Accommodations for College Students with Learning Disabilities
Colleges and universities provide a variety of accommodations for students with learning disabilities. However, a student must request accommodations.
The typical process is one in which a student with a learning disability registers with the office that provides support services for students with disabilities. The student should do this as soon as possible. The office requests documentation of the learning disability to establish the student’s eligibility for accommodations. The intent of the accommodations is to ensure that the student with a learning disability has the same opportunity to learn as do students who do not have a learning disability.
Accommodations for students with a learning disability fall into the categories of classroom and assignment accommodations and exam accommodations.
Classroom and assignment accommodations can include the following.
- A student in a class may be designated to take class notes in duplicate. This student then drops off the notes at the office for disabilities, where it may be picked up by the student with a learning disability. Often, the student note taker does not know the identity of the student with the learning disability.
- The student with a learning disability is permitted to record class lectures electronically.
- The student with a learning disability is allowed additional time to complete in-class assignments, particularly if the assignment involves writing.
- The student with a learning disability is provided with assistance with proofreading out-of-class writing assignments such as term papers.
Exam accommodations can include the following.
- The student with a learning disability is allowed extra time to take exams. Typically this is time and one half or double time.
- The student with a learning disability is allowed to take exams in a setting that has reduced distractions.
- The student with a learning disability may receive the assistance of a reader or scribe when taking exams.
- The student with a learning disability may be permitted to use spelling and grammar assistive devices when taking exams.
- The student with a learning disability may be given the option to take an oral exam rather than a written exam.
- The student with a learning disability may be permitted to use a calculator when taking math and science exams.
Be proactive if you have a learning disability. Don’t wait until you are failing to request the reasonable accommodations to which you are entitled.