The needs of the learning disabled students center around information processing. It is important that these students receive and transmit information in the way that works best for them. Many of the same methods and aids used by students with other disabilities are also helpful to the learning disabled. These include tape recorders, readers, note-takers and taped texts.
Learning disabled students who concentrate on their strengths and develop learning strategies to compensate for their disability have the opportunity to be successful in regular college classes. A learning disabled student's capacity for learning is intact. It is only the means by which information is processed that is different. Remember that by providing a variety of approaches to learning you allow all students the chance to use their strong modalities.
General Teaching scroll down
1. Encourage the students to identify themselves and explain their special needs.
2. Provide written course outlines and a detailed sequenced syllabus.
3. Provide time (during office hours) for individual discussion of assignments and questions about lectures.
4. Sequence materials and activities from simple to complex.
5. Summarize frequently and help the student summarize.
6. Allow time for questions and clarification during or at the end of a lecture.
7. Suggest mnemonic devices for memorizing facts.
8. Use analogies, illustrations, films, overheads, records, tapes.
9. Have your lectures video-taped.
10. Use the chalkboard or overhead projector to highlight key concepts or words. Leave the words up long enough for students to copy them.
11. Use new words in context as well as with a definition.
12. Eliminate classroom distractions: excess noise, movement, flickering lights.
13. Make available, in advance, reading lists, outlines and diagrams.
14. Talk distinctly and at an appropriate rate.
15. Provide handouts of new words or key words at the start of each class.
16. Begin each class with a review of the previous day's lecture.
17. Allow the student to tape the lecture.
18. Provide alternatives to lecture-style instruction: role playing, panel discussions, small groups,interviewing guest speakers, viewing and discussing films.
19. Relate abstract concepts to concrete activities. Give examples to illustrate concepts.
20. "Tell them what you're going to tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you've just told them."
21. Be flexible and willing to experiment. Recognize each learning disabled student's individual learning style and abilities.
22. Try to integrate as many modalities as possible when presenting information (e.g., auditory or saying it, reading aloud; visual or writing it, drawing it; kinesthetic or modeling it, doing it, acting it out, demonstrating how it is done, role playing, walking through the process; student engagement in project).
23. Use both inductive and deductive approaches when explaining concepts.
24. Use graphic organizers, concept maps, & flow charts to supplement lectures.
25. Try to incorporate study skills into the curriculum.
Please keep in touch with the Learning Disabilities Program and call at any time to make an appointment to discuss individual student needs.
Encourage all learning disabled students to register for the DSPS classes which will help build skills in the area of deficit as well as develop strategies for compensating.
Accommodations should not mean lowering standards. The learning disabled student is intellectually capable of higher education. By providing accommodations we are allowing the learning disabled student the chance to let his or her intelligence shine.
Because they are intelligent and have lived with their perceptual problems for so long, the learning disabled students themselves are the best people to answer your questions.
Janet Shapiro, Ed.D., Coordinator of DSPS, x2365
Mary Lawson, Learning Disabilities Specialist, x2374
Gerry Lewin, Learning Disabilities Specialist, x2343