Did you know?

Some students with learning disabilities prefer distance learning courses. Information is easily repeated and online discussion boards allow students to assist one another.

Accommodations for Students with Learning Disabilities

Online Learning Accommodations

  • Utilize the Universal Design in Learning Principle when designing your course
  • Provide a detailed syllabus with a disability statement
  • When appropriate (see Signs of LD) refer students to the Learning Assistance Program (DSPS)
  • Create a short captioned video to orient students to the class
  • Break course materials into clearly defined modules, i.e. Week 1, Week 2, etc.
  • Create a weekly course plan so students know exactly what they should be doing
  • Create a weekly short video or audio orientation to each week of course
  • Present the learning materials in alternative ways, i.e. videos, visuals, text, ext.
  • Provide multiple ways for students to interact with you and the material, i.e. phone, discussion board, games, email, field trips, etc.
  • Avoid synchronous chat since many students with LD need more time to process
  • Allow students to show that they know the material in a variety of ways i.e. not just objective exams
  • Upon recommendation of Disabled Student Services, provide extended test time or don't mark off if student goes over time

Classroom Accommodations

  • Note takers
  • Audio taped or videotaped class sessions
  • Extended exam time and a quiet testing location
  • Visual, aural, and tactile demonstrations incorporated into instruction
  • Concise course and lecture outlines
  • Textbooks on CD
  • Alternative evaluation methods (i.e. portfolio, oral or video presentations)
  • Providing projects or detailed instructions on audiotapes or print copies
  • Reinforcing directions verbally
  • Breaking large amounts of information or instructions into smaller segments

Computer Accommodations

  • Computers equipped with screen reading software (i.e. Kurzweil), which highlights and reads text on a computer screen
  • Word processing software that includes electronic spelling and grammar checking, software with highlighting capabilities, and word prediction software
  • Speech recognition software - Allows users to enter text by voice at up to 150 words per minute. Great for poor spellers and verbal learners (Dragon)
  • Thought Organizing Software - Allows users to create visual diagrams, use pre-designed templates to write papers and brainstorm (Inspiration)

For math and science classes, examples of specific accommodations that are useful for students with learning disabilities include:

  • The use of scratch paper to work out math problems during exams
  • Talking calculators
  • Fractional, decimal, and statistical scientific calculators
  • Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) software for math
  • Computer Assisted Design (CAD) software for engineering
  • Large display screens for calculators and adding machines
  • integration of information
  • attention
  • visual/spatial perception
  • organizational skills
  • social judgment

Useful Resources:

LDOnline offers resources for faulty that support their understanding of Learning Disabilities.

The Faculty Lounge is a disability resource site for faculty and administrators at postsecondary institutions.

Last Modified 6/7/11