Creating Your Own Accessible Text to Support Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

In this presentation learn how to plan, create and write a content focused foundational text for a unit of study using authoring software, and how to create easily differentiated extension activities using technology. Creating age and developmentally appropriate text to use for students with intellectual disabilities is often necessary as readily available texts that meet the needs of these students are hard to find. Use of text is the accepted means of presenting content information to students across grades. Text, whether presented in text books, articles or fictional accounts is most often the foundation for a unit of study and as educators we accept the relationship of text as the foundation of information sharing. This should and can hold true for students who have intellectual disabilities as well. However, readily available texts that meet the needs of students with intellectual disabilities are often not available. For students with intellectual disabilities the challenge most often is in finding text that is accessible, age appropriate and developmentally appropriate (Copeland & Keefe, 2007). For this reason it is sometimes easier and more desirable to create the foundational text for a particular topic so that it can be tailored to individual students’ unique needs. By using authoring software teachers can create texts that can be used as the basis for presenting content information to students. In this presentation, learn how to create a foundational text for a unit of study, how to pair the text with easily differentiated extension activities and how to implement the unit using the text as a foundation.

Participants in this presentation will learn the following:

  1. 1. how to pare down existing text or information to create the basis of a developmentally appropriate text;
  2. 2. how to use that information to write an age and developmentally appropriate text;
  3. 3. how to create developmentally and age appropriate extension activities to accompany the text.

Presenters will demonstrate text creation as well as development of extension activities which can easily be differentiated to meet the needs of the wide range of students in an inclusive classroom.

Melissa Ainsworth, Marci Kinas-Jerome, Alex Britt