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University of Connecticut Division of Student Affairs Center for Students with Disabilities

Disability Information

Learning Disabilities (LD)

A learning disability is a neurological disorder which results in a difference in the way an individuals brain is "wired". Students with learning disabilities may have difficulty with reading, writing, spelling, reasoning, recalling and/or organizing information. There are five common types of learning disabilities:

  1. Dyslexia – A language based disability where the student will have trouble understanding written words/numbers. This is many times referred to as a reading disability.
  2. Dyscalculia – A math based disability where individuals have difficulty solving arithmetic problems and grasping mathematical concepts.
  3. Dysgraphia – A writing disability where students find it difficult to form letters or write within a defined space.
  4. Auditory and Visual Processing Disorder – A sensory disability where students have difficulty understanding written or spoken language.
  5. Non-verbal Learning Disability – A disability that impacts a student’s ability to use visual-spacial, intuitive, organizational, evaluative and holistic processing functions.

Suggested Modifications and Accommodations

  • Whenever possible, start each lecture with a summary of material to be covered, or provide a written outline. If you use broad margins and triple-space, students will be able to take notes directly onto the outline: an aid to organization. At the conclusion of each lecture, review major points.
  • Provide guided notes for students to use during lecture. The guided system provides students with a clear outline or map of the lecture but leaves “blank” spaces for key concepts, facts, and definitions to be written in.
  • Avoid making assignments orally, since students with LD may miss them. Always write assignments on the chalkboard, or (even better) pass them out in written form
  • Provide prompt, explicit feedback, both written and oral.
  • Provide test-sites that have reduced distractions; and when students are taking tests with extended test-time, do not ask them to move from one test-site to another.
  • Whenever possible, allow students ample processing time for student to formulate a questions or responses.
  • If the use of a calculator or word processer does not take away from the material being taught, these technologies should be available for students.
  • Incorporate components of Universal Design for Instruction into your teaching. Learn more about UDI »