Special Needs


Reduce Barriers to Learning

Look what one student (unbeknownst to us, until now) has to say about Inspiration



IDEA Funding Options




Visual thinking and learning strategies have been shown to increase academic performance for students of all learning abilities. Inspiration® Software's visual learning software is recommended for students with ADHD, autism, Asperger's, dyslexia, aphasia, and visual or auditory processing disorders. By providing multiple mediums for representation, expression and engagement, Inspiration Software tools help students visually organize and outline ideas to structure writing and improve communication and expression. All this while learning skills that enhance and make learning fun and engaging.

With Inspiration Software's tools, students brainstorm using symbols and images to represent and sort their ideas, and create visual diagrams and graphic organizers to break work down into manageable sections. Visual learning engages students of all abilities as they work together and contribute at their individual levels.

Find the best tool for your students to succeed:

  • Enable students who find words and writing overwhelming to have fun with the task by first creating a diagram with pictures and visual triggers, all while creating an outline in the background.
  • Support individualized and differentiated instruction. Lessons can be tailored to allow students to learn and demonstrate their understanding in ways that best suit their specific learning needs.
  • Break up long assignments into manageable chunks using an outline or flow chart to help students better process complex information.
  • Use the Talking Interface text-to-speech feature to support those students with challenges focusing on printed text.
  • Address word retrieval challenges with tools to quickly find and choose words while strengthening vocabulary and spelling.
  • Access built-in symbols and pictures to help create visual supports to facilitate better understanding of concrete concepts.
  • Build sequence charts to help students understand what to expect in their daily school routine and more easily transition from task to task.
  • Record instructions for assignments allowing students to absorb each step at their own pace.
  • Create storyboards helping illustrate the sequence of events in a story.


Use Inspiration Software's programs to empower students with tools and strategies they can carry with them.
Help students develop and gather ideas, organize thoughts, analyze and interpret information, clarify understanding, and communicate clearly – all key 21st century skills that expand their ability to achieve success across all subjects and throughout their adult lives.



Inspiration Software, Inc. is committed to supporting accessibility in our products. See Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPAT) to learn about accessibility features in Inspiration®, Kidspiration® and InspireData® that address the Section 508 Standards of the Rehabilitation Act.


IDEA Funding Options 

Purchase Inspiration Software tools with IDEA, Part B funds
Institutions can purchase Inspiration, Webspiration Classroom™ and Kidspiration using IDEA part B funds. Below is an alignment of IDEA, Part B statutes to Inspiration Software tools.


Statute Alignment
Purchasing Equipment:
  • Instructional equipment
Inspiration, Webspiration Classroom and Kidspiration create visual aids to develop:
  • Academic results – graphic organizers, study guides, word webs, Venn diagrams
  • Increased participation
Response to Intervention (RTI)
  • Products & programs assisting in identifying students with specific learning disabilities (SLD)
Inspiration, Webspiration Classroom and Kidspiration support identification by:
Creating a visual medium for assessment
Assistive Technology Device
  • Equipment or product system used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability
Inspiration, Webspiration Classroom and Kidspiration provide students with disabilities: Structure, organization and a clear format to comprehend what has been read Graphic organizers to facilitate metacognition


*See research studies for more
Professional Development
  • Support and direct services including technical assistance, personnel preparation and professional training
Inspiration Software offers the following resources to educators and trainers:
Training videos
Training scripts
Training handouts
Lesson plans and examples of use
Acquisition of Technology
  • Technology with principles and devices to maximize accessibility to the general education curriculum for students with disabilities
Inspiration, Webspiration Classroom and Kidspiration support an inclusion classroom environment by allowing differentiated instruction on the same key concepts. Foster both peer and self-learning.


*See research studies for more
Visual Impairments
  • Instructional materials for students with visual impairment
Inspiration and Kidspiration support IEP requirements for visually-impaired students:
Record sound


"A traditional outline doesn't work for everyone. But if they can see it in a graphic organizer, they know whether they’ve connected something in the right place, and it makes sense."
Maryanne Porter
Academy Park High School
Sharon Hill, PA


"I incorporate visual learning strategies with my students who have ADHD, dyslexia, and autism spectrum disorders. Grouping and organizing using mind maps comes more naturally and creates a multi-sensory approach to learning. Students using Inspiration find writing and learning easier, it is the most effective and direct way for them to get the work accomplished."
Jesse Berg
The Visual Leap and Cooper Learning Center
Voorhees, NJ


"It also helps linear learners create mind maps and visual learners create order. What a great way to bring different types of learners to shared understanding!"
Deb Logan
Librarian/Media Specialist
Mount Gilead Middle/High School
Mount Gilead, OH


"Inspiration helps level the playing field for struggling learners."
Maryanne Porter
Academy Park High School
Sharon Hill, PA



Studies and articles on using Inspiration or Kidspiration to teach Special Needs students:

Grant, Kendra. Beyond Graphic Organizers: Why Inspiration is a Quintessential UDL Tool. Special Education Technology Practice, 11(1) 28 – 37. January 2009.

