    http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/tbbl/ http://talkingbooks.nypl.org http://www.nypl.org/locations/heiskell http://www.loc.gov/nls 

    Educational Resources


    The Learning Standards and Alternate Performance Indicators for Students with Severe DisabilitiesNY State Education Department (1998).   http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/learnstand/lrnstdi.htm


    New York State Education Department, Office of Special Education: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/
    The Office of Special Education works to promote educational equity and excellence for students with disabilities through its roles and responsibilities to:

    • oversee the implementation of federal and State laws and policy for students with disabilities.
    • provide general supervision and monitoring of all public and private schools serving New York State preschool and school-age students with disabilities.
    • establish a broad network of technical assistance centers and providers to work directly with parents and school districts to provide current information and high quality professional development and technical assistance to improve results for students with disabilities.
    • ensure a system of due process, including special education mediation and impartial hearings.
    • meet with stakeholders through the Commissioner's Advisory Panel for Special Education Services.


    Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Center(RSE-TASC):

    NYSED/Office of Special Education has established 10 Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Centers (RSE-TASC) to act as a coordinated statewide network of special education technical assistance centers.

    As a network, all RSE-TASC will work in partnership with NYSED's Special Education Quality Assurance (SEQA) offices, and other NYSED supported initiatives to provide directed technical assistance and professional development to improve instructional practices and outcomes of students with disabilities. http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/techassist/rsetasc/


    New York State School for the Blind (NYSSB) Providing High Quality Education to Visually Impaired Children Who Have Multiple Disabilities.

    "Every child has the right to enjoy life fully, discover, grow and learn in a caring and nurturing environment. This belief forms the basis for all of the programming at the New York State School for the Blind where they have a proud tradition of providing quality education to the children of New York State who are visually impaired and have multiple disabilities. Programs and services, including transportation, are provided at no cost to parents. The School is located in Western New York. Children who are 5 - 21 years of age receive individual attention from a community of skilled and caring professionals." Their site can be found at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/nyssb/

    The New York State School for the Deaf   http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/nyssd/

    The New York State School for the Deaf mission is to provide a foundation of learning that will enable students to become independent, self-respecting and contributing adults in a multi-cultural society. They provide a learning environment, based on excellence and teamwork that puts achievement and independence within the reach of each student. The New York State Education Department requires that an applicant have a hearing loss of at least 80dB in the better ear. However, students have been accepted to the school if they are considered to be "functionally deaf."

    LD Resources   http://www.ldresources.com  "Resources for the Iearning disabilites community."

    Organizations and Societies


     The Alliance for Technology Access (ATA) is a network of community-based Resource Centers, Developers, Vendors and Associates dedicated to providing information and support services to children and adults with disabilities, and increasing their use of standard, assistive, and information technologies.  These ATA Members can be found all across the country whose mission is "connecting children and adults with disabilities to technology tools."   http://www.ATAccess.org 

    Resource Center for Independent Living (RCIL), 401-409 Columbia Street, P.O. Box 210, Utica, New York 13503-0210, Telephone: (315) 797-4642, TTY/TDD: (315) 797-5837, FAX: (315) 797-4747.  RCIL "promotes the individual services and systemic changes and programs which support the rights and integration of people with disabilities." http://www.rcil.com/


    The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and/or the gifted. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides continual professional development, advocates for newly and historically under-served individuals with exceptionalities, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice:  http://www.cec.sped.org/Special-Ed-Topics


    Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)  is a national non-profit organization founded in 1987 in response to the frustrations and sense of isolation experienced by parents and their children with AD/HD :  http://www.chadd.org/


    Learning Disabilities Association of America "The Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) is a non-profit grassroots organization whose members are individuals with learning disabilities, their families, and the professionals who work with them. LDA strives to advance the education and general welfare of children and adults with learning disabilities."  Their site can be found at http://www.ldanatl.org/


    Center for Applied Special Technology ( CAST) is a not-for-profit organization that uses technology to expand opportunities for all people, especially those with disabilities: http://cast.org/



    National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) shares information about disabilities in children and youth. http://www.nichcy.org/


    NYS Talking Book & Braille Library: http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/tbbl/index.html

    The New York State Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL) lends Braille and recorded books and magazines, and the necessary equipment to play recorded books, to residents of the 55 upstate counties of New York State who are unable to read standard printed materials because of a visual or physical disability.  TBBL is the Regional Library for the upstate region in the nationwide program coordinated by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), a division of the Library of Congress, in Washington DC. TBBL is also a unit of the New York State Library.


