Learning Disabilities

Request and encourage student input on how to best accommodate the student's learning needs.

In activities that require writing, consider computer accommodations. Use built-in word processor features such as the spelling checker and grammar checker. For more information, consult the video presentation and publication Working Together: Computers and People with Learning Disabilities.

Talking calculators may be appropriate for some students. For information on talking calculators, consult Independent Living Aids.

Consider reformatting documents to minimize clutter and/or providing materials in large-print format. Ask the student if this would be helpful.

Allow extra time for assignments and exams. Provide alternative testing arrangements.

Minimize distractions as much as possible. Keep the classroom door closed, and seat the student with attention deficits away from windows and other distractions.

Provide clear and specific instructions. Break down larger tasks into smaller chunks, and provide directions for only one or two activities at a time.

Consider the needs of students with disabilities during lab orientation and lab safety meetings.

Assign group activities in which all students take responsibility and contribute according to their abilities.

Use multiple formats—oral, written, visual, tactile, electronic—for instruction and demonstrations.

For general information about accommodations for students with disabilities in science classes, consult Working Together: Science Teachers and Students with Disabilities and The Winning Equation: Access + Attitude = Success in Math and Science.

For additional information, consult the AccessSTEM Knowledge Base.

Use computers and assistive software for organizing, concept mapping, and scheduling. Consult the video presentation and publication Working Together: Computers and People with Learning Disabilities and the AccessSTEM Knowledge Base.