The Rio Hondo College Disabled Student Program and Services – Learning Disabilities (LD) Program is designed to provide support services to students with learning disabilities who are enrolled in college classes.
These goals are met by the following:
- Screening, testing and providing certification of learning disabilities according to state guidelines.
- Developing individual plans and recommending appropriate academic adjustments to provide academic equity for students with learning disabilities.
- Teaching compensatory learning strategies and fostering awareness of students’ learning strengths and weaknesses.
Diagnosis and Eligibility for Services
A currently enrolled student requesting a learning disabilities evaluation is advised to fill out an Assessment Screening form (available at the DSPS Office) and return it to the DSPS Office completed.
A Learning Disabilities Specialist will subsequently review the screening form and contact the student to schedule a follow up appointment.
Assessment for possible learning disabilities may be provided dependent on results of the Screening.
Both Cognitive and Achievement testing will be administered to determine the student’s eligibility for services from the Learning Disabilities Program.
If a student has prior documentation of a learning disability, it is in their interest to schedule an intake appointment with a Learning Disability Specialist here at Rio Hondo. It should be noted that the student must meet eligibility criteria, as per Title V Regulations which govern Disabled Student Programs and Services in the California Community College system, in order to be considered for academic adjustments and services. This will be determined by the specialist at the intake screening.
If the Learning Disabilities Specialist determines that the student meets the pre-requisites for assessment, s/he will schedule a series of appointments that will cover the following areas:
Intake Screening – in which the student gives information about current issues, personal/educational history, goals, past academic difficulties, etc.
Measured Achievement – The LD student has a pattern of strengths and weaknesses. This is intended to identify areas of school or employment success, and to better distinguish the LD student from the “low achiever”.
Ability Level – to determine student’s potential for success in general at the community college level.
Processing Deficit – to evaluate skill levels in acquiring, integrating, storing, retrieving and/or expressing information.
Aptitude-Achievement discrepancy – to identify areas where the student’s achievement is significantly less than that of his peers with the same ability level.
What are Learning Disabilities?
It is important to know that many learning disabled individuals are never diagnosed. Indeed, the typical learning disabled student has Average Cognition and meets with a fair amount of academic success. However, the academic challenges and overall demands of college often accentuate this hidden disability. If you find that you are starting to fall behind, earn poor grades and/or hit a wall, be sure to stop by our office and fill out an LD Assessment screening form.
Learning disabilities are learning differences which may interfere with the ability to understand, remember, and/or use information. The effects are quite individual, but it is generally accepted that these difficulties create a gap between a person’s true capacity and his or her day-to-day performance and productivity.
These learning differences may include difficulties with:
Attention or concentration
Visual and/or auditory processing
These problems with learning are not a result of factors such as educational disadvantage, emotional/psychological disturbance, physical disabilities or limited ability.
Students with learning disabilities experience frustrations with learning that make school difficult even though they have the aptitude to succeed.
Common Characteristics of College Students with a Learning Disability
Following is only a partial list of difficulties that college students with a learning disability often experience. These problems persist even though the student has had adequate academic instruction or remediation.
Slow reading rate
Poor comprehension and retention
Difficulty identifying main ideas
Poor mastery of phonics, de-coding difficulties
Difficulty integrating new vocabulary
Difficulty with sentence structure
Frequent spelling and/or grammar errors
Inability to copy from book or blackboard
Oral Language Skills
Inability to concentrate on and/or comprehend language
Difficulty orally expressing ideas which he/she seems to understand
Written expression is better than oral
Cannot tell a story in proper sequence
Incomplete mastery of basic math facts
Reverses numbers, confuses symbols
Copies problems incorrectly one line to another
Difficulty recalling sequence of operational processes
Inability to understand or retain abstract concepts
Difficulty with word problems
Organization and Study Skills
Time management difficulties
Slow to start and complete tasks
Difficulty following oral and/or written directions
Lack of overall organization in notes and essays
Short attention span/inability to listen to lectures