Disability Related Information (Characteristics)

These pages provide information and resources on a wide range of disabilities and medical conditions.
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Description: (Applies To: Excel 2016 Excel 2013 Excel 2010 Excel 2016 for Mac & More)   This topic gives you step-by-step instructions to make your Excel spreadsheets accessible to people with disabilities.   People who are blind or have low vision can understand your data more easily if you create your Excel workbooks and charts with accessibility in mind.
Description: (Applies To: Excel 2016 Word 2016 PowerPoint 2016 Excel 2013 Word 2013 & More)   To help ensure that your Office files are accessible, use the Accessibility Checker, a free tool available in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on Windows or Mac. It finds accessibility issues and explains why each might be a potential problem for someone with a disability. It also offers suggestions on how to resolve each issue.
Description: (Applies To: PowerPoint 2016 PowerPoint 2013 PowerPoint 2016 for Mac & More) Key best practices for creating PowerPoint presentations can also help you make your presentations accessible to people with disabilities. This topic describes why you should use these best practices and gives you step-by-step instructions for following them. PowerPoint presentations tend to be highly visual, and people who are blind or have low vision can understand them more easily if you create your slides with...
Description: (Applies To: Word 2016 Word 2013 Word 2016 for Mac Word Online Word for iPad & More) This topic gives you step-by-step instructions to make your Word documents accessible to people with disabilities. Word has many features built-in that help people with different abilities to read and author documents. Word also offers the Accessibility Checker that locates elements that might cause problems for people with disabilities.
Description: The holiday season is a joyful time of the year, but it also can be stressful for kids with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Preparing and planning early for the holidays can help you relieve some of the holiday stress. The following are some ideas to help you and your child enjoy the holidays this year and every year.
Description: This Formed Families Resource Directory provides information about programs and services to support Northern Virginia families formed by adoption, foster care and kinship care who are raising children and youth with disabilities & other special needs. This directory is provided as a free service to individuals and other organizations and agencies. It covers the areas of Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, and Prince William County. Some entries are listed under...
Description: Virginia Family Special Education Connection provides a one-stop-shop for parents, families and caregivers of children with special needs to: Access local school system contacts and disability services in your community Explore an abundance of resources, including assistive technology and behavioral supports to help your child succeed. Learn about and plan your child's educational program Understand your legal rights and responsibilities POWER (Parent Organizer with Educational Resources)...
Description: In this workshop, attendees will gather an overview of dyslexia and participate in an intensive simulation intended to generate robust conversation around children with dyslexia and their experiences in the classroom. The presentation will highlight the prevalence, characteristics, intervention, and accommodations for dyslexia. The content will also review where dyslexia can be found in the Virginia Department of Education resources and provide attendees with a broad base of additional resources...
Description: This section includes a compilation links to resources on: Benefits Civil Rights Community Life Education Employment Emergency Preparedness Housing Technology Transportation  
Description: Launched in February 2003, Ready is a National public service campaign designed to educate and empower the American people to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to promote preparedness through public involvement. Ready asks individuals to do four key things: (1) stay informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses (2) make a family emergency plan and (3) build...
Description:  10 Ways the Autism Response Team Can Help When You Don’t Know Where to Start: The Autism Response Team (ART) is specially trained to connect people with autism, their families and caregivers to information, tools, and resources.   Learn the Signs: Are you concerned your child has a developmental delay? Trust your instincts and contact ART to learn how to connect with your local Early Intervention resources.  Early intervention services can make extraordinary differences in...
Description: The end-of-summer countdown has begun, and while most kids aren't thrilled with the prospect of going back to school, the transition can be especially tough for those with autism. Three experts share their best tips for making the process smoother—for children of all ages. If your child is in elementary school … If your child is in middle school … If your child is in high school …
Description: Fourteen invaluable tools — checklists, charts, worksheets, letters, parent-teacher conversation starters, and more — to help you and your child team up with teachers for a successful school year. Dear Teacher, Please Meet My Child: A Sample Letter for Parents What I Wish My Teachers Knew About Me: A Free Template for Kids What Every Teacher Should Know About ADHD: A Free Handout Help Your Child’s Peers ‘Get’ ADHD: A Free Guide for Parents 7 Parent-Teacher...
