Learning Disabilities

By: Autumn Ingrassia, Angel Wilson, Sarahi Velazquez

Learning Disability Category Overview

  • Spoken language—listening and speaking.
  • Written language—reading, writing, and spelling.
  • Arithmetic—calculation and mathematical concepts.
  • Reasoning—organization and integration of ideas and thoughts.

General Characteristics of Learning Disabilities


  • One or more of the basic
psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language
  • May manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do
  • Mathematical calculations,
  • Including conditions such as perceptual disabilities
  • Brain injury,
  • Minimal brain dysfunction
  • Dyslexia
  • Developmental aphasia.

Other Characteristics

• Disorders of attention
• Reading difficulties
• Poor motor abilities
• Written language difficulties
• Oral language difficulties
• Social skills deficits
• Psychological process deficits
• Quantitative disorders
• Information processing problems

Addressing Accommodations

  • Include a statement in your syllabus inviting students to talk with you and the disability services office about disability-related issues.
  • Point out campus resources available to all students such as tutoring centers, study skills labs, counseling centers, and computer labs.
  • Clearly and early in a course define course requirements, announce the dates of exams, and tell students when assignments are due. Avoid last-minute readings or additional assignments and provide advance notice of changes in assignments and due dates.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

  • Large print textbooks

  • Use of mnemonics

  • Provision of notes or outlines

  • Auditory presentations with visuals

  • Verbal and visual cues regarding directions and staying on task

Modifications for Students with Disabilities

  • Allow outlining, instead of writing for an essay or major project

  • Word bank of choices for answers to test questions

  • Reworded questions in simpler language

  • Highlighting important words or phrases in reading assignments

  • Modified workload or length of assignments/tests

Effective Classroom Strategies and Interventions

Language Intervention

  • using repetition,chunking, Rephrasing directions

Comprehension intervention

  • Previewing, visualizing,daily read aloud with discussion about text meaning

Organizational Intervention

  • Folders for each subject, Organizational binders, Homework, classroom routines

Math Intervention

  • Draw visual representations of the solution, Review of basic facts, Mnemonics

Writing Interventions

  • Teach students to restate the question, to use key phrases such as the author, text says, encourage oral rehearsal

Test/Assessment Accommodations/Modifications

  • Extended exam time, typically time and one half to double time.

  • Allow to take exams in a room with reduced distractions.

  • The assistance of a reader, scribe, or word processor for exams.

  • The option of an oral exam.

  • Allow to use spelling and grammar assistive devices for essay exams.

  • Allow to use a calculator for exams.
  • Allow to use scratch paper during exams.

Assistive Technology

  • Audio players and recording devices

  • Alternative keyboards

  • Electronic math worksheets

  • Audiobooks

  • Abbreviation expanders

Educational Websites

This website offers tools such as online expert advice, information on learning disabilities, events, committees and legislation that have to do with learning disabilities, as well as access to different options that will connect you with other families and people with disabilities.

This website offers advice and ideas on how to accommodate students with learning disabilities. It also talks about different types of learning disabilities. There is also a section about related news, programs, and resources that might be helpful to families or teachers that have children/students with disabilities.

This website offers resources such as tips on connecting with a child's school, special services that are offered, homeschooling versus mainstreaming, and tips on how to manage everyday life with a child with a disability.