Curriculum for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Hello group members,

I know we have group members that work in a variety of different types of adult education programs serving students with disabilities.  With this message, I want to focus on serving students with developmental/intellectual challenges.  For those that are in self-contained, specialized programs, I am interested in what type of curriculum you use.

Do you have a prepared curriculum that you are required to use, and if so, is it available online for us to view?

What major topic headings does the curriculum include?

In my adults with disabilities program, we developed our own curriculum specifically for our use.  It included present levels of performance, objectives, expected outcomes, lists of materials, and suggestions for instruction.   We also included speech therapy and music therapy because we were already providing that service for eligible students.  It was a monumental job.  We presented sessions on it at conferences and helped other Florida districts develop their own.

Although I have never used it, I am familiar with the commercially available product, the Specific Natural Activity Program (SNAP) Curriculum.  This curriculum includes a series of over 200 topics that deal with typical issues faced by adults with developmental disabilities. The basic skills material was written for teachers, agency staff, parents, counselors, and others working with this population.

You can read more about the SNAP curriculum at 

Who has used this curriculum or is familiar with it?

Thanks, in advance, to those that share with us and post their response.

Rochelle Kenyon, SME





Thanks for posting the link to the SNAP curriculum.  I've often heard teachers and service providers who work with adults with disabilities express a need for curricular resources dealing with issues of sexual and reproductive health for their students. Many organizations do not know where to find this information presented at a level that is accessible for these individuals,  while at the same time not treating them as children or teenagers.

Two excellent resources that I've often referred teachers and parents to are below for those who may be looking for these kinds of materials.

Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs

Sexuality Education for Youth or Adults with Cognitive or Developmental Disabilities
  Planned Parenthood of Northern New England   Developmental Disabilities and Sexuality Curriculum 

There is one other resource that I found which addresses the needs of adults with intellectual disabilities in the community.  The Portland Police Bureau (OR) has a freely downloaded Personal Safety and Police Awareness Curriculum for Adults with Developmental Disabilities.  This is a great resource for sharing with both educators and local police departments, in the interest of advocating for the rights and safety of individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Bureau, Portland Police. "Safety zone cops talk." A personal safety and police awareness curriculum for adults with developmental disabilities. Portland, OR, Portland Police Bureau (1999).