Learning Disabilities Program
- WHY DOES LASC OFFER LEARNING DISABILITY (LD) SERVICES?
- WHAT IS A LEARNING DISABILITY?
- WHAT ARE SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF STUDENTS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES?
- HOW DO I BECOME PART OF THE LD PROGRAM?
- WHAT DOES THE LD PROGRAM INCLUDE?
- WHAT ARE SOME COLLEGE SUCCESS SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDENTS?
- WHAT ARE SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR FACULTY IN WORKING WITH STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES?
Los Angeles Southwest College complies with State, Federal and College guidelines which mandate full access for students with disabilities, including learning disabilities. Institutions are required to provide disability-based accommodations for students with documented disabilities to allow them to participate in their academic program to the greatest extent possible.
A learning disability is a life-long disorder that affects the manner in which individuals take in information, organize it, retain it and express the knowledge and understanding which they possess. Students with learning disabilities have average to superior intelligence but experience a significant learning difficulty in one or more academic areas. These deficits most commonly impact reading, written expression, and/or mathematical computation.
This learning difference often places the student with an LD at a disadvantage in a classroom, so accommodations are needed to give the student a fair chance at academic success.
Common characteristics may include:
- Long-term difficulty in reading, writing, spelling and/or mathematical concepts in contrast to average or superior skills in other areas.
- Slowed reading speed - takes two or three times longer to read than those without disabilities.
- Severe difficulty spelling common words.
- Difficulty with mathematical concepts including calculation, time and space.
- Excessive difficulty in learning a foreign language.
- Difficulty expressing and organizing thoughts on paper.
- Verbal skills far exceed reading, spelling and/or writing skills.
- Difficulty taking notes and listening to a lecture at the same time.
- Slowed processing of information: needs "think time" to respond to questions, to retrieve information or to solve problems.
- Confusion of visually similar letters, numerals or words. Illegible handwriting.
- Difficulty recalling and integrating information presented orally.
- Trouble focusing and sustaining attention.
To become part of the DSP&S Learning Disabilities Program, you must have a verified learning disability or be eligible to be assessed for a learning disability through LASC.
- If you have a learning disability, you must provide the following:
- Psycho-educational report which includes:
- The professional’s name, credentials, area of specialization. This official report must be signed by the professional
- It should be relatively recent (within 3 years) and must have been given when you were at least 16 years old
- Psycho-educational report which includes:
***IEP’s alone are not sufficient. If you have an IEP stating you have a learning disability, you may be eligible to be retested through the LD Program.
- If you don’t have a verified learning disability but think you need to be tested:
- Enroll in LS40 in the DSPS office (SSB 117)
- Schedule an appointment with Celeste Phelps, LD Specialist, by calling 323-241-5480 or stop by the DSPS office.
- Download the LD Intake form HERE. Complete the form and bring it with you to your appointment with the LD Specialist.
A) Special Courses & Academic Accomodations (click the link to learn more)
B) Orientation Program
Receive guidance and direction in navigating DSPS services. The LD Specialist will offer one-on-one support in helping you secure services and managing your DSPS responsibilities.
C) Disability Management
Disability Awareness. The LD Specialist will explain in detail your LD assessment results and discuss how it may affect you academically.
Use daily planners to keep a record of dates, assignments, and appointments.
Always keep up with assignments.
Learn how to use a computer and take advantage of spell check and grammar check.
Get to know your professor. Do not hesitate to seek help immediately.
Become knowledgeable and comfortable about describing your disability so you can advocate for yourself to faculty and staff.
Sit near the front of the classroom so you can hear and see well.
Attend all classes. The lecture may be the critical factor in learning new material.
Preview new material and review the previous lecture before class. Review notes and/or tapes as soon after the lecture as possible.
If you learn best by listening and discussion, use or form a study group.
If you use taped textbooks or computer reading programs, get your book list 4-6 weeks before classes begin.
Select new classes very carefully, Consult with your DSPS counselor/specialist each semester.
Encourage students who self-disclose to make appointments during office hours. Ask what has been helpful to their learning in the past and what you can do to facilitate their learning in your class.
Provide a detailed course syllabus. Make it available on-line, if possible, four to six weeks prior to the class for students who take longer to read, or who use taped textbooks.
Announce written assignments well in advance for students who take longer to write.
Start each lecture with a preview of the material to be covered. Emphasize key points during and at the conclusion of the class.
Present new technical vocabulary on the chalkboard or use a handout. Describe fully in language that can be orally understood.
Present material in more than one mode (e.g. use overhead to highlight key concepts, give assignments both orally and in writing).
Provide on-line course materials, such as notes or study guides.
Provide opportunities for participation and for students to clarify unclear points.
Encourage students to develop a personal learning style within the discipline.
When necessary, allow students to use alternative methods to demonstrate course mastery.