Adjustable Levels

Adjustable levels provide practice on a single skill or group of skills at a variety of levels. Use adjustable levels to have students practice independently at a lower level, and with scaffolded support at a higher level.

Adjustable Rate

Adjustable rate refers to the ability to control and set how the program displays or produces information, such as how quickly a program reads text aloud or advances the display.

Adjustable Repeat Features

Adjustable repeat features allows users or teachers to set a program to repeat instructions or items at different interval lengths.

Adjustable Response Time

Adjustable response time allows the user to adjust how long a program will wait for a response after a prompt. Use this feature to individualize activities for different students, allowing more time for students who struggle or who have slow response capabilities.

Adjustable Sensitivity

Adjusting the pressure, rate, or control options of a device allows a user to match it to his or her ability to respond and control.


Algebra is the symbolic representation of numbers. It requires the ability to recognize, create, and extend patterns of numbers.


Alphabetics is the representation of spoken sounds with letters. Students must first acquire phonemic awareness (the understanding that words are made up of a series of distinct sounds) before they can begin practice with phonics (mapping sounds to letters). Phonics-based programs emphasize the connection between letters and sounds to help students crack the code of reading.

Alternate Access Devices And Systems

Learning supports such as alternative keyboards, voice recognition programs, and Braille converters provide access to the computer and peripheral devices for users with special needs that prohibit the use of standard computer equipment.

American Sign Language

This feature converts text to American sign language in video clips or graphics.

Arrow Keys

Arrow keys can be used instead of a mouse to control cursor movement on the screen. Use this feature for students who have difficulty with hand-eye coordination or visual tracking.

Audio Notes

Audio notes allow the user to record notes in an audio format instead of in print. Use this feature for students who have difficulty writing or typing. Post strategy prompts in assigned readings through these audio notes.

Audio Recorded Prompts

Audio recorded prompts give students a verbal alert to errors within a passage, in addition to the visual cue on the screen. Use this with students who respond better to auditory input than to visual.


A developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three.

Birth To Preschool

Before kindergarten.


Bookmarks allow individual users to annotate a passage or mark where they ended a session.

Braille Output

This feature converts text into Braille for users with visual impairments. Use this feature for students who are blind and can read Braille.


A calculator performs basic mathematical functions. Use an embedded calculator to seamlessly support mathematical reasoning and enhance math skills.

Can Export Notes And Tags

Users' notes can be collected and exported into a separate document. Use this feature to help students gather their notes to outline a response paper or an expository essay.


Captioning provides matching text descriptions for all audio tracks on a variety of visual media (movies, flash animations, etc.). Captions generally provide both the speech elements of the media as well as descriptors of non-speech sounds (music playing, laughter, etc.). Use this feature with students who have hearing impairments.


Comprehension is a measure of how well a person understands the meaning of a passage. This is the ultimate goal of reading. It relies on the reader's combined skill with alphabetics, fluency, and vocabulary, as well as the reader's background knowledge about the subject. Comprehension-based programs help students visualize as they read, and draw conclusions about the author's intentions and attitudes.

Content Area

The curricular area related to the resource.

Cursor Control Options

Cursor control options offer the user multiple ways to navigate and make selections on a computer screen. The most common way is by using a mouse, but several other options exist based on different user preferences and needs.

Customizable Interface

Customizable interface allows the user to adjust and arrange the visual and audio components of the program according to his/her preferences and needs.

Customizable Length Suggestion List

When a program identifies a spelling or grammar error, it offers a list of suggestions. Customization allows users to adjust the length of this list.

Customizable Word List(S)

Users can customize the word list to include only topic-specific words or only difficult words. Customized word lists can be as small as a few user-selected words, or as large as multiple dictionaries. Create word lists for particular lessons or to offer select support to individual students.

Data Analysis & Probability

Data analysis and probability involve the ability to see patterns in data, to predict outcomes based on experiments, to understand the difference between certain and uncertain events, and to collect and display data in multiple and organized forms.


Concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs.


A hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification.

Desktop View Options

Desktop view options are controls that adjust the appearance of items on the desktop. Use this feature to adjust the size of icons for students with minor visual impairments, or the amount and position of icons to keep the desktop clutter-free and easy to navigate.

Developmental Delay

For children from birth to age three and children from ages three through nine, the term developmental delay means a delay in one or more of the following areas: physical development; cognitive development; communication; social or emotional development; or adaptive [behavioral] development.

Differentiated Instruction

Meeting the diverse needs of all students is a challenge - technology is the key to make it work. Find an overview of differentiating instruction through the use of technology, universal design for learning (UDL), and resources to support technology implementation efforts.


Differentiation describes the ability to individualize a program to meet students' differing needs and monitor progress.

Draft Can Be Created From Note, Web, Or Outline

This feature will support students in creating a draft from their notes, from a brainstorming web, or from an outline. Use this tool to help students transfer their prewriting into draft form.


Drafting is the process of putting ideas in written form. Several tools can help make the drafting process more accessible and understandable to students.


In dynamic word prediction, the suggested word list changes as more letters are typed. With each additional letter, the word list becomes more narrow and more accurate.

Dynamic Highlighting

Dynamic highlighting allows the user to select how the screen reader highlights (colors) text as it is read ? by word, phrase, sentence, or paragraph. This feature helps students track the text and stay in sync with the narration. As a general rule of thumb, more fluent readers can focus on whole paragraphs while early and struggling students may need a word by word focus.


An e-dictionary allows the user to access a digital dictionary and immediately get a definition of a selected word. Use this feature to build vocabulary and English language skills and to promote independent work habits.


An e-thesaurus allows users to access a digital thesaurus and immediately get an entry for a selected word. Use this feature to help students expand their vocabulary and improve their writing.

Early Elementary

Kindergarten through second grade.

Earth & Space Science

The standards for earth and space science describe the subject matter of science using three widely accepted divisions of the domain of science. Science subject matter focuses on the science facts, concepts, principles, theories, and models that are important for all students to know, understand, and use.

Editing And Revising

Technology that supports the final step in the writing process helps students improve the accuracy of their writing (editing) and the clarity of their composition (revising). Examples include spell checkers, word processors, and speech output.

Editing Or Revising Guide

An editing or revising guide provides support for writing. Use this feature to help students edit their writing.

Electronic References And Resources

Learning supports that provide access to electronic references and resources give quick access to study tools such as electronic dictionaries, encyclopedias, and calculators.

Embedded Resources

Embedded resources are reference and study resources that exist as a part of the program and can be accessed from within the program. Use these resources to save students time looking in extra materials.

Emotional Disturbance

Emotional disturbance means a condition exhibiting one or more…characteristic over a long period of time and to a marked degree.

Error Prompts/Auto Corrections

This feature gives users the opportunity to customize which prompts and auto-corrections would be helpful for them and to minimize distractions. Use this feature to customize the level and type of proofreading support to offer each student.

Eye Tracking Devices

Eye tracking devices detect users' eye movements in order to control functions on the computer or peripheral devices.


Flash is commonly used to create multimedia applications, animations, and to integrate video into web pages. Category refers to programs that utilize Flash.


Fluency is the ability to read quickly and accurately. When students are able to spend less cognitive energy decoding each word, they are better able to attend to the meaning and cadence of the passage. Fluency-based programs use timed readings and repeat readings at or slightly below a student's reading level to provide practice reading quickly and with expression.

Font Size And/Or Color

Users can adjust the size and color of the text. Use increased font size to help students with minor visual impairments or those who would benefit from less text per screen view. Use color choices to organize or accentuate information on the screen or increase the contrast of text to background for students with low vision or for whom reading on the screen causes eye fatigue.


Devices controlled by foot allow alternate control options for users with limited mobility.


