Teaching Practices & Tools

By helping those who are marginalized in traditional classrooms (e.g., those with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, and other challenges), researchers are discovering educational methods and materials that are flexible and powerful enough to help all students, regardless of their ability, maximize their progress. (Source: www.cast.org). The following web site links and articles provide extensive information useful for faculty members interested in learning how to adopt methods of universal design into their curriculum. Assistive technology and Alternative media embody two mechanisms to encourage and enhance students’ learning. For more information, see the articles and links below.

Universal Design 

  • "Enhancing Learning of Students with LD Without Compromising Standards: Tips for Teaching", Beverly Sandock, Associate Director SALT (Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques), The University of Arizona. This article describes how to organize courses and present information so that it is more accessible to students with learning disabilities.

  • Do-It. University of Washington - This site reveals how universal design strategies can be employed when engaging in specific academic activities: large lectures, group/work discussions, test taking, field work , science labs, computer labs, computers , world wide web pages, distance learning, art work, travel programs, writing assignments, and work-based learning.

  • Universal Design Education On-Line – Teaching techniques that accommodate students with disabilities and/or unique styles are proposed.

  • CAST: Universal Design for Learning – This site provides helpful guided tours about universal design, along with theory and research, tools and resources, examples, and activities.

Assistive Technology & Alternative Formats

  • The Emma E. Legg Center for Accessible Technology (CAT) - The CAT, located at Martin Luther King, Jr. Library Room 230 is one the largest adaptive computing centers in the country. The Center is available to students of San Jose State University who have registered with the AEC. With approximately sixty accessible stations and trained staff, the Center utilizes the latest adaptive hardware and software, and allows students with disabilities to pursue their academic programs. The CAT supports faculty members working with students with visual impairments, those who are blind, or have learning disabilities. Specifically, the CAT supplies curriculum based instructional materials in alternate formats to students, staff and faculty with a verified print disability. Printed or typed materials are converted to digital format and then translated into an appropriate format dependent on the specific accommodation. The following types of format translation may be provided: electronic text, Braille, graphics embossing, large print, or audio output. The type of format provided to the student, staff or faculty member with a disability is determined on a case-by-case basis. The CAT also produces alternative formats for the campus community. Faculty interested in learning more about accessible technology and alternative media, please contact the CAT at 808-2123.

We encourage faculty to explore the articles listed below, as well as AEC's Accessible Software and Apps Page in order to learn more about the specific software used in training students with disabilities. 

Please note that the articles below are meant to serve as useful and applicable tools, yet may contain some outdated information due to the evolving nature of assistive and adaptive technology. Please contact the CAT for the most recent, up-to-date information.