Dr. Mona Tawakkul Elsayed

Associate Prof. of Mental Health and Special Education

Learning Disabilit


Learning Disabilities


By: Suzanne Gosden Kitchen and Sarah Dufalla (2006)


 


Introduction


JAN's Accommodation and Compliance Series (JAN Consultant Corner) is designed to help determine effective accommodations and comply with Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


Accommodations should be made on a case by case basis, considering each student’s individual limitations and accommodation needs. This is determined by the Disabled Students Programs & Service (DSPS) office.


Information about Learning Disabilities


What are learning disabilities?


According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (2006), learning disabilities are disorders that affect the ability to understand or use spoken or written language, do mathematical calculations, coordinate movements, or direct attention. Although learning disabilities occur in very young children, the disorders are usually not recognized until the child reaches school age. Learning disabilities are a lifelong condition; they are not outgrown or cured, though many people develop coping techniques through special education, tutoring, medication, therapy, personal development, or adaptation of learning skills. Approximately 15 million children, adolescents, and adults have learning disabilities in the United States (National Center for Learning, 2006b).


What types of learning disabilities are there?


Learning disabilities can be divided into three broad categories: developmental speech and language disorders, academic skills disorders, and other (such as coordination disorders). Each category includes more specific disorders, which are described below.


Specific Learning Disability: A disorder in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations. Included in this category are expressive writing disorders and other expressive language disorders.


Dyslexia


A person with dyslexia has average to above average intelligence, but has deficits in visual, auditory, or motor process, which interfere with reading and reading comprehension. The individual may also have difficulties with learning to translate printed words into spoken words with ease.


Dyscalculia


A person with dyscalculia has average to above average intelligence, but has difficulty with numbers or remembering facts over a long period of time. Some persons have spatial problems and difficulty aligning numbers into proper columns. Some persons may reverse numbers, and have difficulty in mathematical operations.


Dyspraxia


A person with dyspraxia has problems with messages from the brain being properly transmitted to the body. Though the muscles are not paralyzed or weak, they have problems working well together. Dyspraxia might also cause speech problems, poor posture, poor sense of directions, and/or difficulty with actions such as throwing and catching.


Auditory Perceptual Deficit


A person with auditory perceptual deficit has difficulty receiving accurate information from the sense of hearing (there is no problem with the individual's hearing, just in how the brain interprets what is heard) and might have problems understanding and remembering oral instructions, differentiating between similar sounds, or hearing one sound over a background noise.


Visual Perceptual Deficit


The individual has difficulties receiving and/or processing accurate information from their sense of sight; might have a problem picking out an object from a background of other objects or seeing things in correct order.


What causes learning disabilities?


Experts have not been able to pinpoint specific medical causes for learning disabilities. Learning disabilities are not caused by economic disadvantage, environmental factors or cultural differences. In fact, according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities (2006a), there is frequently no apparent cause for learning disabilities. However, much research points to heredity, problems during the mother's pregnancy, or incidents after birth such as head injuries, nutritional deprivation, and exposure to toxic substances.


Only qualified professionals who have been trained to identify learning disabilities can perform a formal evaluation to diagnose learning disabilities. Such professionals may be clinical or educational psychologists, school psychologists, neuro-psychologists, or learning disabilities specialists. Adults who suspect they have learning disabilities should seek out professional who have training or direct experience working with and evaluating adults with learning disabilities (National Center for Learning, 2006b). To find qualified professionals and other learning disabilities resources in any state, visit the NCLD's Resource Locator.


Learning Disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act


Is a learning disability a disability under the ADA?


The ADA does not contain a list of medical conditions that constitute disabilities. Instead, the ADA has a general definition of disability that each person must meet (EEOC, 1992). Therefore, some people with learning disabilities will have a disability under the ADA and some will not.


A person has a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such impairment (EEOC, 1992). To be a disability covered by the ADA, the impairment must substantially limit one or more major life activities. These are activities that an average person can perform with little or no difficulty. Examples are: walking, seeing, speaking, hearing, breathing, learning, performing manual tasks, caring for oneself, and working. These are examples only. Other activities such as sitting, standing, lifting, or reading are also major life activities (EEOC, 1992).


Most courts have agreed with the activities listed by the EEOC. For example, in Brown v. Cox Medical Centers, 286 F.3d 1040 (8th Cir. 2002), the court noted that the "ability to perform cognitive functions" is a major life activity. In Gagliardo v. Connaught Laboratories, Inc., 311 F.3d 565 (3d Cir. 2002), the court held that "concentrating and remembering (more generally, cognitive function)" are major life activities (Fram, 2004).


For more information about how to determine whether a person has a disability under the ADA, visit the DSPS office.