Geometry is a mathematical representation of objects in space. It requires an understanding of geometric vocabulary, such as parallel and perpendicular, and the ability to find congruence in objects using distances and angles.


Provides users with built-in glossary of content specific words needed for understanding and reference.

Grade Level

The academic level(s) associated with the resource.

Grammar Check

Grammar check highlights grammatical errors within a written passage.

Graphic Web Organizer

These create a visual map of a student's ideas, arranged thematically. It places detailed information into broader categories that can be turned into paragraph topics. Use this feature to help students brainstorm, arrange their thoughts, and identify main ideas.

Graphics Off/On

Graphics can be turned on or off. Use the graphics on feature to access visual materials. Use the graphics off feature to isolate and strengthen auditory skills.

Hearing Impairment

An impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating.


Highlighting gives the user the capability of adding highlights to text on the screen. Use this as an instructional feature to mark the main idea, topic sentence, or important details, or for editing feedback. Most programs have multiple colors so that users can color-code their annotations. Have students use the features as a study activity.

History & Nature Of Science

In learning science, students need to understand that science reflects its history and is an ongoing, changing enterprise. The standards for the history and nature of science recommend the use of history in school science programs to clarify different aspects of scientific inquiry, the human aspects of science, and the role that science has played in the development of various cultures.

IDEA Disability Category

Categories and descriptions taken from

Implementing Technology

Implementing technology into a school curriculum is a process that requires collaboration among key staff and knowledge of the elements necessary to effectively integrate, scale up, and sustain the initiative. Find information to plan for success.

Input Options

A variety of input devices and applications provide access to the computer and peripheral devices for users with special needs.

Intellectual Disability

Mental retardation means significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period.

Intermediate Elementary

Third through fifth grade.


Java is used for developing software applications across various computing platforms such as devices, cell phones, and websites. Category refers to programs that utilize Java.

Learning Support

Learning supports associated with the product and resource.

Life Science

The standards for life science describe the subject matter of science using three widely accepted divisions of the domain of science. Science subject matter focuses on the science facts, concepts, principles, theories, and models that are important for all students to know, understand, and use.


Linux operating system (check vendor website for compatibility).


Macintosh OS 10 and newer (check vendor website for compatibility with Leopard)


Mathematics, including arithmetic, geometry, algebra, calculus, and statistics.


Measurement is the use of units of measure to describe the length, area, or volume of an object. It requires the ability to approximate, as well as the ability to use tools to gauge a precise measurement.

Middle School

Fifth through eighth grade

Morse Code

Morse code allows users to transmit information using a series of long and short marks representing letters, numbers and punctuation. It can be used by individuals with a variety of disabilities as a means of inputting information. Users should have at least minimal motor control. This feature can be used with students who have motor disabilities and other sensory impairments (vision and/or hearing) as Morse code signals can be transmitted using a skin buzzer. Users can also input Morse code using a sip and puff device

Movement Recognition

A movement recognition device is a camera that tracks the gestures of a user, usually hand or head movements, to select or control applications. With an eye tracking device, users can select icons on the screen with a blink or focused pause. By eliminating the need for a keyboard or a mouse, users with physical disabilities can interact with the computer by using sign language or other recognized gestures.


Multilingual options offer the user the opportunity to select the language of the program. Use this feature to help students who are learning English - or learning another language - by presenting curriculum materials in a language other than English.

Multimedia Products And Projects

Learning supports that provide means to create and engage in multimedia products and projects offer users a range of formats and media, such as text, images, audio, video, etc., and the means to flexibly combine them.

Multiple Activities And Level

These programs offer practice in a single skill using both multiple activities and multiple levels, giving the teacher greater flexibility and a greater number of options to individualize the curriculum.

Multiple Disabilities

Multiple disabilities means concomitant impairments the combination of which causes such severe educational needs.

Multiple Formats Of Text And Notation

Learning supports that provide access to multiple formats of text, notation, and symbols do so by transforming information from one format to another. These supports offer flexible ways for users to receive and interact with information and concepts.

