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Students with Complex Needs

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ESC 5 provides professional development, technical assistance, and resources that support programs serving students with significant cognitive disabilities, medically fragile and/or Deafblindness.  Programming for these disabilities focuses on curriculum design and implementation of instructional strategies.


Teacher Resources


    • STAAR Alternate 2: Before During and After the Assessment
    • Coaching and Team Meeting Basics for Inclusive Education
    • Fundamentals of Inclusive education
    • Presuming Competence
    • Transitioning a Student from Self-Contained to a General Education Classroom
    • Supports for Participation
    • Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
    • Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) for Students with Complex Access Needs
    • Creating and Sustaining Peer Networks
    • A Step Toward IEP Quality and Rigor
    • Building a Foundation for Supporting Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
    • Evidence Based Practices for the Education of Students with Down Syndrome
    • The 3 C’s of Behavior Management: Connection, Communication and Choices
    • Beyond Time and Money: Teaching Mathematics
    • Building an Authentic Academic Response
    • Teaching Literacy to Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

    Keeping abreast of the literature in the field of educating students with complex access needs is a professional responsibility for administrators, teachers, and related service providers. Parents may also find it useful to be aware of the latest recommendations from the professional literature in order to be effective partners in the development and implementation of their children’s educational programs. 

    This annotated bibliography summarizes classical and recent publications related to effective and promising educational practices for students with complex access needs. Its purpose is to provide a brief summary of the findings and recommendations of the authors and to inspire educators and parents to learn more by reading the whole article and other sources cited within it. Each summary is taken directly from the article’s abstract or quoted directly from the article.


    This collection of assessments and instructional resources is intended as a guide for teachers and administrators of students with significant disabilities. To find the right resource for your student, use the filter options in the Filter Assessment and Instructional Resources section.

  • Professional Learning Lab for Universal Structured Envoironments and Supports