Instructional Tips That Aid LD Students

Faculty play a critical role in helping students who may have learning disabilities by referring them to the Office of Accommodations and Accessibility. Once
identified, faculty can develop "academic adjustments"
that will permit students with learning disabilities
to fully access lecture and course materials.

  • Encourage students to make an appointment during office hours to self-disclose. Ask students who identify themselves how you, as a faculty member, can assist in facilitating course material.
  • Provide students with a detailed course syllabus. If possible, make it available before registration week.
  • Clearly spell out expectations before the course begins (e.g., grading, material to be covered, and due dates).
  • Start each lecture with an outline of material to be covered that period. At the conclusion of the class, briefly summarize key points.
  • Speak directly to students, and use gestures and natural expressions to convey further meaning.
  • Present new or technical vocabulary on the blackboard or use a student handout. Terms should be used in context to convey greater meaning.
  • Give assignments both orally and in written form to avoid confusion.
  • Announce reading assignments well in advance for students who are using taped materials.
  • If possible, select a textbook with an accompanying study guide for optional student use.
  • Provide adequate opportunities for questions and answers, including review sessions.
  • Allow students to tape record lectures to facilitate their note taking.
  • Provide, in advance, study questions for exams that illustrate the format, as well as the content of the test. Explain what constitutes a good answer and why.
  • If necessary, allow students with learning disabilities to demonstrate mastery of course material using alternative methods (e.g., extended time limits for testing, oral exams in a separate room).
  • Permit use of simple calculators, scratch paper, pocket spellers, and dictionaries during exams (no programmable calculators!).
  • Encourage students to use campus support services (e.g., pre-registration, assistance in ordering taped textbooks, alternative testing arrangements, specialized study aids, peer support groups, diagnostic consultation, study skills, developmental skill courses, and academic tutorial assistance).