Description: My Parent Journey blog post by Jon Morin Apr 27, 2017 Because of our older son’s high test scores and big vocabulary, his teachers have often suggested that he be placed in gifted and talented (GT) classes. But since he also has issues with executive functioning, social skills and learning, it’s not that simple. Back when he was 8, my son got his first IEP. The school recommended that he be placed in a self-contained class to help with his meltdowns and difficult behavior. Although...
Description: The mission of Virginia's public education system is to educate students in the fundamental knowledge and academic subjects that they need to become capable, responsible, and self-reliant citizens. Therefore, the mission of the Virginia Board of Education and the superintendent of public instruction, in cooperation with local school boards, is to increase student learning and academic achievement.
Description: With spring breaks and summer vacations quickly approaching, this important information about TSA programs and services may be beneficial to travelers with disabilities and medical conditions.   TSA Cares and the Passenger Support Specialist Program TSA Cares is a helpline for travelers with disabilities or medical conditions who want to prepare for the screening process prior to flying.  Travelers or their companions may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 (Federal Relay 711)...
Description: Legislation passed by the 2016 General Assembly (House Bill 842) requires every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license to complete awareness training on the indicators of dyslexia and evidence-based interventions and accommodations for dyslexia. In support of the regulation, this document, Dyslexia: Frequently Asked Questions is designed to be a resource for teachers, administrators and parents to address the educational needs of students with dyslexia. It provides...
Description: Coaches and Parents: Changing the Culture of Concussion Starts With You! By taking this free, online course and using what you learn, you will be well positioned to improve the culture of concussion. Your actions can help create a safe environment for young athletes so that they can stay healthy, active, and thrive - both on and off the playing field. Once you complete the training and quiz, you can print out a certificate, making it easy to show your league or school you are ready for the...
Description: The TBI InfoComics were created to educate survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury, their families/caregivers, and healthcare providers about common symptoms of TBI and how to manage them. Our InfoComics are written to be accessible to people who may have memory issues or trouble reading large blocks of text. They present the most vital and up-to-date information about physical, cognitive and emotional issues people with TBI may be dealing with. The content we present in our comics represents the...
Description: Welcome to the NARIC Web site, our gateway to an abundance of disability and rehabilitation-oriented information organized in a variety of formats designed to make it easy for users to find and use. For the past 30 years NARIC staff members have been dedicated to providing direct, personal, and high-quality information services to anyone throughout the country. This link takes you to the most current information about Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Description: The National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC) is the library of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). We collect, catalog, and disseminate the articles, reports, curricula, guides, and other publications and products of the research projects funded by NIDILRR. NIDILRR funds more than 250 projects each year that conduct research on a wide range of issues including technology, health and function, independent living, and capacity...
Description: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. Each year there are a reported 1.7 million civilian brain injuries in the United States. In the military from 2000 through 2012, more than 266,000 service members sustained a TBI. Brain injury has become known as the signature wound of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most brain injuries are mild, and most people recover in a matter of weeks....
Description: For Educators and Professionals This site is designed to provide educators and professionals with practical information that can be used to identify and provide appropriate services to children with a brain injury. The following information is located within this section. TBI Identification Protocol: Information and documents related to how to identify a student with a traumatic brain injury. Manual: This will connect you with the Brain Injury in Children and Youth: A Manual for...
Description: What is a concussion? Probably not what you think it is. In this talk from the cutting edge of research, bioengineer (and former football player) David Camarillo shows what really happens during a concussion — and why standard sports helmets don't prevent it. Here's what the future of concussion prevention looks like. Dr. David Camarillo, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Bioengineering and (by courtesy) Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. He holds a B.S.E in Mechanical and...
Description: The Invisible Disabilities® Association is about believing. We believe you! The frequently invisible nature of illness and pain may lead to disbelief about that illness or pain by those surrounding the person who lives daily with invisible disabilities. This disbelief can lead to misunderstandings, rejection by friends, family and heath care providers. It may also lead to accusations of laziness or faking an illness. We are passionate about providing awareness that invisible illness,...
