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Finding Free Articles on Teaching Students with Disabilities

A guide to resources to help LRC-South users find research articles and make evidence-based decisions.


What Is This?

This is a step-by-step guide finding FREE research articles and reports on best practices in teaching students with disabilities. It was made especially for users of the LRC-South located at Rowan University, but it is suited for all teachers, education professionals, and parents who teach students with disabilities, and may not have access to expensive research tools.

What If I Need Help?

Please contact Ash Lierman, the Instruction Librarian and subject librarian for Education at Rowan University's Campbell Library. Even if you aren't part of the Rowan community, I'd be happy to help you! Don't hesitate to reach out.

Before You Start

Before you start searching, it will help to consider a few important factors.

Choose Your Tool

What type of research are you looking for? Depending on what you need, you may want to choose a different resource.

If you need:

Develop Your Search

Take a moment to identify the key ideas that you need to research. Consider including all or some of the following as parts of your search:

  • Disability: What type or types of disability are you working with? For example, "visual impairments," "ADHD," dyslexia"
  • Age range: What age learner or learners are you working with? For example, "elementary," "secondary," "early childhood education"
  • Intervention: What type of strategy do you want to learn about? for example, "visual aids," "educational games," "bilingual education"
  • Date: Do you need the most current research? Are you interested in the history of practice in this area?

Using ERIC (Education Resources Information Center)

About ERIC

ERIC is a freely available resource provided by the Institute of Education Sciences. It contains scholarly and professional research articles, as well as government and independent reports on educational research. Many of its resources are publicly funded, and therefore are made available to the general public.

Access ERIC

How To Search ERIC

  1. Enter a few of the key ideas you are looking for in the main search box.
  2. Select "Full text available on ERIC," and click the Search button.
  3. If multiple-word phrases are a part of your search, use quotation marks to group them together (for example, search for: autism "educational games" "early childhood education")
  4. If you are only interested in results from peer-reviewed scholarly journals, you can also choose to select the "Peer reviewed only" option before searching. This will ensure that you find more academic articles, but may miss other relevant documents like government reports.
  5. If you like, you can use the links under Publication Date to view only resources from within a certain date range.
  6. To view an article or other source, click the "Download full text" link to the right of its description.



JSTOR is an online digital archive of scholarly articles, book chapters, and other research resources, provided by the nonprofit organization ITHAKA. Many libraries subscribe to JSTOR to access a wider range of its content, but JSTOR's interface and some of the articles it contains are also freely available.

Access JSTOR

How To Search JSTOR


  1. To find freely available resources in JSTOR, start by clicking the "Advanced Search" link in the upper left.
  2. On the Advanced Search page, enter one of the key ideas you are searching for in each search box. Click the "Add a search box" button if you need to enter more ideas than there are boxes.
  3. Under the "Select an access type" drop-down, select "Content I can access."
  4. If you like, you can also use the options under "Narrow By" to search for only certain types of sources, the "Language" drop-down to search for only sources in a certain language, and/or the "Publication Date" boxes to search for sources from within a certain time period.
  5. When you are satisfied with the options that you have entered, click the Search button.
  6. To view an article or other source, click the "Download PDF" button to the right of its description.