Learning Disabilities: Creating a Crossroad for Students with this Hidden Disability NACADA 30Th National Conference On Academic Advising Indianapolis, Indiana October 18-21, 2006 Presented by: Karen L. Wold, M.S.Ed. Learning Disabilities Specialist, DRES, UIUC & Carrie A. Mulvaney, M.S. Ed. Academic Advisor, LAS General Curriculum, UIUC
UIUC 2005-2006 Disability Statistics – Registered Students with DRES • 947 registered students with a disability • 176/947 students with a diagnosed Learning Disability
Impact on Advising • Beliefs values, religion • Educational Values first generation college students, rural vs. urban • Social Life socioeconomic status, work ethics • Communication Styles/Barriers non-verbal cues, body language, ESL • Culture role of the family • Disabilities role of the family
Definition of Learning Disability • A learning disability is not a disease, so there is no "cure." • Often termed "hidden" or "invisible" disabilities -- are actually a diverse group of neurobiological characteristics that are developmental in nature. • Learning disabilities affect the way people store, process, or produce information. Learning disabilities is a general term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning or mathematical abilities.
Definition (con’t) • These disorders are intrinsic to the individual, presumed to be due to central nervous system dysfunction, and may occur across the life span. Problems in self-regulatory behaviors, social perception and social interaction may exist with learning disabilities but do not by themselves constitute a learning disability. • Although learning disabilities may occur concomitantly with other handicapping conditions (for example, sensory impairment, mental retardation, serious emotional disturbance) or with extrinsic influences (such as cultural differences, insufficient or inappropriate instruction), they are not the result of those conditions or influences.
Characteristics of a Verbal Learning Disability • Problems with language (reading and writing) usually excels in math • Problems with auditory processing • Needs academic strategy instruction • Socially savvy and adept – “Joe Cool” • Usually able to compensate for difficulties and developed coping skills
Characteristics of a Nonverbal Learning Disability • Visual perception and/or visual memory problems • Problem solving difficulties • Adaptation to new situations • Academic problems in math and sciences • Difficulty in social interaction • DSM IV Learning Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (LD NOS) *Adapted from Byron P. Rourke, Syndrome of Nonverbal Learning Disabilities, 1995.
DRES 1207 S. Oak St. Champaign, IL 61820 (217) 333-1970 (V/TTY) (217) 333-0248 (Fax) 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. M – F disability @ uiuc.edu • DRES (Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services) is the office on the UIUC campus that coordinates and provides services for UIUC students with disabilities.
DRES Services • Academic services include, but are not limited to: • Accommodation planning and implementation (note takers, interpreters, testing accommodations) • Text conversion • Priority registration • Substitutions and extensions
DRES Services (cont.) • DRES also provides non-academic services, including: • Transportation • Housing access (incl. Beckwith Hall) • Sports and recreation programs • Co-curricular program and service access • Transition to employment - internships
How to Access DRES Services Two types of students come to DRES for services: • Students with a previously diagnosed disability. • Students with academic/personal concerns who are self-referred or referred by UIUC faculty/staff.
Application Process • Complete Application for Services • Provide documentation of disability according to DRES’ Documentation Requirements • When this process is complete, students are registered with DRES and eligible for DRES services.
Role of the Advisor • Do not ask if the student has a disability • If the student discloses to you, consider: • Not scheduling back to back classes • Not scheduling early classes • Distance between classes • Balance between heavy reading or writing or math classes depending on disability. • You need to keep the information confidential. If the student is registered with DRES, we can talk with you with the student’s permission.
Other Advising Issues • Foreign Language Substitution • University-wide process • Deadlines to get materials to Committee: October 1 and March 1 • Students need to register with DRES, write letter requesting substitution, get letter from Foreign Language Instructor, transcripts and disability documentation from DRES
Math Substitution • Because of wide range of courses available, not exactly like foreign language substitution. • Students can select from variety of courses.
The KEY to Creating a Crossroad for Students with Learning Disabilities • Collaboration with Disability Service Offices Unit liaison, walk-in advising • Collaboration with other campus offices Counseling Center, Bridge Transition programs. SSS/Trio, Athletics, etc… • Professional Development Diversity training, advisor workshops, ILLiAAC
Fears, Concerns…Questions? Comments? • _______________________________ • _______________________________ • _______________________________ • _______________________________ • _______________________________ • _______________________________ • _______________________________ • _______________________________ • _______________________________
Web Sites of Interest DRES:http://www.disability.uiuc.edu Faculty Information Link: http://www.disability.uiuc.edu/page.php?id=3 UIUC Disability Resource Guide: http://www.disability.uiuc.edu/resourceguide Assistive Technology: http://www.disability.uiuc.edu/services/at/ Learning Disabilities: www.ldonline.org www.ldaamerica.org Disabilities and Postsecondary Education: www.ahead.org