Description: The mission of AAHD is to advance health promotion and wellness initiatives for children and adults with disabilities. AAHD works to reduce health disparities between people with disabilities and the general population, and supports full community inclusion and accessibility. AAHD accomplishes its mission through advocacy, education, public awareness, and research efforts at the federal, state, and community levels. What is AAHD? The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) is a...
Description: Inclusion can be defined as being a part of a group or a part of something. Inclusion can also be defined as learning to live together; treasuring diversity; and sharing gifts and abilities. There have been numerous demands from individuals with disabilities living in the community who are tired of being denied or ignored by a society that does not honor their right to participate in all aspects of community living.  The materials found in this guide were prepared by youth leaders with...
Description: We believe that individuals who are deaf-blind are valued members of society and are entitled to the same opportunities and choices as other members of their community. NFADB is the largest national nonprofit organization serving the deaf-blind community. What We Do Train and support families as they advocate for the needs of their child and family. Connect families to other families with similar interests and needs. Collaborate with other organizations to make sure...
Description: As a national technical assistance center funded by the federal Department of Education, NCDB works to improve the quality of life for children who are deaf-blind and their families by: Creating visibility and direction for identified priorities through a range of practices, activities, supports and partnerships. Identifying and encouraging new innovations in local, state, and national practice and policy. Promoting opportunity for reflection, debate, and constructive dialogue around ideas and...
Description: Giving people who are deaf-blind the tools to live, work and thrive in the communities of their choice.
Description: The Clerc Center, a federally funded national deaf education center, ensures that the diverse population of deaf and hard of hearing students (birth through age 21) in the nation are educated and empowered and have the linguistic competence to maximize their potential as productive and contributing members of society. This is accomplished through early access to and acquisition of language, excellence in teaching, family involvement, research, identification and implementation of best practices,...
Description: The vision statement for DHAM states: "Disability history education and awareness will promote positive attitudes in schools creating a culture of mutual respect, understanding, and equal opportunities for all."  (Disability Awareness)
Description: The Disability History Museum hosts a Library of virtual artifacts, Education curricula, and Museum exhibits. These programs are designed to foster research and study about the historical experiences of people with disabilities and their communities. The Disability History Museum is a virtual project, it has no bricks or mortar. It aims to provide all site visitors, people with and without disabilities, researchers, teachers and students, with a wide array of tools to help deepen their...
Description: If you have just recently found out about your child’s hearing loss or know of a child who has been recently diagnosed with a hearing loss you are on the right track to finding more information for Virginia residents. Knowledge is power! Being informed in the area of deafness/hearing impairment and teaching your child or children with hearing losses to be independent is important.
Description: On November 2, 2012, the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) adopted Unified English Braille (UEB) as an official braille code to replace English Braille American Edition (EBAE) in the U.S.  At that time, BANA also maintained the current Nemeth Code for Mathematics and Science Notation,the Music Braille Code, and the International Phonetic Alphabet as official braille codes.  January 4, 2016, was identified as the general implementation date for UEB in the U.S. ...
Description: Because TBI is the only disability related to a specific event, accommodations on an IEP may not be immediately available. Often, it is appropriate to start with a 504 plan and then if the symptoms remain, move to an IEP. There are three ways a student may be considered an individual with a disability under section 504. A student is considered to have a disability under 504 if the student: Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Has a...
Description: The Models of Best Practice in the Education of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder guidance document from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) includes addressing social communication skills. Because of the characteristics of ASD, we have to think far beyond just reading, writing, and arithmetic to include a wide range of other skills! These social communication challenges can severely limit opportunities in the classroom and in the community. In order for students to be more...
Description: Anyone who has experienced a brain injury, either their own or that of a friend or loved one, understands the worry, confusion, and stress it creates. Support groups provide a chance to learn from others who have been living with brain injury, share your own experiences, and give and get encouragement from those who really understand. You can search Brain Injury Association of Virginia database of local support groups. Just type in the name of the group (if you know it) or you can select the...
