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Special Needs Section
Link to Special Needs Overview
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Link to Special Needs Resource Group
Link to Focus Group
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 Accessibility Fact
Adobe helps make electronic information more accessible to people with disabilities including but not limited to: blindness, low vision, hearing, or motor impairments. In partnership with leading technology companies, Adobe can help you.

+ Visit the Adobe Accessibility website
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Important News from SERCH
NASA's Broker program concluded in June 2007. For more information at NASA, go to or e-mail
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Special Needs Resources

Make Your Data Accessible
  Simulate Various Disabilities
At the Exceptional Needs Workshops, participants, simulating various disabilities, evaluate NASA Science Mission Directorate data and products to determine their usability in exceptional education settings. Based on their findings, the participants provide valuable feedback and suggest numerous modifications to make the data and the products more accessible.

+ View the simulation techniques ( PDF format, HTML format)
  Create an Accessible Office Document
The Microsoft 'Quick Reference Card' provides instruction and tips on how to create accessible Office documents. As part of SERCH's special needs initiative, we encourage everyone to present data in an accessible format.

+ Read the Quick Reference Card
  Create an Accessible PDF Document
Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAIM) has written an article on 'Defining Acrobat PDF Accessibility' that provides instructions and tips on how to create accessible PDF documents. In addition, Adobe has numerous resources on creating accessible content with their software. As part of SERCH's special needs initiative, we encourage everyone to present data in an accessible format.

+ Read the WebAIM article
+ Adobe Accessibility
  Create an Accessible Web Site that Meets Section 508 Requirements
Section 508 requires that individuals with disabilities, who are members of the public seeking information or services from a Federal agency, have access to and use of information and data. SERCH's web site meets Section 508 requirements. If you are interested in learning how to make your web site compliant, visit the following sites.

+ Accessible Web Page Design
+ Macromedia Accessibility
+ Adobe Accessibility
+ Web Accesibility In Mind
Best Practices
  Federal Section 508 Website
Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology.

+ View Federal 508 Website
  NASA Section 508 Website
NASA is fully committed to ensuring that its Electronic & Information Technology (EIT) complies with Section 508 requirements, and, to that end, has put in place a strong management structure for implementing the provisions of Section 508 within the Agency.

+ View NASA 508 Website
  SERCH Best Practices
SERCH, along with the NASA SMD Education and Public Outreach Support Network, has been working with educators and experts from exceptional classroom settings and organizations to identify what kinds of educational materials they need and what educational products will work best for their students. From our discussions and work with these educators and experts, it is clear that there is a need to modify and/or adapt existing educational materials and to encourage NASA product developers to include educational methods for involving the exceptional student population. This poster presents a "top 10" list of lesson learned and best practices for working with audiences with special needs. [Presented at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific EPO Conference | Tucson, AZ]

+ View SERCH Poster (pdf)
  Beware of Negative Attitudes
When approaching and working with persons with special needs, be aware that they too have feelings. While they may need your assistance, they need your respect first. The following article offers some suggestions, and tips to remember.
Compiled by Patricia Moore and Barbara Barnhardt, SC School for the Deaf & Blind.

+ Read Entire Article - Negative Attitudes
  Exceptional Words of Caution
The following article provides a chart of 'words to watch' (connotation) and the 'appropriate alternative'.
Compiled by Patricia Moore and Barbara Barnhardt, SC School for the Deaf & Blind.

+ Read Entire Article - Words of Caution
  Interacting with People with Disabilities
A disability is an inconvenience in certain situations, it is not a tragedy. Don't treat it as such.
The following article offers tips that may help those that are new to working with persons with disabilities and reduce the anxiety on both sides.

+ Read Entire Article - Interacting with People with Disabilities
  People With and Without Disabilities: Interacting and Communicating
This publication is written to suggest ways to promote effective communication between people with and without disabilities. In general, there is nothing extraordinary about such communication; however, using the suggested behaviors could bridge some of the perceived and real distinctions between co-workers. This booklet is not intended to address reasonable accommodation, unless an accommodation would promote more effective communication and interaction.

+ Read Entire Article - Interacting and Communicating
Instructional Resources
  The Inclusive Classroom Mathematics and Science Instruction for Students with Learning Disabilities
This publication is part of the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory's series, It's Just Good Teaching. This series of publications and videos offers teachers research-based instructional strategies with reallife examples from Northwest classrooms. This is the first of three new publications in the series to address the diverse needs of specific groups of students in inclusive classrooms: students with learning disabilities, gifted students, and students who are English-language learners.

+ Read Entire Publication - The Inclusive Classroom
  The Special Educator's Book of Lists
Special Educator's Book of ListsThis publication is a unique time-saving resource for the special education teacher provides 192 reproducible lists brimming with useful facts that cover essential assessment, diagnosis, remediation, legal, and procedural information.

+ View More Information at Jossey-Bass
+ Book Listing at
  Many of the documents listed here require that you have Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat Reader. Reader can be downloaded at the Adobe Reader website.
NASA First Gov Image + Freedom of Information Act
+ NASA Privacy Statement, Disclaimer,
and Accessibility Certification
  Last Updated: July 31, 2007

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