Ira Socol has been a major contributor to this blog in comments and I am so thankful for them (when do you find the time Ira?) I want to link to an important post he wrote in April that, the more I think about it, the more excited, determined and convinced I am of the implementation of its ideas.
The link is to his post "Planning for Access". In it he gives some food for thought on providing access to software and the main tools students need for success without designating who is learning disabled, who is orthopedically disabled, who gets acccess and who doesn't. Access for all students is a concept that has been presented more and more at our state-level meetings, and is something that I have been working on, but it has been slow.
After my weekend drive, I met with our Instructional Technology Director and we discussed what it would take to get all of our districts (12) in 7 counties to have a standard list of software that would be on every computer in the region. I have been asked to get a list to our IT department and we will see if we can find a way to do this. Of course the purchase software will have to be school by school, but the open-source and free stuff can be on all the computers. Ira's article has a list of great links to software tools.
This idea has a similar challenge to that of implementing a device for a student. Making sure that all computers have the tools that are needed is a start, but unless teachers and students are trained on how to use them and what they can do to help, then these tools will just sit on the computer and they won't do anyone any good.
I would challenge you to read the post and see how you are planning for access in your school.
All the best to you!