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. 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 variety of technology such as software, computers, and other devices that allow students with disabilities to access information in an alternative format. Listed below are links to online resources that provide information on various types of assistive technology.
General information on assistive technology
Washington Assistive Technology Act Program (WATAP)
WATAP is a nonprofit community development 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.
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.
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.
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.
SensusAccess is an online text conversion tool that lets you convert your readings into more accessible formats. SensusAccess is free to anyone with an SPU email address
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 for Specific Disabilities
These sites provide detailed information, resources and references geared toward individuals with specific disabilities.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing
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 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
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 current on legislative and legal issues concerning psychiatry and mental health.
American Psychological Association
The American Psychological Association (APA) provides information and useful links on a number of psychological and mental health-related topics.
Certification and Testing
Below you will find resources provide information on registration and requesting accommodations for professional and graduate exams.
Take a moment to read the DO-IT Article which details how to begin requesting accommodation for various graduate and professional tests. You can also learn about the process for requesting accommodations for documented physical, psychological, or learning disabilities through the Educational Testing Services (ETS).
For information regarding accommodations for specific graduate level tests, please see the links below:
Listed below are sites that provide general information on topics such as e-text, audiobooks, discussion lists, and other important resources.
Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)
Information and resources on disability for college and university students as well as administrators and faculty in higher education.
Barrier Free Education
Barrier Free Education is a resource site dedicated to helping students with disabilities gain access to math and science education.
Bridge Disability Ministries:
The Bridge Disability Ministries works to build accessible, inclusive communities and end isolation among people with disabilities.
DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology)
Connected with the University of Washington, the Do-IT program 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; 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.
Learning Ally has a library of over 83,000 audiobooks.
Paid membership includes access to a large collection of books and other printed material in both electronic and Braille formats.
SensusAccess is an online conversion tool that allows you to convert documents from one file type to another. This includes creating audio files for class readings and other text base files. SensusAccess is free to anyone with an SPU email address.
- 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)
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 provides information on subjects such as employment, education, technology, health, independent living, and civil rights.
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)
DVR is a statewide resource providing 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.
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 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. This site is an excellent resource for information regarding state statutes governing discrimination based on disability, race, ethnicity, religion, or sex. It also provides more specific information on fair housing and equal opportunity employment in the state of Washington.