A learning disability:

  • is neurologically based – reflects a neurological disorder in some aspect(s) of the reception, storage and production of information
  • is characterized by a specific deficit in one or more areas of academic functioning resulting in a discrepancy between their potential and their achievement
  • occurs in individuals with average to above average intelligence
  • is a life-long condition
  • can be managed with the appropriate support and use of assistive technology

Recommended Strategies

Many students with learning disabilities have difficulty processing information in an efficient way (i.e., they take longer to process what they hear or read). This difficulty is compounded when the information to be processed is unfamiliar, very complex, confusing or disorganized.

Instructional strategies such as:

  • posting power point slides in advance of class
  • demonstrating the use of advance organizers (providing students with a structure or frame with which to organize the information in a lecture)
  • repeating and emphasizing the main ideas and concepts
  • summarizing the main points
  • allowing time for clarification of directions and/or essential information
  • an opportunity to discuss and review course material with their professors and teaching assistants
  • the provision of study guides and/or review sheets for exams
  • giving clear expectations regarding assignments
  • providing explicit feedback regarding their performance


The type of accommodation a student with a learning disability may request depends on the nature of their disability.


  • Record lectures
  • Volunteer note taker
  • Reduced course load


  • Alternative test format
  • Extended time
  • Computer with spell and grammar check
  • Assistive software – Kurzweil 3000, Dragon NaturallySpeaking
  • Quiet, distraction free environment

Exam Hotline

Instructors who wish to contact AccessAbility Services with exam information for students writing with our department, please call ext. 32292. 

If our proctors are busy with students at the time of your call and the phone goes to voice mail, leave your contact information and we will get back to you shortly.


Examination Procedures Manual for Instructors