Veterans Center

Canfield Middle School: A Promising Practice in Motivating Math Students with Technology

Deann Shillington, a special education teacher at Canfield Middle School in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho identified a need for intensive, direct instruction in basic skills to help improve her students' math performance. Ms. Shillington wanted to capitalize on the benefits that computer programs have to offer. In collaboration with DO-IT's AccessSTEM project, she acquired computers and a LCD projector.

What U.S. federal legislation protects the rights of students with disabilities?

The first comprehensive civil rights legislation enacted to protect the rights of minorities and others underrepresented in education and employment was the Civil Rights Act of 1964. People with disabilities are not specifically included under this law's umbrella of protection. Their civil rights were not specifically addressed until 1973 with the passing of the Rehabilitation Act.

What are examples of psychiatric diagnoses?

A student with a mental illness may have one or more of the following psychiatric diagnoses (American Psychiatric Association, 1994).


This is a mood disorder that can begin at any age. Major depression may be characterized by a depressed mood most of each day, a lack of pleasure in previously enjoyed activities, thoughts of suicide, insomnia, and consistent feelings of worthlessness or guilt.

What is a mental illness?

"Mental illness" refers to the collection of all diagnosable mental disorders causing severe disturbances in thinking, feeling, relating, and/or functional behaviors. It can result in a substantially diminished capacity to cope with daily life demands.

A mental illness is a hidden disability; it is rarely apparent to others. However, students with mental illness may experience symptoms that interfere with their educational goals and that create a "psychiatric disability." These symptoms may include yet are not limited to the following:

What is a "qualified" individual with a disability?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a qualified individual with a disability is "an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modification to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities provided by a public entity."