OVAE: Office of Vocational and Adult Education
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Learning Disabilities in Adult Education

Research and Evaluation | Noteworthy Practices | Additional Links

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.

Research and Evaluation

Noteworthy Practices

  • 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.

Additional Links

  • 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."

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Last Modified: 08/14/2008