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Resources That Would Help College Students With Disabilities

5 Nov, 2022

  • 8 min read
  • College can be hard for some students with learning disabilities. Find information about learning disabilities and the different kinds of them.

    Neurodivergent people often don't find out they have learning disabilities until they have been in a certain situation. For example, dyslexia wasn't noticed until people were forced to read by society. Students who struggle with reading may struggle in school.

    The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) said in 2021 that 19.4% of college students in 2015-2016 said they had a disability. These students have trouble with many things, like understanding verbal and nonverbal information, understanding subject-specific ideas, and planning and staying organized. 

    This guide to resources shows the different kinds of learning disabilities and tells students with disabilities where to find help.

    Degree to disable student

    What are the most common learning problems?


    When it comes to reading, dyslexic students have trouble. Even though not all dyslexic students have the same problems, most of them have trouble recognising and separating the sounds of letters and remembering words they have already learned. 

    Other common problems are remembering phone numbers, addresses, and anything else that involves memorization by rote, as well as spelling and writing in cursive.


    Students with dyscalculia have trouble understanding math-related ideas. Dyscalculia, also known as "number dyslexia," can indicate that a student has difficulty counting backwards and forwards.People who have trouble with math often have trouble with simple math problems, putting numbers in order, connecting numbers to amounts, and reading analogue clocks.


    Students with dysgraphia have trouble putting their thoughts on paper. Many people have trouble holding a pen, which makes it hard to stay in lines. 


    And many dysgraphias have trouble with grammar and sentence structure and find it hard to put their thoughts in order when they write. When it comes to writing and speaking, dysgraphic students often have very different experiences.

    Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) 

    ADHD is neither a deficit nor a disorder, despite what its name says. Also, not everyone with ADHD is hyperactive. Learners with ADHD have a lot of attention, which can be hard to control at times. They can also have trouble with executive functioning, sensory environments, and social situations.

    Nonverbal learning disabilities (NVLD)

    Nonverbal communication is hard for students with NVLD, which can make it hard for them to connect with their teachers and parents. Students with NVLD often have trouble with motor skills and following directions with more than one step.

    How Students with Learning Disabilities Make the Jump to College

    Students with learning disabilities may face a lot of problems in college. Many of these problems could be lessened or even eliminated if students, professors, and staff were able to get help or make good accommodations. Some students may find it hard to make friends. Others have to deal with being overly sensitive to their senses or not knowing where they are in space.

    Students with ADHD may also have trouble with executive functioning, which includes the ability to manage time and make plans. Students who have trouble making decisions may miss deadlines or classes. Students who are dyslexic, dysgraphia, or dyscalculic usually have trouble in certain subjects.

    What accommodations and assistive technology are there for college students who have trouble learning?

    Software and technology that helps people

    Colleges and universities offer a wide range of adaptive technology for students who have trouble in traditional learning environments. This includes word-prediction apps to help dyslexic students understand text; augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) software that speaks for nonverbal students; time-blocking software to help ADHD students stay on task; and stress management tools.

    Taking fewer classes in each

    Some schools give disabled students, like those who have trouble processing information or don't have much energy, less work to do. This means that these students can stay full-time even though they are only taking a few classes. Students who are interested should check with their school's office for students with disabilities.

    Extra time for tests and assignments

    Extra time on tests is a common way to help people with disabilities. Students with disabilities that make it hard for them to finish tests on time can ask for more time. 

    Student in library

    Some schools need proof, while others need students to have slower-than-average cognitive processing speeds, like being slower at understanding what they read on standardized tests.


    Students who have trouble learning in traditional settings can ask for notetakers to help them get the information they wouldn't have if they didn't have help. Schools have different rules about how to take notes. Some classes may have people who are in charge of taking notes, and in other cases, the teacher may share notes from the class.

    Resources on Campus

    Students who have trouble learning might be able to get help on campus. Offices of disability services in schools work with teachers and other departments to find ways to help. Students with disabilities can also join student groups to meet other people with disabilities like theirs. Also, they can find resident directors who know how to help students with disabilities.

    Hybrid Schedule/Altered Attendance Policy

    Many students who have trouble learning in online and hybrid learning environments find help. For example, remote learning gives students more freedom and can help them avoid environments that are too busy or distracting. 

    Learning from home makes it easier for students with disabilities who are bullied or face other kinds of discrimination to go to college. Students who need certain software or lighting and sound conditions may also do well with remote learning.

    Help for the community

    Colleges and universities sometimes work with groups in the community that help students with disabilities. Students with disabilities should look into resources outside of campus as well as those on campus.

    Get assignment help services from our team of experts in Australia, Canada and the UK.

    Mobile apps for students who have trouble learning

    Stay Focused

    Stay Focused is an extension for Google Chrome that lets students block websites that waste their time. This software uses technology to track the amount of time spent on a task in order to break it up into smaller, more manageable parts. This can help students stay off of social media and other sites that waste their time, making them more productive.

    Web Captioner

    Web Captioner has real-time captioning, so students who have trouble understanding speech can still follow along with lectures and events. The captions show up in seconds, and the software can be changed so that students can change their language, font, color, background, and where the text is placed.


    Ginger is a free writing assistant that uses artificial intelligence to make corrections in real-time that make sense in the context of what you are writing. Ginger can be used as both an add-on for Google Chrome and as a desktop app. The software can help students think of new ideas and write faster.

    Dyslexia Toolbox

    The Dyslexia Toolbox is an add-on for Google Chrome that helps students who have trouble reading. The software changes the fonts on websites to OpenDyslexic, which is made for students who have trouble reading. It also hides parts of pages so that people can focus on certain parts of the text.

    Help for students who have trouble learning

    The goal of the National Center for Learning Disabilities is to "improve the lives of the 1 in 5 children and adults in the United States who have trouble learning and paying attention." The nonprofit helps with research on learning disabilities and new ways of doing things by giving grants and taking the lead.

    LD OnLine has up-to-date information and resources about learning disabilities, such as monthly columns written by experts, first-person essays by people with learning disabilities, and a complete guide to resources.

    By sharing resources and scientific research, the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity tries to help people with dyslexia become confident, successful students and adults. The organization also spreads awareness of dyslexia by sharing the creative and intellectual strengths of dyslexic people.

    Helping people with disabilities by giving them personalized one-on-one coaching The nonprofit focuses on engaging clients' individual interests and talents.

    The Genius Within provides assessments and workshops for neurodivergent college students to ensure they understand their abilities in relation to their education and career plans. The organization can help students to maximize their potential.

    Attitude has the most recent research about ADHD and other learning problems. The website has information about a wide range of learning disabilities and gives parents and teachers tools to help.

    Students with learning disabilities can use the Neurodiversity Resource Library to learn more about their brains. The information is about jobs, so students who are getting ready to join the workforce may find this site especially helpful.

    Disable student in university

    Planning Across the Spectrum helps people with disabilities make plans for their money. The website has information about related topics like planning for healthcare and neurodiversity.

    There are many other resources that are of great relevance for those at a disadvantage. We need to understand that individuals with disadvantages are no less human than us. It is only that the style of learning is quite different from what the common understanding. Beyond this differentiated style, they are very similar to all. By using these resources and tools one can effectively surpass the limitations that they have.

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