College can be hard for any student, but for students with learning disabilities, it can be even harder. That's why most colleges offer various services for students with learning disabilities. Here's an overview of some of the different services provided.
Taped textbooks. For students with a learning disability, such as dyslexia, taped textbooks can be very beneficial. They can help increase reading speed and comprehension. If you feel that taped textbooks would assist in your learning capacity, you should contact your college bookstore for a list of books that will be used in your upcoming classes or contact the departments that are offering the courses for information regarding textbooks. If your college offers the taped textbook service, you should submit a request for taped textbooks for each of your classes. If your college does not offer this service, you can order the taped books independently from your school via Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic.
Notetakers/tape recorders. If you have trouble listening to lectures while trying to take notes at the same time, you may benefit from utilizing a notetaker or a tape recorder. At many schools, a reliable student in the class is hired or can volunteer to share copies of his or her notes and to explain and discuss the notes when necessary with learning disabled students. Also, most professors will allow students to tape record their lectures.
Alternative testing. For learning disabled students who have trouble taking tests, alternative testing options may be offered. Accommodations that may be available to students include: extended time for test-taking, alternative test formats, a test setting with few distractions, a reader, and word processing with spell check. You should contact your professors or your school's disability services department ahead of test time if you would like to participate in alternative testing.
Tutoring. Many schools offer individual or group tutoring to learning disabled students in order to assist with study skills and academic success. At most schools, students have the option of being tutored by trained professionals or by peers.
Support groups. One of the best ways of coping with a learning disability is to find people with the similar disability. Many schools offer learning disabled support groups in which members can provide encouragement and support for each other. Support groups can allow you to:
Share personal successes and failures with people who understand.
Learn of other's successes and failures.
Discuss problems that learning disabled students have in common.
Be motivated by other learning disabled students.
Find out about different styles of learning.
Have a safe place to talk.
The services provided to learning disabled students will vary from college to college. To find out what services your college offers, contact the Student Services Department at your school.