Multiple User Profiles

Multiple user profiles allows several users to work on the same program and save their activity and responses separately.

Multiple Voices

Multiple voices is a program option that allows the user to select from a variety of voices, which may include a male, female, or child's voice, or various character voices. Use these choices to find a voice that is appropriate to the text or appeals to the student.

National Reading Panel Standards

In 1997, The National Reading Panel (NRP) was asked by Congress to assess the status of research-based knowledge about reading, including the effectiveness of various approaches to teaching children to read. Participants in the hearings expressed several themes: Alphabetics; Fluency; and Comprehension.

National Writing Next Standards

Writing Next, a 2007 report commissioned by the Carnegie Corporation, highlights key elements seen as essential to improving the writing skills of students in 4th-12th grade. Technologies that scaffold the writing process are most effective when combined with explicit and systematic writing instruction.

NCTM Content Standards

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, a professional organization for math teachers, has determined five major content areas of math instruction.

NSTA Content Standards

The content standards designated by the National Science Teachers Association which outline what students should know, understand, and be able to do in natural science.

Number And Operations

Number and operations refers to an understanding of the number line, whole numbers and fractions, the ability to solve basic computation problems, and the ability to estimate.

On-screen Keying

On-screen keying allows users to input information on a virtual keyboard displayed on the computer screen. Users may access the virtual keyboard using a joystick or pointer. Use this feature with students with mobility impairments or students who do not know how to type.

One-handed Keying

One-handed keying allows the user to perform all of the same functions of a standard keyboard using one hand. Use this feature with students who have good control of one hand (right or left).

Operating Systems

Describes the platform(s) with which the device is compatible.

Opportunities To Learn Concepts

Learning supports that provide opportunities to learn concepts provide insights about, representations and simulations of, and connections between concepts in the subject area.

Organize And Plan

Learning supports that provide means to organize and plan offer a digital workspace for users to explore the connections between ideas and text, represent relationships, and apply a wide range of pre-writing, comprehension, and problem-solving strategies. These tools allow users to enter and manipulate their own data and engage real-world applications.

Orthopedic Impairment

A severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance…includes impairments caused by a congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease and impairments from other causes.

Other Health Impairment

Having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment.

Outline Template

An outline template provides a structure to organize information and ideas for writing. Use this template as a beginning step in the writing process, giving students a place to assemble and arrange their ideas before drafting. Some programs have genre-specific templates for different types of writing supports.

Outlining Tool

An outlining tool helps students organize their thoughts and structure their writing. Use this feature to provide a format for prioritizing and sequencing information for writing.

Output Options

A variety of output devices and applications provide access to digital information coming from the computer and peripheral devices for users with special needs.

Personal & Social Perspectives

The science in personal and social perspectives standards help students develop decision-making skills. Understandings associated with concepts such as personal and community health, characteristics and changes in populations, populations, resources, and environments, natural hazards, natural resources and changes in the environment give students a foundation on which to base decisions they will face as citizens.

Physical Science

The standards for physical science describe the subject matter of science using three widely accepted divisions of the domain of science. Science subject matter focuses on the science facts, concepts, principles, theories, and models that are important for all students to know, understand, and use.

Planning And Organizing

Technology that supports the planning and organizing stage of the writing process has been shown to improve the quality of writing for students with learning disabilities. Examples include genre-specific supports, procedural supports, and visual-graphic mapping.

Practice And Reinforcement Activities

Learning supports that provide practice and reinforcement activities develop skills and strengthen comprehension and automaticity of fundamental concepts in ways that engages and challenges users.

Print Or Save Results

This feature allows users to print or save their work. Use this feature to track progress of students who cannot use pencil or pen to complete assignments.

