Identifying Students With Gravitying Disabilities

How do I identify students with learning disabilities?

It is generally a good policy to inform students with learning disabilities that you are willing to offer assistance, for example, in your introductory comments to your new classes you may say something like this:

“If there are any students in my class with physical or sensory or learning disabilities, you are welcome to drop by my office sometime this week. We can discuss any questions or concerns you may have”.

This encourages students who know they have learning disabilities to identify themselves and to discuss their accommodation needs.

Students with learning disabilities who have not been identified prior to entering university may be identified by an instructor. More than one-third of the students participating in Accessibility Services have been identified and referred by an instructor in whose class the student is enrolled.

The first step in learning how to identify students with learning disabilities is to become familiar with the characteristics of learning disabilities. One characteristic of learning disability is failure to achieve and/or an inability to apply the basic skills of reading, writing, and/or mathematics. However, some persons with achievement difficulties may not be learning disabled. For example, a student who has not had an opportunity to receive an adequate education at the elementary and/or secondary level may be an underachiever.

Indicators to identify students with learning disabilities: