thoughts in the writing process.
Punctuation can be a mystery.
Errors are frequent in math
Because there is no single learning
disability, no single action on the
part of an instructor will provide
a “one size fits all” approach. The
accommodation form from the
disabilities office often asks the
instructor to provide extended
time on tests, quizzes, or in-class
writing assignments. A student
may need preferential seating or
may need to tape record lectures.
However, an instructor can make
additional adjustments which will
ultimately benefit all students in a
Southern Methodist University
and the University of California
at Berkeley, among others,
have excellent sites which offer
suggestions for aiding students
with learning disabilities and
developing universal design in
a college classroom. The ideas
listed below are merely a sample
of the suggestions offered. When
it is time to prepare a syllabus,
design a classroom activity, or
prepare supplemental materials,
these ideas can help an instructor
prepare a more inclusive
In the Classroom
Minimize in-class distractions.
Vary the presentation. Incorporate audio,
video, demonstrations, and guest speakers.
Encourage students to speak with the
instructor for help on assignments.
Be sensitive to students who may be unable
to read aloud or respond immediately when
Provide frequent feedback on class progress.
Allow students to record lectures so
they can listen later in a distraction-free
Provide detailed explanations of
assignments. These can be in the syllabus, on
handouts, or posted on Oncourse.
Be redundant. Assignments,
announcements, and suggestions which are
covered in class can also be posted online or
sent as class emails.
Provide advance notice and background
information for in-class activities such as labs
or group assignments.
Avoid cramming too many questions on a
page. Double-spacing is better than single-
Group similar types of questions together:
true/false, multiple-choice, essay.
Use capital letters to identify choices on
Allow the student to circle answers on the
test rather than filling in circles on a Scantron.
Allow students to use graph paper or lined
paper (turned sideways) to avoid spatial
confusion when doing math calculations.
Respond to emails in a timely fashion.
Post PowerPoint lectures.
Post the syllabus, course packets, handouts,
and videos on the Oncourse site.
Include links to the textbook’s companion
website and other helpful resources.