According to research conducted by the National Center for Educational Statistics, approximately 11% of students self-reported having a learning disability. While students with learning disabilities contend with difficulties that other students do not, it’s still possible to both attend college and be successful once there.
If you’re unsure if your student can successfully navigate college, then be aware of these common college accommodations for learning disabilities.
Common Learning Disabilities
- Dyslexia – Associated with reading ability
- Dyscalculia – Concerns difficulties with math concepts
- Dysgraphia – Associated with specific writing-related difficulties
- Auditory Processing Deficit – Difficulty to understand and use auditory information
- Visual Processing Deficit – Difficulty in receiving and utilizing visual information
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder – Characterized by extensive distraction or hyperactivity
College Accommodations For Learning Disabilities
Most colleges have programs and staff in place to help students in need.
The majority of colleges and universities have resources and staff in place to help students with learning disabilities receive the assistance they need to succeed.
A variety of accommodations are available for assisting students with matters such as:
- Attending classes
- Completing coursework
- Taking exams in a way that suits their needs
It’s always important to do research beforehand to figure out what prospective colleges offer, and whether or not they’ll suit your specific needs.
Common Accommodations To Research
Modified Individual Course Instruction
Tailor the coursework and presentation to your needs.
Some schools will offer modified course instruction, in which case adjustments can be made to:
- Course content
- Content presentation
- Learning environment
The goal is to present the same information but in such a manner that makes it more accessible without sacrificing necessary information.
Alternative Coursework And Test Materials
This accommodation may rework end of course work.
This method allows for either course exams or final projects to be adjusted, in order to allow students alternative means of expressing their class comprehension. Initiatives, such as the Universal Design of Instruction, exist to promote creating highly accessible courses across the spectrum of learning styles.
Adaptive Software And Technology
Technological solutions dedicated to assisting students with learning disabilities are wide-ranging and available.
Common examples include:
- Stress management tools
- Software to help easily process text
- Recording devices (for lectures)
Check with on-campus services to see if they have equipment and software readily available for class assistance.
There are ways to make in-class experience easier.
Common in-class accommodations you can request include:
- An assigned scribe or note-taker
- In-class assistant
- Easily accessible seating
- Quiet classroom space for exams
Again, one or more of these options are normally available upon request at many colleges.
Additional Time For Coursework And Assignments
Many schools will offer additional time to complete coursework.
Once a student discloses their specific disability to the proper department, they may be eligible to request additional time to complete coursework and exams. For example, if a student responds better to an oral examination, then that request can potentially be fulfilled.
Disability Resource Centers
Look for facilities in the surrounding community near campus.
Very often, disability resource organizations in a particular city will establish partnerships with schools. These partnerships help facilitate learning disabled students receiving additional help and services, without putting additional stress on the school itself.
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