Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

  • Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities face the most profound and complex learning challenges, and constitute less than one percent of the student population. The impact of a student’s significant cognitive disability affects all aspects of the student's academic, independent, home/community living, leisure, and vocational activities.

    Useful information:

    All Florida students participate in the state’s assessment and accountability system. The Florida Standards Alternate Assessment (FSAA) is designed for students whose participation in the general statewide assessment program is not appropriate, even with accommodations. The FSAA measures student academic performance on the Access Points (FS–AP) in Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Access Points are academic expectations written specifically for students with significant cognitive disabilities. They reflect the essence or core intent of the standards that apply to all students in the same grade, but at reduced levels of complexity. The FSAA program includes two assessment components. The FSAA—Performance Task (FSAA–PT) is designed to assess students at three levels of complexity and results are reported through achievement levels.

    Florida Department of Education ESE Eligibility

    Florida Standards Alternate Assessment for Teachers and Families 

    ACCESS to Florida Standards 

    Florida Department of Education Access Points

    Useful links for teachers:

    Ascend Math

    Ascend Math is personalized online math instruction that provides each student with a unique study path through skill gaps at each level. Individual study plans are prescriptive, adaptive, and automatically assigned. Ascend Math® has demonstrated results that enable students to achieve up to two or more grades level growth in one school year. This research-based program is an online individualized instructional resource which identifies skill gaps, prescribes targeted instruction and motivates students to succeed. Schools may use Ascend Math as a Core Math Curriculum or a Supplemental Math Curriculum to target the needs of special populations including Tier II and Tier III InterventionsSpecial EdGifted and Talented, Algebra Readiness, Acceleration and Credit Recovery.

    Assistive Technology

    Florida Diagnostic Learning and Resources System (FDLRS) Technology

    FDLRS provides assistance and support in the appropriate use of a variety of technologies for students, teachers, professional staff, and parents. Support services are available in the areas of assistive technology, instructional technology, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), AIM/NIMAS Florida services, and virtual/online instruction.


    Online tool for creation of unlimited, custom visual materials to support learning, communication, and behavior.


    • The most adaptive reading experience ever!
    • Personalized reading modules
    • Fluency builder
    • Expansive Library
    • Shorter texts and whole books

    NY2/Unique Learning Systems

    A living curriculum with high-interest educational content that’s always up-to-date and aligned to all state standards.

    Rewordify is powerful, free, online software that improves reading, learning, and teaching. This site can:

    • intelligently simplify difficult English, for faster comprehension.
    • effectively teach words, for building a better vocabulary.
    • help teachers save time and produce engaging lessons.
    • help improve learning outcomes.

    Teach Town

    Designed to improve the academic, behavioral, and adaptive functioning of students with disabilities. Teachers, parents, and clinicians need proven tools and strategies that can help them meet educational goals and increase every child’s intellectual and social functioning. TeachTown is committed to research and evidence-based practices with an exclusive focus on serving the needs of only a few student populations.

    Vizzle Log in link

    Vizzle is an interactive software that educators can use to enhance group lessons, target specific skills or concepts during small group instruction, or individualize lessons for each student that they may use independently.