This site provides a quick guide to some of the more common acronyms in disability education, law, medicine, and rehabilitation. Medical and psychological tests and medications are not covered. Terms are listed alphabetically, and additional resource links are provided for each acronym.
The major learning goal of this site is to learn the meanings of many disability-related acronyms. Participants can look up acronyms frequently used in medical and/or disability-related fields. For the majority of acronyms defined, links are included to provide the learner with additional information in that particular subject area.
Target Student Population:
Anyone wanting to become more familiar with the "alphabet soup" of disability-related terms will enjoy this site. Students who want or need to understand and use acronyms often bandied about in Special Education or related areas will find this site helpful. Instructors will appreciate this site for the additional links provided for students to begin more in-depth investigation into particular areas of interest.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
No prior knowledge of Special Education is required. Also, no technology skills other than basic Web site navigational abilities are required.
Type of Material:
This site seems most appropriate for families and clients new to the field of disability. However, teachers in training may find this site useful, particularly those pursuing credentials in general education. Instructors can encourage Special and General Education teachers, administrators, or anyone who works with a child with a disability (including parents) to access this site to clarify the vast array of acronyms often used in these fields. Additionally, this site can be given as the starting point for students doing research on identified fields related to special education.
None; however, numerous links are provided for further investigation. Links are identified in blue and are easy to access. The requirements for each link vary with the most common being additional plug-ins such as Adobe Acrobat.
Evaluation and Observation
Given that understanding the acronyms often used in Special Education and disability-related fields is core knowledge for many teachers who work with students who have disabilities, this is an excellent reference site. It is easy to use for the beginning learner and provides extensive links for more advanced learners. Numerous terms are presented in a clear, easy to read format. Subsequent definitions are clear.
The site has not been updated since 3/2000. Many terms/acronyms are listed with no link connecting to a definition.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
As a teaching tool, the material on this site would be useful for those new to any disability-related profession. The site is created to provide beginning level information on frequently used acronyms. An instructor could use the site creatively by providing students with a set of acronyms to look up, identify, and then research to present back to peers. The additional sites linked to most acronyms are what add dimension to this site.
The site is limited in scope with a major focus on medical issues. Some areas are weak and do not have additional links. For example, there is very little in the area of behavior or emotional disabilities.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
This site is very easy to navigate. The main page is laid out in a simple, colorful, easily readable format. Links within site all work logically and are marked in blue. Sites associated with official organizations are additionally marked with a red star. Extra information is available in the forms of Dictionary, Statistics, and State Resources links.
There is no search function available. Multiple links provide extensive information but can cause a user to become lost as they maneuver around the site if they are not familiar with this type of activity.
Other Issues and Comments:
The site needs to be updated, with more links added as acronyms continue to grow in number.