For Students > Support Programs > Disability Resource Center > FAQs > Accommodations > Learning Disabilities

Accommodations for students with Learning Disabilities:

Learning Disabilities are individual differences in how students receive, process, store, and respond to information.  A Learning Disability doesn’t mean you’re “dumb.” In fact, people with low IQ are NEVER diagnosed as Learning Disabled, because to be Learning Disabled, you must have an IQ that is average or above.

About 10% of the population has Learning Disabilities (LD). Students who are LD can succeed and even excel, if they get appropriate accommodations, and apply individualized learning strategies. If you are LD, we strongly recommend that you enroll in Learning Skills courses to analyze your learning preferences, and develop strategies that will work for you.

In addition, a DRC Counselor may recommend the use of additional accommodations to help you compensate for you Learning Disabilities. Be advised: Accommodations will help you learn better, but they don’t do the work for you. You still have to show up, do the assignments, and work hard, just like any other student. LD accommodations do not give you an advantage, they only “create a level playing field,” so that if you work hard, you can succeed, just like any other Mendocino College student.

 

Software:

Kurzweil

Kurzweil 3000 is a software program to help students with dyslexia or other reading difficulties. Student who use Kurzweil, scan their handouts, articles, or reading assignments, and the computer reads them out loud. Kurzweil allows students to change font size, text color, and background contrast, which many dyslexic students find extremely helpful! Study guides, highlighting, and a dictionary are also part of the program. This tutorial shows you what the software looks like.

If your Counselor has authorized this accommodation for you, you will be directed to an orientation or class that will teach you how to get the most out of the program. You may also be directed to courses that will help you develop basic computer competency. In some cases, the Alternate Media Specialist will produce CDS for your textbooks, to minimize time spent scanning, and maximize time spent reading.

Inspiration

Inspiration is a computer software program to help students improve their writing skills, and help them structure their writing on longer essays and research assignments. Inspiration is graphically-based, which can help LD students with certain types of processing deficits.  Here is a tutorial that shows you what the software looks like.

If your Counselor has authorized this accommodation for you, you will be directed to a class that will teach you how to use this software, and provide structured practice time, and you will use this software to complete assignments in your regular academic courses. Your Instructor and resource for Inspiration is the Instructional Assistant - Learning Disabilities.

Hardware

Tape Recorder

Many LD students will use a tape recorder as an accommodation. This accommodation helps LD students with auditory processing deficits, because they can review lecture material later, and pick up information they missed during class. Students who do not own a tape recorder may borrow one from the DRC for use on a semester-by-semester basis.

Spell Checker

Under certain circumstances, the DRC Counselor may authorize use of an electronic Spell Checker as an accommodation for certain types of Learning Disabilities. Students who do not own a Spell Checker may borrow one from the DRC for use on on a semester-by-semester basis. Ordinarily, the Spell Checker may not be used on exams, or in Foundational Skills courses, such as ENG 10.

Calculator

Under certain circumstances, the DRC Counselor may authorize use of an electronic Calculator as an accommodation for certain types of Learning Disabilities. Student who do not own an electronic Calculator may borrow one from the DRC for use on on a semester-by-semester basis. Ordinarily, the Calculator may not be used on exams, or in Foundational Skills courses, such as MTH 10.

DAISY Player

A DAISY player is a specialized CD player that plays audio books. LD students who have audio books as an accommodation may use a DAISY player to listen to their textbooks. A DAISY Player (also called a Victor Reader) is like a CD player, except that it allows navigation by chapter and page. Students borrow the DAISY Player for use on a semester-by-semester basis.

If you are using a DAISY Player as an accommodation, the Alternate Media Specialist will issue your equipment. They will also demonstrate how to use it, and can direct you to tutorials that can help you learn the features and make best use of the accommodation.

Scanner

If you are using Kurzweil as an accommodation, you will use a scanner to access the syllabus, handouts, and shorter reading assignments, as well as textbooks. The Instructional Assistant - Learning Disabilities will instruct you on how to use the scanning equipment, so you can get the most out of this accommodation. In certain circumstances, the Alternate Media Specialist can use a high-speed scanner to help students with longer assignments or to scan in an entire textbook.

Note Takers

Some LD students have a processing deficits that make it difficult to absorb lecture material.  These students must focus intently on the Instructor, so they don’t miss any of the information. It is virtually impossible to take effective notes while all attention is focused on communication.

For this reason, DRC Counselors may authorize LD students to use a Note Taker as an additional accommodation.  The DRC Counselor will explain the guidelines for creating an effective Note Taker relationship.

Extra Time

Students who have a deficit in processing speed, may be authorized to get extra time on tests. Students who get extra time will normally test in the the Learning Center. Students who use this accommodation must work closely with the Instructor and Learning Center staff, and adhere to the procedures. This especially means taking the test on the agreed time and day.  Be advised that exams are proctored, and any students caught cheating will be subject to the disciplinary procedures according to the Student Conduct Guidelines.

Extra time on tests does not give you an extra advantage, and it does not make the testing any easier. LD students get extra time because it takes them extra time to “output” what they know onto the answer sheet. If the information isn’t in your brain, it won’t go onto the answer sheet. So do not try to use the Extra Time accommodation as a substitute for studying; it won’t work!

Sometime LD students develop test anxiety. If this is your situation, we strongly recommend that you take the Test Anxiety course (CCS 123.)

Created: May 04, 2009 @ 12:43 PM
Last Modified: December 19, 2012 @ 10:40 AM

 





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