Learning Disabilities Facts

TMCC Student in Class


Learning disabilities interfere with integrating, acquiring, and/or demonstrating verbal/nonverbal skills and abilities. Students with learning disabilities tend to learn differently; they generally have an average to above average level of intelligence; there frequently is a discrepancy between their ability and their achievement in specific areas, due to a central nervous system dysfunction. It is not unusual for a student with a learning disability to be gifted in some areas.

Learning disabilities may manifest inconsistently, affecting only one specific academic area such as math or foreign language. Most frequently displayed symptoms include difficulty following directions, poor memory, poor reading/writing ability, short attention span, poor coordination, frustration and disorganization.

Students may have difficulty in one or more of the following areas:

  • Auditory processing
  • Processing speed
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Reading comprehension
  • Abstract reasoning
  • Visual processing/visual spatial processing
  • Oral/written expression
  • Mathematical skills


Possible accommodations assigned by the TMCC DRC (TMCC Faculty will receive a service letter from the DRC delineating the appropriate accommodations for a particular student):

  • Note taker or tape recorder
  • Extended time for tests
  • Quiet environment for taking tests
  • Spell checker
  • Fact sheet/memory card/work bank
  • Laptop in class for note taking
  • Preferential seating
  • Assistive technology (text to voice)
  • Reduced course load
  • Alternate testing format
  • Advanced notice of major assignments
  • Other specialized accommodations as warranted

Faculty Suggestions

  • If tests need to be converted into an alternative format, e.g., electronic format, please submit tests to the DRC office one week prior to the scheduled exam date.
  • Provide lecture materials in multiple modalities, including visual, oral and written to promote accessibility to course content.
  • Provide advanced copies of handouts, notes, or PowerPoint slides in class or electronically.

For more information about learning disabilities, visit the "From Where I Sit" video series.