Learning and Development

10 Research-Based Tips for Enhancing Literacy Instruction for Students With Intellectual Disability

A set of 10 research-based tips for special education teachers, general education teachers, and other members of IEP teams to consider when planning literacy instruction for students with ID in order to maximize student outcomes.

Barton Lab

The Barton Lab at Vanderbilt University is focused on supporting the  social development of all young children.  The Barton Lab conceptualizes and implements experimental intervention research to support healthy social development of children and to promote meaningful interactions across the people and contexts in children’s lives.

Books from Birth

The mission of Governor's Books from Birth Foundation (GBBF) is to promote early childhood literacy in Tennessee's birth to age five population. In partnership with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, GBBF gives all preschoolers in Tennessee the opportunity to receive books in the mail at no cost to families. Our vision is a Tennessee where all preschool children have books in their homes, develop a love of reading and learning, and begin school prepared to succeed, from kindergarten throughout their educational journeys.

Diploma Options in Special Education

In the state of Tennessee, there are four different options for diplomas when you graduate from high school for students receiving special education services. These options are the regular diploma, the Alternate Academic Diploma (AAD), the Occupational Diploma, and the Special Education Diploma. If your child has an Individual Education Program (IEP), it is important to know the differences between these diplomas and what each may mean for your child's future. You'll also need to consider early on how taking alternate assessments in place of TCAP state testing will affect your child's diploma options when they get to high school.

Down Syndrome Education Online

Down Syndrome Education Online offers comprehensive information about Down syndrome, including articles, books, research and training.

Down Syndrome Fact Sheet

Facts and information about Down syndrome

Down Syndrome Learning Styles

Once you understand the common learning types of individuals with Down syndrome, you can more easily help meet the needs of your child with DS and help them achieve their potential. We will discuss the more common strengths & weaknesses of those with DS, their learning styles or profiles and strategies for success. Presented by Alecia Talbott, Executive Director of DSAMT, parent of a child with DS

Early Intervention

Tennessee's Early Intervention System is a voluntary educational program for families with children birth through age two with disabilities or developmental delays.

IDEAL Program

Two-year, non-residential certificate program at Lipscomb University that is designed to encourage and support students with ID/DD to experience college as their peers do. Students between the ages of 18-26 who have completed high school and have a documented intellectual or developmental disability (ID/DD) are encouraged to apply.

Motivation and learning styles in young children with Down syndrome

There are both psychological and biological reasons to expect that certain areas of learning will present young children with Down syndrome with significant problems. Knowledge of the neurological underpinnings of these specific difficulties can often allow compensatory teaching strategies to be put in place, however, and some of these have proved highly effective.

NDSS Inclusion Brochure

Information on educating students with Down syndrome with their non-disabled peers.

Next Steps at Vanderbilt University

Comprehensive  transition program designated by the U.S. Department of Education, based out of Vanderbilt’s Peabody College.

Paula Kluth Special Education Blog

Promotes inclusive schooling and exploring positive ways of supporting students with disabilities.

People with Down syndrome never stop learning

A new study on development of functional skills based on age as published in The Harvard Gazette found “Contrary to some public beliefs, people with Down syndrome never stop learning, and functional skills can still be attained and improved well into adulthood.”—Brian Skotko

Ruby's Rainbow

The goal and mission at Ruby’s Rainbow is to grant scholarships to adults with Down syndrome who are seeking post-secondary education, enrichment or vocational classes, helping them achieve their dreams of higher education while spreading awareness of their capabilities and general awesomeness.

Stuttering and Down syndrome

This information is designed to help people who have Down’s syndrome, or who care for and work with people who have Down’s syndrome to understand the problem of dysfluency in speech.

Techniques to Encourage Speech/Language Development

Handout for parents with Techniques to Encourage Speech/Language Development from Denise Bryant, Slp, presentation as part of the workshop titled Young Children with Down Syndrome: Little Steps to a Big Future

Tennessee Technology Access Program (TTAP)

The Tennessee Technology Access Program (TTAP) is a statewide program designed to increase access to, and acquisition of, assistive technology devices and services. Through its four core programs: Funding Assistance, Device Demonstration, Device Loan and Device Reutilization, TTAP and a network of five assistive technology centers help people with disabilities and their families find and get the tools that they need to live independent, productive lives where and how they choose. Each of TTAP’s core programs is uniquely designed to both maximize limited resources and improve the understanding of, and to gain better access to, assistive technology devices and services.

Think College

A national organization dedicated to developing, expanding, and improving inclusive higher education options for people with intellectual disability.

Thriving in Trade School with a Disability

Some students find vocational programs to be a viable post-secondary option as they lead to meaningful, independent work in a skilled trade. The following guide highlights the benefits of vocational education, potential careers, and laws that protect both students and employees with disabilities.

Transition Tennessee

Tennessee’s online home for training and resources on preparing students with disabilities for life after high school. Consider this the “blueprint” to building a comprehensive transition program for your students. Learn about the best practices and practical strategies for special educators, families, and other transition team members as you fill your toolbox with key tools for success.