If you have specific questions regarding your disability or are interested in finding out more about disability-related issues, the following links will connect you to a wide variety of internet resources including:
- The top five most useful websites for students with disabilities
- General information for students with disabilities
- Information on specific disabilities, requesting accommodations for graduate and professional exams, adaptive technology, as well as legal rights and responsibilities
Given the dynamic nature of the internet, this is by no means a complete list of the resources available to you on the web. However, these resources have been selected based on the quality and variety of information they provide. We hope that they will get you started in the right direction.
This list has been compiled with the help of DO-IT, a grant-funded project at the University of Washington, dedicated to increasing the successful participation of individuals with disabilities in challenging academic programs and careers, such as the sciences, technology, and engineering, and with the help of the Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), a National Professional Organization focusing on issues concerning disabilities in postsecondary education.
These websites make up our top five most useful websites for students with disabilities.
Assistive technology refers to a large variety of technology such as software, computers and other devices that allow students with disabilities to access information in an alternative format. This technology often acts as a powerful tool enabling students with disabilities to live independently and achieve their goals. Listed below are links to online resources that provide information on various types of assistive technology.
General information on assistive technology
Closing the Gap
Closing the Gap serves as a clearing house for articles, forums, and workshops that promote the use of assistive technology.
Washington Assistive Technology Foundation (WATF)
WATF is a non-profit community development financial institution dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities achieve independence through the use of technology.
Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAIM)
WebAIM seeks to improve accessibility to online learning opportunities for all people; in particular to improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities who currently may have a difficult time getting access to online learning opportunities. WebAIM also serves as a knowledge base for materials regarding web accessibility that help raise awareness and assist education institutions in identifying and solving web accessibility problems.
Dragon Naturally Speaking
Dragon Naturally Speaking is a speech recognition software. This software translates spoken language into printed text.
Freedom Scientific creates adaptive technology that opens doors for individuals with vision impairments and learning disabilities.
JAWS® for Windows
Jaws® provides speech technology that works with the Windows operating system to access popular software applications and the Internet.
OpenBook was developed for individuals to read, edit and manage printed media by scanning it and converting it to digital information. It includes speech as well as the ability to customize.
Kurzweil is a reading program for people with learning difficulties and for those who are blind or visually impaired. This technology allows computers to read printed text using a synthesized computerized voice.
ReadPlease is a text to speech software that lets your computer read printed materials including e-text as well as web-based material. There are two versions of ReadPlease. One is available to download off the website for free, the other has added features and is available to download off the website for a fee.
ZoomText offers a wide variety of software and hardware geared toward individuals with visual impairments. This technology magnifies and enhances printed text and also serves as a screen reader.
Resources — specific disabilities
These sites provide detailed information, resources and references geared toward individuals with specific disabilities.
This agency works with blind and partially-sighted individuals to improve independence and quality of life. Services include, counseling, travel, and home management skills, access to an assistive technology center, educational information, and referrals.
Brain Injury Association of Washington
Provides support to survivors of brain injuries and their families as well as prevention programs and advocacy opportunities.
This site lists community resources for the deaf and hard of hearing. Listed resources range from educational and vocational information to captioning and interpreting services.
Hearing Speech and Deafness Center (HSDC)
The Hearing Speech and Deafness Center (HSDC) provides people with hearing disabilities with a variety of services such as adaptive equipment, skilled clinicians, educators, therapists, and specialists.
Learning Disabilities Association (LDA)
The Learning Disability Association website provides comprehensive and up-to-date information on specific learning disabilities as well as resources and practical solutions.
LDOnline provides a variety of resources and information on learning disabilities. This site also contains articles and advice from a wide range of experts in the field of learning disabilities and disability rights.
Learning Disabilities Association of Washington
This site provides members with information on the latest research on learning disabilities (LDs) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), practical advice for parents, legal updates on educational rights of students, key workplace strategy and accommodation tips, national news on LDs and ADD, access to an information and referral line, and discounts for conferences and workshops.
American Psychiatric Association
This is a resource for individuals seeking knowledge and additional information on psychiatric mental health concerns. This site focuses on providing educational materials to the public and serving as an educational and research network for professionals in the psychiatric field. There is also an advocacy action center , a grassroots network, and a political action committee, which keep abreast of current legislative and legal issues concerning psychiatry and mental health.
American Psychological Association
The American Psychological Association (APA) provides current information and useful links on a number of psychological and mental health-related topics.