Accommodating Students with Learning Disabilities


(Note: People with learning disabilities may develop some of the limitations discussed below, but seldom develop all of them. Also, the degree of limitation will vary among individuals. Be aware that not all people with learning disabilities will need accommodations and many others may only need a few accommodations. The following is only a sample of the possibilities available.


Accommodation Ideas


Reading


People with learning disabilities may have limitations that make it difficult to read text. Because it can be difficult to visually discern letters and numbers, these characters may appear jumbled or reversed. Entire words or strings of letters may be unrecognizable.


Reading from a paper copy:



  • Convert text to audio

  • Provide larger print

  • Double space the text on print material

  • Use color overlays (Irlen lenses) to help make the text easier to read

  • Provide materials that are type-written, in a font that is not italicized; if handwritten material must be provided, use print, not cursive

  • Have someone read the document aloud to the individual

  • Scan the documents into a computer and use Optical Character Recognition (OCR), which will read the information aloud

  • Use a reading pen, which is a portable device that scans a word and provides auditory feedback


Reading from a computer screen:



  • Use voice output software, also called screen reading software, which highlights and reads aloud the information from the computer screen

  • Use form-generating software that computerizes order forms, claim forms, applications, equations, and formula fields

  • Use manual or electric line guide to help individuals "keep their place" on the computer monitor

  • Alter color scheme on computer screen to suit the individual's visual preferences

  • Adjust the font on computer screen to suit the individual's visual preferences


Spelling


People with learning disabilities might have difficulty spelling, which can manifest itself in letter reversals, letter transposition, omission of letters or words, or illegible handwriting.



  • Allow use of reference materials such as dictionary or thesaurus

  • Provide electronic and talking dictionaries

  • Use word prediction software that displays a list of words that typically follow the word that was entered in a document

  • Use word completion software that displays sample words after someone starts typing part of a word

  • Allow buddy, coworker, or supervisor to proofread written material


Writing


People with learning disabilities might have difficulty with the cognitive or the physical process of writing.


Cognitive process of writing: People with learning disabilities might have difficulty organizing a written project, identifying themes or ideas, structuring sentences or paragraphs, or identifying and/or correcting grammar errors.



  • Use Inspiration software, a computerized graphic organizer

  • Use Texthelp Read & Write Gold, a software program assisting with spelling, reading, and grammar.

  • Provide electronic/talking dictionaries and spellcheckers

  • Create written forms to prompt the writer for information needed

  • Allow the individual to create a verbal response instead of a written response

  • Permit use of reference books such as a thesaurus or dictionary


Physical process of writing: People with learning disabilities may have difficulty with the physical process of writing. It may be difficult to fill in blanks, bubble in dots, line up numbers or words in a column, on a line, or within a margin. Handwriting may be illegible.



  • Provide writing aids

  • Use line guides and column guides

  • Supply bold line paper

  • Permit type-written response instead of hand-written response

  • Allow use of personal computers, including Alpha Smart, Palm, tablet PC, and Blackberry

  • Use Inspiration software, a computerized graphic organizer

  • Use speech recognition software that recognizes the user's voice and changes it to text on the computer screen


Mathematics


A person with a learning disability could have difficulty recognizing or identifying numbers, remembering sequencing of numbers, understanding the mathematical sign or function (whether symbol or word) or performing mathematical calculations accurately and efficiently.



  • Use scratch paper to work out math problems

  • Permit use of fractional, decimal, statistical, or scientific calculators

  • Provide talking calculator

  • Use calculators or adding machines with large display screens

  • Use construction calculator, such as Jobber 6

  • Provide talking tape measure

  • Use talking scales

  • Use pre-measurement guides or jigs

  • Post mathematical tables at desk  


Organizational Skills


A person with a learning disability may have difficulty getting organized or staying organized.



  • Reduce clutter in work area

  • Purchase an organizer

  • Use color-code system to label or identify materials

  • Use calendars (paper, electronic, or both) to remind of deadlines, meetings, upcoming tasks

  • Build organization skills by attending time management workshops, like those offered by Franklin Covey

  • Build organization skills through self-education at sites like mindtools.com


Memory


A person with a learning disability could have memory deficits that affect the ability to recall something that is seen or heard. This may result in an inability to recall facts, names, passwords, and telephone numbers, even if such information is used regularly.



  • Provide checklists to help remember tasks

  • Use flowchart to describe steps to a complicated task (such as, logging into a computer, etc)

  • Safely and securely maintain paper lists of crucial information such as passwords

  • Prompt individual with verbal or written cues

  • Allow student to use voice activated recorder to record verbal instructions


Time Management


A person with a learning disability may have difficulty managing time. This can affect the person's ability to organize or prioritize tasks, adhere to deadlines, maintain productivity standards, or work efficiently.



