College Students with Learning Disabilities

A Learning Disability (LD) Is:
A Learning Disability Is NOT:
Common Characteristics of College Students With Learning Disabilities

Students may have one or more of these characteristics.
No student will have all of these problems.


Reading Skills
Written Language Skills
Oral Language Skills
Mathematical Skills
Organizational and Study Skills
Social Skills

Some LD adults may have social skills problems due to their inconsistent perceptual abilities. For the same reason that a person with visual perceptual problems may have trouble discriminating between the letters “b” and “d” he/she may be unable to detect the difference between a joking wink and a disgusted glance. People with auditory perceptual problems might not notice the difference between sincere and sarcastic comments, or be able to recognize other subtle changes in tone of voice. These difficulties in interpreting non verbal messages may result in lowered self-esteem for some LD adults, and may cause them to have trouble meeting people, working cooperatively with others, and making friends.

NOT every college student with learning disabilities will have the same difficulties nor experience them to the same degree. Each student possesses average to above-average intelligence and will be challenged to maximize their learning potential through compensations for their specific difficulty.

Suggestions for  Helping All Students to Succeed
Adults with documented learning disabilities have the same legal entitlements as adults with physical disabilities. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of handicap against persons in programs or activities receiving or benefiting from federal assistance. Thus, in a post-secondary educational setting. Section 504 mandates “reasonable accommodation” for LD students via such methods as taped textbooks and alternative testing arrangements, in the same way that it mandates curb cuts and ramped entrances to classroom buildings for physically disabled students. The Americans with Disabilities Act, signed into law in 1990, strengthens these mandates.

Suggestions For College Students With Learning Disabilities
At UW-Milwaukee, the Student Accessibility Center and the Learning Disabilities Program assist students with learning disabilities by coordinating these services: