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Many clients using adult basic education services cope with disabilities, yet not all ABE professionals know about the resources available to improve learning results for this population. This portal network aims to address that knowledge gap.

It offers a resource guide on disabilities for ABE educators as well as state-specific information on programs, trainings and events of interest to the ABE disabilities community.

About This Project

The ABE Disabilities Portal Network grew out of a Minnesota project to provide local and regional adult basic education staff with authoritative, current information and strategies to better serve adults with learning disabilities. An online manual was created that provides access 24/7.

With a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education, the program PANDA – Minnesota ABE Disability Specialists created the manual's content and worked with Duluth, MN web development company 3five Designs to make the online guide a reality. After the manual began attracting web traffic, 3five developed a portal network that would allow each individual state to customize a website around the manual's content.

The need for best practices and state-of-the-art service is great. Some studies show that poor reading and math skills hinder the life and work of one-fourth of all adults in the U.S. Those with learning disabilities graduate high school at lower rates and attend post-secondary school at nearly half the rate as the population at large.

MN Department of Education logo

MN Department of Education

The original ABE Disabilities Manual was funded with a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education using CFDA Subprogram #84.002A and Minnesota Statute Section 124D.22. It was made possible with the assistance of Dr. Barry Shaffer, director and adult basic education supervisor for the State of Minnesota.

PANDA logo


Besides maintaining the new ABE Disability Manual, PANDA staffs Minnesota's Disability Helpline; provides training, resources and equipment loans for ABE educators to accommodate hearing and vision loss; and gives presentations and workshops on such topics as traumatic brain injury, English Language Learner challenges, mental health and learning, and more.

3five designs logo

3five Designs

3five Designs is a web development and design company from Duluth, MN that developed the ABE Online Disability Manual for PANDA. National interest in the manual led 3five to create the framework for a national online portal network of state programs that serve adult basic education students with disabilities.

Contact Us

Please fill out the form below to contact Lori Leininger at PANDA with any questions or to become part of the ABE Portal Network.




Thank you!

ABE Disabilities Partners

  • PANDA, Minnesota ABE Disability Specialists

    New Hope Learning Center
    8301 47th Ave North
    New Hope, MN 55428

    Phone (763) 504.4093
    Fax (763) 504.4096

  • Ohio University

    The Literacy Center
    336 McCracken Hall
    Athens, OH 45071

    Phone (740) 593.4419, Toll Free (800) 753.1519
    Fax (740) 593.2834

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