The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Rehabilitative Services Administration defines learning disabilities as:
A disorder in one or more of the central nervous system processes involved in perceiving, understanding, and/or using concepts through verbal (spoken or written) language or non-verbal means.
This disorder manifests itself with a deficit in one or more of the following areas: attention, reasoning, processing, memory, communication, reading, writing, spelling, calculation, coordination, social competence, and emotional maturity.
Putting Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read. A teacher's guide provided for using the findings of the National Reading Panel, with a focus on phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension.
Rethinking Learning Disabilities PDF (531 KB). A comprehensive overview of 20 years of research on learning disabilities by the National Institutes for Health, and recommendations about a new approaches.
The Partnership for Reading's Research-Based Principles for Adult Basic Education Reading Instruction represents the best information available about how adults learn to read.
Fast Facts: Strategies for Working with Adult Students with Learning Differences from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Adult Basic & Literacy Education, the site provides concise fact sheets on a variety of topics related to learning differences in adults. Updated and added to regularly.
How Many Adults Really Have Learning Disabilities? examines the incidence of adults with learning disabilities, including why it is difficult to determine the scope of the problem.
Vision for an Ideal System: Improving Services to Adults with Learning Disabilities. PDF (335 KB) presents a paradigm, developed by a focus group, for providing services to adult education program participants who have learning disabilities.
Bridges to Practice Manual is designed to help state programs implement reforms addressing the needs of adults with learning disabilities. Forty-six states have used this manual to train instructors. See Florida's Bridges to Practice effort.
Arkansas Adult Learning Resource Center identifies, evaluates and disseminates materials on adult education and literacy and offers specific training in teaching adults with learning disabilities.
Illinois' Center on Resources for Teaching and Learning provides information and resources on teaching and learning, including a number of training programs to help educators reach adult learners with disabilities.
Washington State Learning Disabilities Quality Initiative: The Washington Learning Disabilities Quality Initiative focuses on how to implement a success pathway for students suspected of having Learning Disabilities.
Vermont's Stern Center provides direct literacy services to children and adults with learning disabilities (including physical disabilities that impair learning), trains teachers, and conducts research.
International Dyslexia Association (formerly The Orton Dyslexia Society) is an international membership organization which serves as a clearinghouse of information for professionals, dyslexics, and parents of dyslexics.
LD Online. An interactive guide to learning disabilities for parents, teachers and other professionals.
Learning Disabilities Association of America. A membership organization for professionals, adults with learning disabilities, and parents of children with learning disabilities.
National Association for Adults with Special Learning Needs offers members a centralized hub of information, professional development, technical assistance, communication on issues and trends, and advocacy initiatives on behalf of adults with special learning needs.
National Institute for Literacy. An independent federal agency concerned with ensuring that adult literacy services in the U.S. are of the highest possible quality. Also see NIFL Special Collections on Learning Disabilities.
AHEAD "From Screening to Accommodation: Providing Services to Adults with Learning Disabilities." A Manual for Disability Service Providers, Association on Higher Education and Disabilities.
GED. For the requirements of "proof of disability" for the GED, see "How to request tests accommodations using the Form L-15."