Instructional Strategies for Students with Physical Disabilities

  • Use mnemonics such as SLANT (Sit up, lean forward, ask questions, nod your head, track the teacher).
  • Consider environmental issues: seating placement in classroom, workspace free from distractions, proximity seating, student remove all non-related materials from space.
  • Use textured mats under worksheets and manipulatives to stabilize work area.
  • Provide a paper stabilizer (clipboard, non-slip writing surface).
  • Use colored highlighters to direct attention to key information.
  • Use digital timer to help pace student while working.
  • Use a line or a place-marker.
  • Provide adapted paper (bold line, raised line, enlarged spacing).
  • Use colored sticky notes to draw attention or clarify important information.
  • Use large pencils and/or pencil grips/weighted pencils.
  • Use adaptive equipment for posture: booster seats, arm rests, etc.
  • Use computers with touch screen capabilities.
  • Demonstrate all concepts with manipulatives.
  • Provide copies of work that is presented on the board or textbook to cut down on. “copying” for students.
  • Vary group size for instruction.
  • Provide large-print handouts of text.
  • Provide a bookstand for books and assignment pages.
  • Provide specifically lined/oriented paper.
  • Make available computer speech-enhanced text and lessons.
  • Use drawings and real-life examples such as lunch counts and class lists.
* For students with cognitive or physical disabilities, educators must involve instructional strategies that are accessible throughout the daily schedule. The classroom environment and educational staff must consider changes and accommodations to increase student participation and enhance learning. When teachers and students adapt effective instructional strategies, individual and groups of students gain the tools necessary to become successful learners. Below are suggested strategies to support students with cognitive and physical disabilities, and are applicable to use within all classroom settings and with all children.