Programmable Or Large Print Keyboard

Programmable keyboards allow a user to assign certain commands (or macros) to specific keys or key combinations. Users can also rearrange key layouts (i.e. Dvorak) to create an alternative keyboard. Some programmable keyboards use changeable overlays to allow users to completely alter keyboard function. Use these devices with students who have difficulty using a standard keyboard or users who frequently use the same commands (i.e. to read text on screen, speak pre-recorded greetings, etc.). Large print or large key keyboards assist users with vision or motor control impairments.

Provides Sentence Clues

This feature will supply a sentence clue to help a user identify which correction or word would be most appropriate.


Literacy, including alphabetic, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension components.

Reading Rate Control

Reading rate control allows the user to customize the speed at which the text is spoken. Use this feature to adjust the reading pace to match an individual student. When working on a goal of increasing reading speed, try having the student increase the rate slightly.

Reads Graphics Descriptions

This feature reads the descriptive tags that accompany graphics and images. Use this feature to help students with low vision or blindness navigate programs independently.

Reads Instruction

This feature reads activity instructions, as well as text within an activity or passage. Use this feature to help students with low vision or blindness to complete assignments independently.

Reads Menus And Toolbars

This feature reads navigational components, such as the menus, toolbars, and dialog boxes. Use this feature to help students with low vision or blindness to navigate through or interact with the computer program.

Reads Suggested Words And Prompts

This feature reads suggested words and prompts aloud. Use this with students who have difficulty with reading or spelling.

Reads Suggested/Selected Words

This feature uses voice output to read the suggested words aloud instead of requiring that the user visually recognize the correct word. Use this feature for students with severe reading and spelling problems.

Recorded Human Narration

Recorded human narration is a recording of a live person which provides a more natural inflection than a synthesized voice. Use texts with these narrations to promote fluency through repeated readings and choral readings.

Scanning Cursor Control

Scanning is a manner in which items on the screen are sequentially highlighted and users can make selections as they become illuminated by using a switch. Use this feature with students who have limited mobility or control.

Scanning Input

Scanning input allows users to select an item (communication symbols, items from a menu, etc.) from a group of items on the computer screen, generally using a switch. The program highlights each item on the screen in order; users press a switch when their desired item is highlighted. Use this feature with students who cannot use a keyboard or mouse to access a computer.


The sciences, including llife, earth, planetary, and physical.

Science & Technology

The science and technology standards establish connections between the natural and designed worlds and provide students with opportunities to develop decision-making abilities. They are not standards for technology education; rather, these standards emphasize abilities associated with the process of design and fundamental understandings about the enterprise of science and its various linkages with technology.

Science As Inquiry

In the vision presented by the Standards, inquiry is a step beyond "science as a process," in which students learn skills, such as observation, inference, and experimentation. The new vision includes the "processes of science" and requires that students combine processes and scientific knowledge as they use scientific reasoning and critical thinking to develop their understanding of science.

Search And Find

Digital text offers the capability to look for certain words or terms within the program. Use this feature to find particular quotes or passages more quickly.


Ninth through twelfth grade.

Sip And Puff

A sip and puff device is a head mounted accessory that allows the user to control the cursor using his or her breath. A mouth tube connects to a switch box that uses breathing input to make selections on the screen. Use this feature with students who have extremely limited mobility.

Sound Off/On

Sound can be turned on or off. Use the sound on feature to access audio materials or to alert students to shift activities or stay on task. Use the sound off feature to eliminate distractions.

Sound Output For Visual Tasks

This feature provides users with an audible output when completing visual tasks. This may take the form of a simple sound when a user has selected an item or redundant auditory output in addition to a visual display (descriptions of images, etc.). Use this feature with students who have visual impairments.

Specific Learning Disability

A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.

Speech Or Language Impairment

A communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment.

Spell Check

Spell check highlights spelling errors within a written passage.

Spelling Auto-correction

Spelling auto-correction corrects misspelled words automatically.

Student Control

Student control allows the student to adjust program components according to his or her skill level and comfort level.

