Disability Related Information (Characteristics)

These pages provide information and resources on a wide range of disabilities and medical conditions.
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Description: Conference Session Resources View Session Recordings and Get Handouts Access Additional Resources See Presenter Bios
Description: The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) provides information on educational services and resources to support students who are deaf and hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired, or deaf-blind at its website. Attachment A is a compilation of the required guidance documents and additional resources that are available at the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Special Education-Sensory Disabilities webpage. Administrators and teachers may reprint the VDOE guidance information to share...
Description: Understanding Autism: Professional Development Curriculum The Understanding Autism: Professional Development Curriculum is a comprehensive professional development training tool that prepares secondary school teachers to serve the autism population. This page includes two presentations: Understanding Autism: Professional Development Curriculum Characteristics and Practices for Challenging Behavior Strategies for Classroom Success and Effective Use of Teacher Supports Understanding Autism: A...
Description: VCU-ACE is excited to welcome you to their new early childhood website! They have resources for families about raising and supporting young children with ASD. They also have resources for educators and providers as they learn more about ASD and how to use evidence-based practices. For Parents: Raising a child diagnosed with ASD can be confusing and overwhelming. Many times, parents and family members struggle to understand the diagnosis, how to support their child's success, and how to...
Description: Since October is Disability Awareness Month, Special Olympics Virginia offers age-appropriate videos promoting inclusion of people with differences. Elementary-level videos feature a Special Olympics athlete and siblings reading picture books. Videos highlighting how people turned their experiences with isolation into inclusive opportunities are available for older students. Optional discussion questions and activities are available for each lesson. When students do return to school in person,...
Description: Parents can obtain ID cards for their children under age 15 at any DMV customer service center. The cost of a child ID card is $2 per year (minimum $10; maximum $16). In addition to serving as an identity document, the child’s photograph is stored in DMV’s database. If the child becomes missing, DMV can retrieve the image from the database and transmit it to law enforcement anywhere in the U. S. Child ID cards will expire on the last day of the customer’s month of birth in a...
Description: More than 800,000 children in America are missing each year – one child every 40 seconds. Yet, when the National Child Identification Program began; less than two percent of parents had a copy of their child’s fingerprints to use in case of an emergency. The National Child Identification Program is a community service safety initiative dedicated to changing these statistics, by providing parents and guardians, with a tool they can use to help protect their children. The ID Kit allows...
Description: These training modules were created by the I-CAN! Accessibility Project. The I-CAN! Accessibility Project is a collaboration between the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work and the Partnership for People with Disabilities. Module 1: Understanding Disability Module 2: Person Centered Thinking and Disability Etiquette Module 3: Disabilities and Abuse Module 4: Brain Injury and Abuse Module 5: Safety Planning and Accommodations
Description: Table of Contents: Economic Impact Payments, Information about Representative Payees, Stay Informed, Monthly Benefits and Other Financial Help, Protect Yourself from Scams, Getting Help from Social Security, Hearings, COVID-19 Resources
Description: The Brain Injury Association of Virginia is a nonprofit organization devoted to serving individuals with brain injury, their families and those whocare about them. One of the main components of our mission is to advance educationand support to people impacted by brain injury. 
Description: The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) cares about the well-being of both you and your child, especially as we face the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all in this together and our first priority is to keep our families and ourselves safe by seeking out meaningful supports. We should make every effort to stay positive and patient with one another and be compassionate in the understanding that everyone--administrators, teachers, students, and families--are going through this together. Please...
Description: ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 204,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat...
Description: What You'll Learn: How to Talk About Coronavirus With Kids What We’re Talking About School Closings and Learning at Home At-Home Activities, Schedules, and More Disability Issues at Work
Description: On World Autism Awareness Day, we recognize and celebrate the rights of persons with autism.  This year’s observance takes place in the midst of a public health crisis unlike any other in our lifetimes — a crisis that places persons with autism at disproportionate risk as a result of the coronavirus and its impact on society.  Persons with autism have the right to self-determination, independence and autonomy, as well as the right to education and employment on an equal...
