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Design to Learn (Develops tools and teaching strategies for children and adults with severe disabilities.)


We are a small staff of researchers and special educators who work for the Oregon Institute on Disability and Development, a program of the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon.

  • We specialize in developing effective assessment and teaching strategies for children and adults with low-incidence disabilities.
  • We have special expertise in addressing the educational needs of children who are deaf-blind and children with autism spectrum disorders.
  • Our approaches and materials are very practical in nature and are supported by 25 years of research in real life settings.
  • We have conducted extensive research and demonstration projects on the development of communication and cognitive skills in individuals with severe disabilities.
  • Our research results and teaching strategies are widely published and presented to national and international audiences.
  • Most of our work is funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Education and is conducted in collaboration with public school programs.

Some products are available in Spanish.


Autism Spectrum Disorder Communication/Language Curriculum/Instructional Methods Deaf-Blind Early Childhood Elementary High School Instructional Strategies Intellectual Disability Middle School Multiple Disabilities Parent/Family Preschool Professional Resources