Supports Reading Math Equations

Applications that support reading math equations include those that can read or produce MathML content in web pages or other digital materials, rendering even a complex math formula in proper spoken mathematical terms.


Switches are devices that are used in collaboration with scanning software to select highlighted items. Switches are connected to the computer mouse, but can be operated by a finger, toe, or other body part that can be moved voluntarily. Use this feature with students who have limited mobility or control.


Synthesized speech is the electronic voice of the computer, which sounds more mechanical than a human voice but can be used with a wide range of texts. Use texts with this feature to help students with decoding and pronunciation of individual words.

Tactile Graphics

Tactile graphics are created using specialized printers resulting in raised and embossed versions of standard 2-D images. These graphics may also be accompanied by Braille descriptions (i.e. maps for geography classes). Use this feature with students who are blind.

Teacher Control

Teacher control allows the teacher to program components of an activity to meet individual students' needs.

Text Notes Or Tags

Text notes or tags give users the ability to take notes on the screen as they read. Use this feature to encourage students to interact with text as active readers and promote better reading comprehension.

Text To Speech

Text to speech tools convert written language into spoken language. Use these tools with students who have visual impairments or who struggle with decoding or vocabulary. They can provide the scaffolding for students to read independently at a higher and more challenging level.

Text-Embedded Prompts

Text-embedded prompts alert users to possible improvements in their writing products.

Touch Screens

Touch screens are display overlays which can display and receive information on the same screen. Use this feature with students who have difficulty with hand-eye coordination or visual tracking problems, and who find use of a mouse troublesome.


Technology that supports the transcribing step helps struggling students with the cognitive juggling act of turning ideas into sentences, selecting words, monitoring ideas, and producing text. Examples include word processing, word prediction and word cuing, and speech recognition.


Transition services aim to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment, continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation. They are based on the individual needs of the child and includes instruction, related services, and other activities.

Traumatic Brain Injury

An acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both.

Unifying Concepts & Processes

Conceptual and procedural schemes unify science disciplines and provide students with powerful ideas to help them understand the natural world.

Universal Design For Learning

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework for designing curricula that enable all individuals to gain knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for learning. UDL provides rich supports for learning and reduces barriers to the curriculum while maintaining high achievement standards for all.

User Data Stored For Progress Monitoring

This feature records and saves user activity and responses so that they can be reviewed and assessed later. Use this feature to track and monitor student progress.

Visual Impairment

Includes blindness, means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance.

Visualizations And Models

Learning supports that provide means to create and engage with visualizations and models allow users to manipulate objects, generate multiple representations, and change viewing perspective to develop understanding of complex processes.


Vocabulary is the understanding of word meanings. This can be defined as the number of words a person recognizes (breadth) as well as the level at which the person understands and uses them (depth). Vocabulary-based programs focus on expanding both the breadth and depth of students' vocabularies, as well as teaching prefixes, suffixes, and roots, which help students uncover word meanings independently.

Voice Recognition

Voice recognition (or speech recognition) converts the user?s speech to text. These computer programs allow users to access a computer (typing documents, using the internet, etc.) with voice alone. Use this feature with students who cannot use a mouse or keyboard and have control of their voice.


Games, simulations, applications, and learning tools that are primarily available online.

Windows (MS 98 And Newer)

Windows OS version 98 or newer (check vendor website for compatibility with Vista).


A wireless device can connects to a computer or network without the use of a cord or wire. Subfeature of connection to computer.

Word Cueing

Word cueing makes a prediction about a typed word based on the first letter or letters, drawing words from dictionaries used by the specific program. Use word cueing to help students with spelling difficulties increase their spelling accuracy.

Word Prediction

Word prediction programs reduce the number of keystrokes necessary to type a word by offering a list of frequently used words using the initial letters typed. Suggestions may be based on word frequency, word recency, syntactic rules, or word associations.


Writing, including planning and organizing, transcribing, editing and revising.