  • Make to-do lists and check items off as they are completed

  • Use calendars to mark important meetings or deadlines

  • Divide large assignments into smaller tasks and goals


Social Skills


People with learning disabilities may have difficulty exhibiting appropriate social skills on the job. This may be the result of underdeveloped social skills, lack of experience/exposure in the workforce, shyness, intimidation, behavior disorders, or low self-esteem. This can affect the person's ability to adhere to conduct standards, work effectively with peers, or interact with professors


Behavior:



  • To reduce incidents of inappropriate behavior, thoroughly review student code of conduct policy with student

  • Provide concrete examples to explain inappropriate behavior

  • Provide concrete examples to explain consequences in a disciplinary action

  • To reinforce appropriate behavior, recognize and reward appropriate behavior


Professors should:



  • Provide detailed guidance and feedback

  • Offer positive reinforcement

  • Provide clear expectations and the consequences of not meeting expectations

  • Give assignments verbally, in writing, or both, depending on what would be most beneficial to the student


RESOURCES:      Facing Learning Disabilities in the Adult Years      Faking It: A Look into the Mind of a Creative LearnerLearning Disabilities, Literacy, and Adult Education


 


 


 


 


 


There are numerous products that can be used to accommodate people with limitations. JAN's Searchable Online Accommodation Resource (SOAR) at http://www.jan.wvu.edu/soar is designed to let users explore various accommodation options. Many product vendor lists are accessible through this system; however, upon request JAN provides these lists and many more that are not available on the Web site.


 


 


 


References


 


Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (1992). A technical assistance manual on the employment provisions (title I) of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Retrieved October 28, 2005, from http://www.jan.wvu.edu/links/ADAtam1.html


Fram, David. (2004). Resolving ADA workplace questions: How courts and agencies are dealing with employment issues. National Employment Law Institute Publication, 17th edition.


National Center for Learning Disabilities (2006a). Fact sheet: LD at a glance. Retrieved February 27, 2006, from http://www.ncld.org/index.php?option=content&amptask=view&ampid=448


National Center for Learning Disabilities (2006b). Fact sheet: Living with LD. Retrieved February 27, 2006, from http://www.ncld.org/content/view/360/342/


National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. NINDS learning disabilities information page. Retrieved February 27, 2006, from http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/learningdisabilities/learningdisabilities.htm


Kitchen, S (2006, 02 01). Accommodation and Compliance Series: Employees with Learning Disability, Job Accommodation Network


 


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(التميز في العمل الوظيفي)

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المهارات الناعمة ومخرجات التعلم


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المهارات الناعمة

المهارات الناعمة مفهوم يربط بين التكوين والتعليم وبين حاجات سوق العمل، تعتبر مجالاً واسعاً وحديثا يتسم بالشمولية ويرتبط بالجوانب النفسية والاجتماعية عند الطالب الذي يمثل مخرجات تعلم أي مؤسسة تعليمية، لذلك؛ فإن هذه المهارات تضاف له باستمرار – وفق متغيرات سوق العمل وحاجة المجتمع – وهي مهارات جديدة مثل مهارات إدارة الأزمات ومهارة حل المشاكل وغيرها. كما أنها تمثلالقدرات التي يمتلكها الفرد وتساهم في تطوير ونجاح المؤسسة التي ينتمي إليها. وترتبط هذه المهارات بالتعامل الفعّال وتكوين العلاقات مع الآخرينومن أهم المهارات الناعمة:

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مخرجات التعلم

تصنيف بلوم لقياس مخرجات التعلم

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التعلم القائم على النواتج (المخرجات)

التعلم القائم على المخرجات يركز على تعلم الطالب خلال استخدام عبارات نواتج التعلم التي تصف ما هو متوقع من المتعلم معرفته، وفهمه، والقدرة على أدائه بعد الانتهاء من موقف تعليمي، وتقديم أنشطة التعلم التي تساعد الطالب على اكتساب تلك النواتج، وتقويم مدى اكتساب الطالب لتلك النواتج من خلال استخدام محكات تقويم محدودة.

ما هي مخرجات التعلم؟

عبارات تبرز ما سيعرفه الطالب أو يكون قادراً على أدائه نتيجة للتعليم أو التعلم أو كليهما معاً في نهاية فترة زمنية محددة (مقرر – برنامج – مهمة معينة – ورشة عمل – تدريب ميداني) وأحياناً تسمى أهداف التعلم)

خصائص مخرجات التعلم

أن تكون واضحة ومحددة بدقة. يمكن ملاحظتها وقياسها. تركز على سلوك المتعلم وليس على نشاط التعلم. متكاملة وقابلة للتطوير والتحويل. تمثيل مدى واسعا من المعارف والمهارات المعرفية والمهارات العامة.

 

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