Selecting Software for
Students with Learning Disabilities


In recent years, standardized assessment practices for identification of students with Learning Disabilities (LD) have been adopted by all California community colleges. This process has provided invaluable assistance in assuring that the unique educational needs of students with learning disabilities are identified and addressed.

In 1989 the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office funded the development of the Computer Assisted Record-keeping and Scoring (CARS) program, a software tool intended to record and integrate findings from various LD assessment instruments. While it provided an excellent mechanism for assisting in the identification of students eligible for learning disabilities services, High Tech Center Training Unit (HTCTU) staff believed that information from CARS could also be used to match appropriate computer-assisted instructional software to the learning needs of students with a specific deficit or deficits. This guide is the product of those beliefs.

In 1993, the HTCTU was privileged to facilitate the efforts of a state-wide team of Learning Disabilities and High Tech Center specialists from the California community colleges in developing this guide, Selecting Software for Students with Learning Disabilities. Its purpose is to provide instructors with the information necessary to evaluate the content and instructional effectiveness of any software program relative to the needs of a student with a learning disability.

Although specific computer-assisted instruction (CAI) software is identified, these programs should be viewed as prototypic examples rather than prescriptive recommendations. This guide is not intended to be a simple software "cookbook," but rather as the next step in the ongoing process of learning to identify and use educational software in specific, instructionally effective and creative ways. It is a part of the process of bringing technology into the classroom and education into the 21st century.

Introduction
Cognitive Deficits
Achievement Deficits
Aptitude Cluster Deficits
References