    National Center to Improve Practice in Special Education Through Technology, Media and Materials (NCIP): http://www2.edc.org/NCIP/

    Video and captioning are powerful educational tools for students with disabilities when effectively integrated into the instructional process. Increasingly, educators are experimenting with a variety of video and captioning techniques to bolster literacy skills in students who are deaf and hard of hearing and/or who have learning disabilities.  These resources were compiled during NCIP's period of funding, 1992-1998.



    U.S. Department of Education Information on IDEA:  http://www.ed.gov./offices/OSERS/IDEA


    Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR)Albany, NY 12234 http://www.acces.nysed.gov/vr/

    Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) offers access to a full range of employment and independent living services that may be needed by persons with disabilities through their lives. Through its administration of vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs, VR coordinates policy and services relating to:

    • transition services for students with disabilities from school to adult services;
    • vocational rehabilitation services for working age individuals with disabilities;
    • independent living services for people with disabilities of all ages; and
    • business services for hiring a qualified diverse workforce.


    ACCES-VR- Partners and Resources: http://www.acces.nysed.gov/vr/vocational-rehabilitation-services

    Federation for Children with Special Needs   www.fcsn.org  The Federation is a center for parents and parent organizations to work together on behalf of children with special needs and their families. 

    Louisa-Muscatine Community School District  www.louisa-muscatine.k12.ia.us






    Apple Computer, Inc.: http://www.apple.com/accessibility/  Looking for Special Needs Solutions? Search Apple's database to find specific hardware and software that meet your needs. Read success stories about those who have overcome great challenges.

    Microsoft http://www.microsoft.com/enable/  Lists accessibility features incorporated into products or available for download.  Microsoft's new corporate mission: To enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential.


    IBM http://www-03.ibm.com/able/education/index.html    Includes solution offerings and product accessibility information.
    Don Johnston http://www.donjohnston.com  
    Learning Intervention Resources
    Mayer-Johnson, Inc
    . http://www.mayerjohnson.com   Products for Special Needs and Education 
    MaxiAids.com   http://www.maxiaids.com/   
    Products for Independent
    ReadPlease Corporation  http://www.readplease.com  
    Software that lets your computer talk...

    Laws and Regulations Pertaining to Special Education - New York State and Federal


    Public Law 94-142 - IDEA 

    The intent of this 1974 legislation, along with amendments passed in 1988 and 1997, is to assist students with a variety of disabilities.  PL94-142 is now known as the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act or IDEA.  It places greater responsibility on the schools to provide compensatory help, including assistive technology devices, to students in special education settings.


    Department of Education Information on IDEA:  http://www2.ed.gov./offices/OSERS/Policy/IDEA/index.html

    Section 508  In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Inaccessible technology interferes with an individual's ability to obtain and use information quickly and easily. Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals.

    http://www.access-board.gov/508.htm  A web page from the United States Access Board


    United States Access Board
    1331 F Street, NW, Suite 1000
    Washington, DC 20004-1111
    (202) 272-0080 (v)   (202) 272-0082 (TTY)   (202) 272-0081 (fax)
    (800) 872-2253 (v)   (800) 993-2822 (TTY)  



    Assistive Technologies


    There are many sources of assistive technology (AT).  Here are some links to sites that provide searchable databases of assistive technology products that visitors can use to locate assistive technology based on specific disabilities and needs.  Some of these are:


    Assistive Technology Training

    Assistive Technology Guidelines for Schoolshttp://www.trecenter.org/

    Closing the Gap Conference:   http://www.closingthegap.com

    CSUN International Conference on Technology and Persons with Disabilitieshttp://www.csun.edu/cod/conf/index.htm


    Assistive Technology Products Search sites

    AssistiveTech.Net at Georgia Tech's Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access: http://assistivetech.net/

    Closing the Gap has a directory of assistive technology that you can search based on the type of product or type of disability that you are trying to address: http://www.closingthegap.com/

    DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology) at University of Washington also provides a list of assistive technology which as been used by students in their DO-IT Scholars program. There are links to each of the vendors. I noticed that they are using Kurzweil: http://www.washington.edu/doit/Brochures/Technology/tech.html

    General Resource Sites:

    TRACE Centerhttp://trace.wisc.edu/resources/at-resources.shtml

    DO-IT Center at University of Washington: http://www.washington.edu/doit/

    AccessIT at University of Washingtonhttp://www.washington.edu/accessit/index.php


    This site brought to you by

    Madison-Oneida School Library System

    Oneida/Herkimer School Library System

    Onondaga-Cortland-Madison School Library System

    Syracuse City School Library System 

    Jefferson-Lewis School Library System


    Developed with the assistance of Sharon Trerise, Coordinator of Accessible IT, Northeast ADA & IT Center,
    331 Ives Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY  14853




    Last Update Thu, June 20