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.
Aptitude Cluster Deficits