Anderson-Inman, Lynne. Computer-based Concept Mapping: Enhancing Literacy with Tools for Visual Thinking. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 40(4) 302-306. 1997. Excerpt from Auburn.com abstract:

“The (Anderson-Inman 1989 – 1998) studies also indicate, Inspiration, the computer software application, is an effective learning tool. It is ideal for enabling students at risk and with learning disabilities as it eliminates the clutter. It allows the students’ creation and manipulation of the concept map without becoming “bogged” down in the information… Ultimately, the software application can be used to meet the needs of the student with learning disabilities in an inclusion classroom, with the added advantage of exposure to the general education curriculum.”


Boon, Burke, Fore and Hagan-Burke. Teachers' Attitude and Perceptions Toward the Use of Inspiration Software in Inclusive World History Classes at the Secondary Level. Journal of Instructional Psychology. 2007.

Maccini, Paul and Gagnon, Joseph. Math Graphic Organizers for Students with Disabilities. The Access Center: Improving Outcomes for all Students K-8. www.K8accesscenter.org

Blankenship, Tracy; Ayres, Kevin; and Langone, John. Effects of Computer-based Cognitive Mapping on Reading Comprehension for Students with Emotional Behavior Disorders. Journal of Special Education Technology 20(2) 15-23. 2005

Amend, Gallagher & Gallagher, Henderson, Lovecky, Neihart and Schuler. Teaching Gifted Asperger Students. www.gifted.uconn.edu/confratute/pdf/2009/Strand8_Schuler.pdf


Books that reference Inspiration and Kidspiration as a tool for Special Needs instruction:

Reynolds, Cecilia and Fletcher-Janzen, Elaine. Encyclopedia of Special Education VI. Wiley, 2007. Pg. 489

Colrusson, Ron. Special Education for All Teachers. Kendal Hunt Publishing, 2009. Pg. 427

Stoddart, Kevin. Children, Youth and Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome: Integrating Multiple Perspectives. Jessica Kingsley Publishing, 2005.

Ulman, Jean. Making Technology Work for Learners with Special Needs: Practical Skills for Teachers. Allyn & Bacon, 2004. Chapter 7.


Professional Organizations and Universities that Reference Inspiration and Kidspiration as a Resource for Special Needs:

FDLRS Resource Materials and Technology Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. St Augustine, FL. http://rmtc.fsdb.k12.us/multimedia/inspiration.html FDLRS/TECH Building Access Stations in the Classroom

Project ACCESS: Accessing Curriculum Content for Special Education Students. Content Area Literacy Strategies and Potential Assistive Technology Applications. Recommend Kidspiration for anticipation guides, word webs, study guides, visualizing text structure, venn diagrams, word grids, KWL, and concept mapping. http://web.utk.edu.

Special Education Technology British Columbia – The Learning Centre. Creating Opportunities for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders Graphic Organizers (2005). http://www.setbc.org.

Yale Child Study Center. New Haven, CT. Yale Autism Resource Program 2010. Category – Useful Educational Software and Resources on Assistive Technology.


Trainers or Companies who Specialize in Special Needs, Visual Learning and


The Visual Leap:

"Visual learning strategies are at the center of my learning programs for students with ADHD, dyslexia, and autism spectrum disorders. Grouping and organizing ideas using mind maps, semantic webs and diagrams comes more naturally for these learners than other more traditional strategies, such as outlining and note taking. I teach visual learning strategies through the use of Inspiration software, because of how it facilitates multisensory learning. First, it provides symbols to tap into the learner's visual memory. Second, it provides the capacity for students to record their voices - which helps students describe ideas in their own words. This adds an auditory hook for the working memory. Third, fourth and fifth, the act of creating diagrams that represent ideas is kinesthetic, spatial and affective. Inspiration is a unique tool that allows students to create personally meaningful diagrams, webs and outlines to represent and organize information. In turn, these diagrams help students with unique learning styles and needs to remember salient facts, analyze and evaluate concepts, write better and faster, and most importantly learn more easily."


Jesse Berg, MSIT, MEd, Founder, The Visual Leap, LLC
Philadelphia, PA


Brian Friedlander, Ph.D


Envision Technology
Vince Steis