ONLINE: Accessing Inquiry for Students with Disabilities through Primary Sources

Introductory Offer: Take advantage of a very special introductory price - $36 for a limited time!

Emerging America
Graduate Credits: 
Offered by: 
Professional DevelopmentHistory and Social Studies
Special Education


Social Studies and Humanities pose distinct challenges for struggling learners, including extensive discipline-specific vocabulary, difficult informational texts–including complex primary sources, and a need for background knowledge. Yet the authentic sources, important ideas and connections to issues of these subjects also offer vital tools for differentiation and potent means to motivate students.

This fully-online graduate course supports content and instruction for teachers of History/Social Studies/Humanities and for Special Education teachers. Employing primary sources and analysis tools, it is grounded in innovative practice by historians, civic educators, and based on current research and classroom practices in Special Education:

  • Gain and apply practical classroom strategies
  • Integrate History of Disability through issues of citizenship, private and government responsibility to provide services, and struggles for empowerment
  • Create/adapt lessons: Universal Design for Learning and brain-based language learning

Each week of the online course will include a mix of readings, online activities, and video clips. Participants will write responses to prompts in a class forum, and reply to classmates' posts. Over the six weeks, participants will find and create a text set of primary sources and write a lesson plan that employs techniques of access for students with disabilities. 


Teachers; Grades 3 - 12 


22.5 PDPs or 1 graduate credit in partnership with Westfield State University. This workshop meets the Massachusetts state DESE relicense requirement in strategies for effective teaching for students with disabilities and instruction of students with diverse learning styles (Special Education PDPs).

To earn PDPs or Graduate Credit, participants must complete all assignments by the last class, details of which will be provided in the class syllabus. Graduate Credit from Westfield State University costs $125. 


Future training dates will be announced here. If you have questions or are interested in offering this training on-site, please contact us.


  • Rich Cairn

    Rich Cairn has directed the Emerging America program since 2006. Emerging America includes Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program at the Collaborative for Educational Services, and the National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History Institutes: "Forge of Innovation: The Springfield Armory and the Genesis of American Industry."

  • thumbnail image of Alison Noyes

    Alison Noyes is the Assistant Director of the Emerging America program at the Collaborative for Educational Services. She has worked in the field of education for over 20 years, entering as a teacher of English Language learners and high school history, and working for many years with international students and college study abroad as a program director and assistant dean before returning to focus on engaging K-12 students.

For more information, contact:
Events Coordinator
413.586.4900 x5981


A maximum class size is set for each course and registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. If the number of registrations for a course exceeds the maximum seats available or is too low to be able to conduct a quality learning experience, CES will inform you of available options.

Course Cancellation

If you wish to cancel your registration, please submit a request in writing (via mail, email or fax) no later than 7 business days before the workshop’s start date. After that, there are no refunds or billing adjustments.

In the event that a course is cancelled by the Collaborative for Educational Services, we will notify you as soon as possible. Please be sure to provide your best email address and phone number so we can contact you. Although every effort is made to avoid last minute cancellations, if an emergency arises, we will do our best to reach you at the phone number and email address you provide. 

Inclement Weather

Any delays or cancellations are posted online at You may also call 413.588.5979 after 6:30am for information about classes that day.