Suggestions for College Students
with Learning Disabilities
If you know you have a learning disability and have documentation, talk with your instructors before the semester begins. If you think that you may have a learning disability, but aren't sure, contact the Office of Special Services.
- Set realistic goals and priorities for coursework.
- Be prepared to request "reasonable accommodations" in your coursework so you can learn and demonstrate your knowledge of course material. This is your right under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which prohibits discrimination on the basis of a handicap.
- Become knowledgeable and comfortable about describing your disability so you can advocate for yourself with faculty.
- Keep only one calendar with all relevant dates, assignments, and appointments. Do not try to keep a schedule in your head.
- Sit toward the front of the classroom to maximize your contact and to reduce distractions.
- Use a tape recorder during lectures. Selectively tape-record key points using the "pause" switch.
- Listen to the tape or review your written notes as soon as possible after class to refresh your memory and to fill in any gaps.
- Estimate how long a given class assignment will take, generally planning on two hours outside of class for every hour in class. Build in study breaks; fatigue is a big time waster.
- If you learn better by listening to others and then discussing what you have learned, start a study group.
- Make notes of any questions you might have so that they can be answered before the next exam.
- If you are having trouble or feel overwhelmed, talk with the professor immediately. Do not hesitate to seek help. It is critical that you link-up with campus supports before you fall behind in your work.
AHEAD. (1991). College Students With Learning Disabilities [brochure] Columbus, OH; Brinkerhoff, L.