Disability and Accessibility Services

Learning Disabilities

At a Glance: A Quick Look

  • Learning Disabilities (LDs) are specific neurological disorders that affect the brain’s ability to store, process or communicate information.
  • “Specific learning disability” (SLD) is the term used in the federal law for any LD.
  • LDs can affect different aspects of learning and functioning – see the Terminology chart for specific types of learning disabilities and related disorders.
  • LDs can be compensated for and even overcome through alternate ways of learning, accommodations and modifications.
  • According to the US Department of Education, as many as 1 out of every 5 people in the United States has a learning disability. Almost 3 million children (ages 3 through 21) have some form of a learning disability and receive special education in school. In fact, over half of all children who receive special education have a learning disability (Twenty-sixth Annual Report to Congress, U.S. Department of Education, 2006).
  • LDs can occur with other disorders (ADHD, Information Processing Disorders).
  • LDs are NOT the same as mental retardation, autism, deafness, blindness, behavioral disorders or laziness.
  • LDs are not the result of economic disadvantage, environmental factors or cultural differences.
  • Learning disabilities can only be determined through appropriate testing performed by a qualified evaluator. Clinical or educational psychologists, learning disability specialists, or physicians known to specialize in learning disabilities are most often used. Information about their professional credentials, including licensing and certification, and their areas of specialization must be clearly indicated on the report.
  • Berea College does not provide or pay for testing for learning disabilities, specialized LD tutors, acadmic coaching, case management such as ongoing support with organizational and life tasks.
  • The Disability Services Coordinator  will assist students to identify these resources in the community to the extent that they are available.

Additional Information

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