Description: Brain Injury Services Coordination Unit (BISCU) is located within the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), Virginia’s designated “lead state agency” for planning and monitoring services that enhance the quality of life and vocational goals of persons with acquired brain injury. BISC Unit manages about $6 million in programs and services, primarily through federal/state grants, and statefunded contracts with organizations across the Commonwealth. BISC Unit...
Description: As a busy parent, keeping your child healthy and safe is always a top priority. The Heads Up to Parents Site will help you recognize, respond to, and minimize the risk of concussion or other serious brain injury. This includes Educational Materials, Brain Injury Basics, Helmet Safety, Videos,  and Trainings.
Description: PANDAS is short for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections. A child may be diagnosed with PANDAS when: Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and/or tic disorders suddenly appear following a strep infection (such as strep throat or scarlet fever); or The symptoms of OCD or tic symptoms suddenly become worse following a strep infection. The symptoms are usually dramatic, happen “overnight and out of the blue,” and can include motor and/or...
Description: The Brain Injury Strategies App is intended to provide ideas for supporting an individual who is returning to learning. It addresses various areas of concern that can happen after a concussion, a type of traumatic brain injury. The end product is a summary of selected strategies that can be implemented by an educator for an individual student. (Note: To preview Brain Injury Strategies App, use 1234 as student ID.)
Description: We have developed Communication Guidelines and Resources to support educational team members in enhancing the communication abilities of students with ASD and to create lifelong learners. The Communication Guidelines and Resources are designed to: Enhance understanding of what communication is, Enhance understanding of why communication is important, and Advance expectations, knowledge, and skills related to communication based assessments, strategies, and supports. The Communication Guidelines...
Description: Who We Are The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health is a national family-run organization linking more than 120 chapters and state organizations focused on the issues of children and youth with emotional, behavioral, or mental health needs and their families. It was conceived in Arlington, Virginia in February, 1989 by a group of 18 people determined to make a difference in the way the system works. Where We Come From Members of the National Federation come from all...
Description: Dyslexia and dysgraphia are both learning issues. Dyslexia primarily affects reading. Dysgraphia mainly affects writing. While they’re different issues, the two are easy to confuse. They share symptoms and often occur together. This article provides a simple table can help you tell them apart. It gives information about What is it?, Signs you may notice, possible emotional and social impact, What can help, and Accommodations. If your child is struggling with reading or writing, it can be...
Description: Currently 4 videos are available: No Fighting, No Biting! Managing Sibling Conflict The goal of this workshop is to give parents some strategies to cope with conflict between siblings, including situations where one sibling has a disability. Presented by: Meladie Gey Burke, LPC, RPT Transition 101: Agency Linkages Agency linkages are critically important for students with disabilities as they prepare to transition to postsecondary education, training, employment and independent living. The goal...
Description: How can I help students who are recovering from a concussion? As a teacher, you play an important role in helping students recover from a concussion as they return to school. Making short-term changes to your students' school work load and schedule- and giving them time to help their brain heal- can help them get back to their regular school routine. As they begin to feel better, you can slowly remove these changes. Concussion symptoms may return as students get back to physical or mental...
Description: Wellness is a rapidly growing area of focus for people across the U.S. The popularity of health advice segments on TV news and talk shows, of high tech fitness tracking devices and apparel, and of stress management and meditation workshops are a few of the indicators of a growing interest in whole-person well-being. For individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the benefits of attending to wellness are at least as great as those experienced by the rest of the population. But...
Description: Some kids have a really tough time getting organized and starting tasks. Planning, focusing and using working memory can be big challenges too. Use this visual guide to see how executive functioning issues can affect a child’s daily life. Meet Josh, a sixth grader who has executive functioning issues. Executive functions work together to help the brain organize and act on information. They include: Organizing, setting priorities and starting tasks Focusing, shifting or sustaining attention...
Description: The Virginia Family Special Education Connection Website provides Local Disability Services information for all of the Counties/Cities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. These services include: Arc (The Arc) Care Connection for Children (Health Department Program) Centers for Independent Living Child Development Services Program - Clinics Community Services Board (CSB) Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) Department of Social...