Certification and testing
These pages provide information regarding registration and requesting accommodations for professional and graduate exams.
A helpful article that provides an overall picture of the various graduate and professional tests.
Educational Testing Services (ETS)
Detailed information on requesting accommodations based on documented physical, psychological, or learning disabilities for ETS tests: GMAT, GRE, and Praxis.
- Information regarding accommodations for specific tests is listed below:
Listed below are sites that provide general information for students with disabilities, such as e-text, audiobooks, discussion lists, and other important resources.
Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)
This site contains information and resources on disability and higher education for college and university students as well as administrators and faculty.
Barrier Free Education
Barrier Free Education is a resource site dedicated to helping students with disabilities gain access to math and science education.
DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology)
The DO-IT program is a grant-funded project connected with the University of Washington, which promotes the success of students with disabilities in the classroom and in the work world. DO-IT programs include outreach programs to assist high school students with disabilities with the transition from high school to college; programs geared toward students with disabilities transferring from a two-year to a four-year college; volunteer and mentoring programs; and career services for students with disabilities. DO-IT also provides information on assistive technology, a student lounge, and other resources.
Online Learning for Students With Disabilities
Where to Turn
This is an invaluable resource for individuals seeking referrals for healthcare, counseling, employment agencies, housing, and many other types of community and social services available in King County.
WorkSource serves specialized populations, such as individuals with disabilities, with job search strategies. They provided online services such as a resume bank, employer information, and other essential tools needed to successfully conduct a job search.
Learning Ally has a library of over 83,000 audiobooks. Paid membership is available for any student with a documented disability which makes reading printed matter difficult or impossible.
Paid membership includes access to a large collection of books and other printed material in both electronic and Braille formats.
Project Guttenberg has an extensive collection of out-of-copyright books such as Plato, Aristotle, Dickens, and Shakespeare available for free in E-Text format.
Washington Talking Book and Braille Library
Offered through the Seattle Public Library, The Washington Talking Book and Braille Library maintains a large collection of books and magazines in audio, Braille, and large print formats are available to Washington residents.
Know your rights
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Washington state statutes prohibiting discrimination based on disability outline the rights and responsibilities related to accommodation for persons with disabilities both inside and outside the classroom. Listed below are helpful and informative links to the ADA, Section 504, and the Washington state codes.
Americans with Disabilities Act Home Page (U.S. Department of Justice)
This website provides in depth information regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Client Assistance Program – Seattle Office (CAP)
Gives address and phone numbers for CAP services. CAP is an independent program designed to help people understand and receive assistance through Department of Rehabilitation Services.
This is a directory of government links geared towards people with disabilities, their families, employers, service providers, and other community members. The site also provides information on a number of relevant subjects such as employment, education, technology, health, independent living, and civil rights.
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)
DVR is a statewide resource which provides individuals with disabilities assistance with getting and keeping a job. DVR is a state- and federally-sponsored program. DVR works in partnership with the community and businesses to develop employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Training through education and/or technology may also be funded based on DVR requirements.
OCR Brochure: Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know your rights and responsibilities.
This article, prepared by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, outlines rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities in postsecondary institutions.
Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Department of Labor)
This web page outlines the main points and defines key terms referenced in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Department of Health and Human Services)
This article shows how the nondiscrimination requirements of the law apply to employers and organizations that receive financial assistance from any federal department or agency. It provides the example of Section 504 regulations applied to health and human Services organizations (e.g., hospitals, nursing homes, mental health centers, and other human service programs).
U.S. Department of Education
The U.S. Department of Education website contains detailed information on all aspects of education, including information on financial aid, preparing for college, legal issues, as well as current research and statistics.
U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
The U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights helps students with disabilities, as well as other student populations facing discrimination, gain equal access to educational opportunities through the enforcement of federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, age, national origin, sex, or disability. This website contains information on prevention, procedures for filing a complaint, and links to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Washington State Administrative Codes
This site provides information concerning Washington state guidelines and statutes regarding the rights and responsibilities of persons with disabilities.
Washington State Human Rights Commission
The Washington State Human Rights Commission works in partnership with numerous organizations at the federal, state, and local level. Many of these organizations may be able to provide you with assistance and information. This site is an excellent resource for information regarding state statutes governing discrimination based on disability, race, ethnicity, religion, or sex. This website also provides more specific information on fair housing and equal opportunity employment in the state of Washington.