Online Resources for Special Education Teachers

Josh Duke

This is part three of our series about helping students with disabilities during the coronavirus outbreak. In part one, we looked at challenges and offered some solutions as education temporarily shifts online. In part two, we provided advice to parents who are now also serving as teachers. In this third part, we list important online resources for special education teachers. These resources are recommended by Dr. Jenny Root and her doctoral student, Addy McConomy.

There are a number of great resources that Dr. Jenny Root, associate professor of special education, and doctoral student Addy McConomy recommend. Some of these resources were referenced in the previous two parts, but we wanted to organize them altogether and categorize them to make them easier to find.

Recommended Websites for Distance Learning






Khan Academy




Recommended Video Playlists for Instruction

Dr. Sarah Powell’s Video series—designed specifically for instruction in the area of mathematics, these videos were created by Dr. Sarah Powell, who teaches at the University of Texas at Austin.

Mrs. Thai—A special education teacher based in Montana, Mrs. Thai incorporates research-based curriculum in her videos for her elementary students with extensive support needs.

Tools for Educating Students about Coronavirus

National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) COVID-19 Education—created using input from school nurses and school psychologists, this guide gives parents and teachers advice on how to talk to their students about the coronavirus.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Coloring Book—a downloadable coloring book that children can enjoy while learning a little bit more about the coronavirus. This was designed specifically for young children.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Activity Book—an activity book designed for older children. This provides more information and should be given to children if you feel believe the information will help them.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Guide—the CDC has created useful messaging that might equip parents and educators with the proper language to talk about COVID-19. Many other guides derived their messaging based on the guidelines put out by the CDC.

Support for Special Education Teachers

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) free basic membership—the largest professional organization for special educators is currently offering a free basic membership for those who sign up before May 31, 2020. Joining allows educators to have access to updated resources and community groups.—this website was created as a response to the coronavirus and gathers additional resources, including lessons and activities appropriate for online learning.—created by educators who specialize in special education, instructional design and more, this website includes information for both teachers and parents.

Autism Focused Intervention Resources and Modules (AFIRM) Resources—this resource is targeted specifically for children with autism and provides support strategies to help those individuals navigate uncertainty caused by the coronavirus.

Drs. Jessica Hunt and Jamie Pearson’s Guide—Root also recommends this guide, created by a friend and peer who works at North Carolina State University.

Useful Programs and Applications

Remind—this app allows teachers to text parents individually and as a group while keeping numbers private. Through this app, teachers can also send videos, documents and more. This is particularly useful for families that may not have access to computers right now.

Google Forms—simple and easy to use, Google Forms allows teachers to create questionnaires and surveys using a number of different input methods. It also allows teachers to quickly change questions.