Description: Individuals often suffer from headaches after traumatic injuries including concussions, whiplash, and head injury. Dr. Zasler discusses the advances in post-traumatic headache classification, identification and treatment, as well as the controversies and caveats regarding this class of headache disorders. About the Presenter Dr. Nathan Zasler is the CEO and Medical Director of the Concussion Care, as well as Tree of Life Services, Inc. in Richmond, Virginia. He is Board Certified in Physical...
Description: The Autism Society of America promises to remain committed to improving the lives of all affected by autism across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, and will focus on providing information, resources, and advocacy efforts to address these urgent needs.  The autism community faces extraordinary challenges during the COVID-19 crisis. We are proud to launch a comprehensive toolkit on our website, which provides COVID-19 information and resources by topic, including Mental Health &...
Description: These English and Spanish Booklets contain COVID-19 Information By and For People with Disabilities.
Description: Microsoft Accessibility includes resource for: Learning: Our applications for people living with learning disabilities can help increase focus, concentration, and understanding—and include tools to improve reading and writing skills. Mobility: Our suite of products helps people living with arthritis, quadriplegia, spinal cord injuries, and other mobility issues to navigate the digital world in non-traditional ways. Mental Health: Learn more about assistive technologies for people living...
Description: Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma (SBS/AHT) is a term used to describe the constellation of signs and symptoms resulting from violent shaking or shaking and impacting of the head of an infant or small child. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) describes SBS as a subset of AHT with injuries having the potential to result in death or permanent neurologic disability. Can Tossing My Baby in the Air or Rough Play Cause SBS? SBS is a form of child abuse that happens when an infant or small...
Description: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. CDC is committed to continuing to provide essential data on ASD, search for factors that put children at risk for ASD and possible causes, and develop resources that help identify children with ASD as early as possible. What is Autism Spectrum Disorder? Screening  & Diagnosis Treatments Materials & Multimedia Research & Tracking Data &...
Description: Aging, Fatigue and Brain Injury: Living with Head (Brain Injury) (My Story and An Open Book) TBI is a much more manageable injury today than it has been in the past, but it remains a major health problem. As people with TBI continue to live longer and face the challenges of aging with TBI, it will be our duty to provide better education and long-term programs and services. We all have brains; let’s continue to use them — injured or not — to support TBI prevention, research, and...
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: The National Clearinghouse on Autism Evidence and Practice (NCAEP) is conducting a systematic review of the current intervention literature targeting individuals on the autism spectrum. NCAEP is a continuation of the evidence review that was completed by the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders (NPDC) which included research published through 2011. We will review research studies published in the last six years (2012-2017) which examine the impact of behavioral,...
Description: This guide is offered as a free resource for attorneys who may work with people with developmental disabilities in the justice system. Our aim is to assist attorneys in understanding the possible presence of a disability in a client, how to fully identify that disability, and offer some ideas on appropriate ways to defend that person in a criminal prosecution. Cases are so individualized that this guide could never hope to be fully comprehensive, but it is meant to offer a solid foundation. The...
Description: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual who is exposed to alcohol during the nine month prenatal period before birth. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications. The term FASD is not intended for use as a clinical diagnosis. Diagnostic terms under the FASD umbrella are: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (PFAS)...
Description: Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are a group of conditions that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects can include physical problems and problems with behavior and learning. Often, a person with an FASD has a mix of these problems. Cause and Prevention FASDs are caused by a woman drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Alcohol in the mother’s blood passes to the baby through the umbilical cord. When a woman drinks alcohol, so does her baby....
Description: disAbilityNavigator is a unique web resource created by and for people with disabilities and their families. Topics covered include: Family Caregiving Family Support Health Fitness & Recreation Health Care Settings & Providers Health Conditions & Disabilities Community Community Resources Community Best Practices & State Plans Individual Supports Advocacy Federal, State & Local Laws Protection & Advocacy Transitions Planning Insurance & Benefits Life Skills My Money...
Description: The aim of a trauma-informed classroom is to infuse an understanding of the impact of trauma and adverse life experiences on students into the classroom culture and promote a physically and psychologically safe  environment to foster student growth. More specifically, psychological safety refers to individuals’ inner sense that they are safe because of their ability to feel capable of managing stressors or connecting with someone else who can help the individual manage stressors that...
Description: Project Lifesaver is a 501 (C)(3) community based, public safety, non-profit organization that provides law enforcement, fire/rescue, and caregivers with a program designed to protect, and when necessary, quickly locate individuals with cognitive disorders who are prone to the life threatening behavior of wandering. The necessity of this program was determined through the correlation between cognitive conditions and the act of wandering.  With the dramatic increase of cognitive conditions...
Description: The purpose of the Guidelines for Working with Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired in Virginia Public Schools is to provide information for the provision of services to students who are blind or visually impaired to support their educational goals. These Guidelines provide a resource of suggestions for implementing services; they are not regulatory. They are written for any individual interested in serving the educational needs of students who are blind or visually impaired or...
Description: Milestones matter! Track your child’s milestones from age 2 months to 5 years with CDC’s easy-to-use illustrated checklists; get tips from CDC for encouraging your child’s development; and find out what to do if you are ever concerned about how your child is developing. From birth to age 5, your child should reach milestones in how he or she plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves. Photos and videos in this app illustrate each milestone and make tracking them for your child easy...
Description: Bus drivers and transportation staff work directly with students with autism and are responsible for their and others' safety during the routes. Drivers and assistants are the first faces students see in the morning and the last ones in the afternoon. They are critical liaisons between home and school and often have more interaction with parents than other school staff. Beyond simply driving, transportation staff are in charge of managing behavior, implementing accommodations, and collaborating...
Description: Parents of children with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities are accustomed to paying close attention to their child's physical, cognitive, and emotional development. This proactive approach should also include their child's sexual development, which for many parents may not seem as obvious or urgent, especially to those with young children. Drawing on her unique background as both a sexual educator and mother of a child with Down syndrome, the author blends factual...
Description: Dr. Mike Evans discusses concussion management and return to learn. Dr. Mike Evans is helping lead health innovation at Apple Inc. He is a Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Toronto, was a staff physician at St. Michael’s Hospital, Lead of Digital Preventive Medicine at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, as well as the first international recipient of an endowed university chair in Patient Engagement. Dr. Evans will be on faculty and do part time clinic at Stanford.
Description: All travelers will get more out of their trip by being able to speak a few words of the local language, but for people with a disability it’s often vital to be able to explain your particular needs. Since standard phrasebooks are unlikely to contain the language you need to talk about needs around disability we’ve gathered together some disability-specific words and phrases and translated them into as many different languages as we practically could. Although things are slowly...
Description: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities. SAMHSA Strategic Initiatives help provide treatment and services for people with mental and substance use disorders, support the families of people with mental and substance...
Description: This webpage connects you quickly with brief, but detailed fact sheets on specific disabilities. Each fact sheet defines the disability, describes its characteristics, offers tips for parents and teachers, and connects you with related information and organizations with special expertise in that disability. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), Autism Spectrum Disorders, Blindness/ Visual Impairment, Cerebral Palsy, Deaf-Blindness, Deafness and Hearing Loss, Developmental Delay, Down...
Description: The mental health of our children is a natural and important concern for us all. The fact is, many mental disorders have their beginnings in childhood or adolescence, yet may go undiagnosed and untreated for years. We refer to mental disorders using different “umbrella” terms such as emotional disturbance, behavioral disorders, or mental illness. Beneath these umbrella terms, there is actually a wide range of specific conditions that differ from one another in their characteristics...
