RE: Strategies for Disabled People


	Thanks for the references. Much of what I read confirms what I've done in
practice over the years using "Learning Styles" theories as guidelines to
develop the broad range of instructional approaches necessary to maximize
learning for each student in class. Early learning style theories suggested
presenting information only in the "strongest" modality, but putting that
into practice brought about the need to provide a class with presentations
in a variety of modality. What CAST identifies as "Universal Design for
Learning" is what has been happening in Learning Styles classrooms and
schools for over a decade. I would enjoy discussing this in depth with you
off the list. 

CAST does an excellent job of translating the modality variation needed
into "high tech" vs the paper-based ways of the past. Unfortunately,
learning style theorists, including my favorite, Rita Dunn, hasn't updated
her classroom suggestions to high tech, and are still based on reams of
index cards. CAST seems to be filling this void. 

Again, I welcome any suggestions or additions to the list of Strategies. 




At 10:14 PM 7/29/1999 -0400, Chuck Hitchcock wrote:
>I would suggest caution when proposing theoretical models and strategies that
>have yet to be validated by research, especially within the field of Learning
>Disabilities.  As you may know, there are many unusual and
>approaches based on questionable neuroscience.
>It is not that I disagree with what you are suggesting, it's just that you or
>I can find 20 approaches for dealing with each combination of learning
>"differences" and under selected  situations, any one may be the best
>In general, providing multiple representations of information is a good
>practice, as you suggest.  I am not so sure that I would relate
>tactile-kinesthetic with interactivity on a web page unless one is using a
>force feedback mouse.  Providing for engagement and multiple means of control
>is always a good idea.  Attention span and content organization are important
>for everyone, especially for those with learning disabilities, as you point
>Thinking of learning as primarily visual or auditory has been put on the back
>burner in most scientific circles.  The same applies to hemispheric
>preferences.  Current thinking about these topics arise primarily from an
>evaluation of brain activity or glucose burning during various learning
>CAST is collaboratively writing a book with a bent towards current research,
>new information provided by neuroscience, and implications for learning.  We
>have been using the term "Universal Design for Learning (UDL)" for a few
>now.  Check out the CAST website at for additional background
>information and proposed UDL Principles.  There are a few pages of
>background too.
>You may also want to look at the recent literacy development related research
>findings presented at the National LD Research Summit sponsored by the
>National Center on Learning Disabilities, the US Department of Education, and
>the National Institute of Health in Washington.  The NIH is devoting
>to medical, scientific and educational research to move the field forward so
>that our work is grounded in research findings.  You can review a summary of
>the findings at  I was impressed
>with the speakers and the findings.
>A few topic headings from web page follows:
>Keys to Successful
>Learning: A National Summit on Research in Learning Disabilities
>Executive Summaries include:
>The NICHD Research Program in Reading Development, Reading Disorders and
>Reading Instruction
>A Summary of Research Findings;
>National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, National
Institutes of
>Improving Instruction for Students With Learning Disabilities: The Results of
>Three Research Syntheses;
>Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services,
>Office of Special Education Programs, Research to Practice, U.S.
Department of
>Two Decades of Research in Learning Disabilities
>Reading  Comprehension, Expressive Writing, Problem Solving, Self-Concept;
>National Center for Learning Disabilities
>See ya,
>Chuck Hitchcock, Director
>Universal Design Lab (UDL)and
>Product Development,
>CAST, Inc.,
>39 Cross Street, Peabody, MA 01960
>Voice 978 531-8555
>TTY 978 531-3110
>Fax 978 531-0192
Anne L. Pemberton
Enabling Support Foundation

Received on Friday, 30 July 1999 08:25:55 UTC