Description: The nation’s special education law is called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA. As part of making special education and related services available to children with disabilities in the public schools, IDEA defines the term “child with a disability.” That definition includes specific disability terms, which are also defined by IDEA, as this webpage describes. The IDEA’s disability terms and definitions guide how States in their own turn define...
Description: Wherever you work, children come to you with gifts, curiosity, challenges, and needs.  They are small wonders, to be sure, and as full of diversity as society itself. And because disability is a natural part of life, it’s also likely that some of your little ones may have a disability or a developmental delay that can impact their learning and growth. As a child care provider or preschool teacher, you may even be among the first to notice a child’s difficulties or...
Description: Vision is one of our five senses. Being able to see gives us tremendous access to learning about the world around us—people’s faces and the subtleties of expression, what different things look like and how big they are, and the physical environments where we live and move, including approaching hazards. When a child has a visual impairment, it is cause for immediate attention. That’s because so much learning typically occurs visually. When vision loss goes undetected, children...
Description: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) is a condition that can make it hard for a person to sit still, control behavior, and pay attention. These difficulties usually begin before the person is 7 years old. However, these behaviors may not be noticed until the child is older. Doctors do not know just what causes AD/HD. However, researchers who study the brain are coming closer to understanding what may cause AD/HD. They believe that some people with AD/HD do not have enough of certain...
Description: Giving a child a home is a remarkable gift. This page is written for the families who’ve adopted children with disabilities (and without!) and those who offer them safe haven through fostering. It’s also written for those who work in state agencies or in private organizations who find foster homes and adoptive families for so many children.
Description: Cerebral palsy—also known as CP—is a condition caused by injury to the parts of the brain that control our ability to use our muscles and bodies. Cerebral means having to do with the brain. Palsy means weakness or problems with using the muscles. Often the injury happens before birth, sometimes during delivery, or, like Jen, soon after being born. CP can be mild, moderate, or severe. Mild CP may mean a child is clumsy. Moderate CP may mean the child walks with a limp. He or she may...
Description: Parent Centers receive many calls and emails each year from people looking for materials on disability awareness. People need these materials to help community members, employers, organizations, and residents learn more about disabilities and what it means for people to live with a disability or raise a child with a disability. Having information about disability awareness can be put to many different uses–from classroom instructional units, to Girl Scout information fairs, to school...
Description: (Applies To: Excel for Microsoft 365, Word for Microsoft 365,PowerPoint for Microsoft 365, Excel 2019, Word 2019, PowerPoint 2019, Excel 2016, Word 2016 PowerPoint, 2016 Excel 2013, & More)    To help ensure that your Office files are accessible, use the Accessibility Checker, a free tool available in Word, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, and PowerPoint on Windows, Office Online, or Mac, and Visio on Windows. It finds most accessibility issues and explains why each might be a potential...
Description: (Applies To: PowerPoint for Microsoft 365, PowerPoint for Microsoft 365 for Mac, PowerPoint for the web, PowerPoint 2019, PowerPoint 2019 for Mac, PowerPoint 2016, PowerPoint 2013, PowerPoint 2016 for Mac, PowerPoint for iPad, PowerPoint for iPhone, PowerPoint for Android tablets, PowerPoint for Android phones, PowerPoint for Mac, PowerPoint for Windows Phone 10, PowerPoint Mobile) This topic gives you step-by-step instructions and best practices for making your PowerPoint presentations...
Description: (Applies To: Excel for Microsoft 365, Excel for Microsoft 365 for Mac, Excel for the web, Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2019 for Mac, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, Excel 2016 for Mac, Excel for Mac 2011, Excel for iPad, Excel for iPhone, Excel for Android tablets, Excel for Android phones, Excel for Windows Phone 10)   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...
Description: (Applies To: Word for Microsoft 365, Word for Microsoft 365 for Mac, Word for the web Word 2019, Word 2019 for Mac, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2016 for Mac, Word for iPad, Word for iPhone, Word for Android tablets, Word for Android phones, Word for Windows Phone 10, Word Mobile) 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....
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)...