October is Learning Disabilities Awareness Month! This month-long celebration is dedicated to honoring the accomplishments of individuals with learning disabilities, as well as highlighting the advancements that have led to a greater understanding of learning processes and brain function.
With approximately 2.3 million students having a learning disability diagnosis in the US, the learning disability community represents a significant part of the US population and that community continues to grow along with a greater understanding of diverse learning.
AST is honored to join the thousands of people that are celebrating Learning Disabilities Awareness Month worldwide. As organizations and institutions look for ways to improve their practices, there’s no better time to start learning about how you can help individuals with learning disabilities succeed.
How Learning Disabilities Work
Learning disabilities aren’t one-size-fits-all. When someone has a learning disability, it means that their brain is wired to learn in different and unique ways. Someone with a learning disability may have frequent trouble learning new information and processing it, especially when they’re in a classroom with many students or distractions. Common types of learning disabilities include:
- Dyscalculia: A condition that causes difficulties in learning math
- Dysgraphia: A condition that causes individuals to have difficulty with writing and forming words and letters
- Dyspraxia: A disorder that causes motor skill issues that inhibit an individual’s ability to learn, such as difficulty holding a pencil and other physical activities
- Auditory processing disorder (APD): A disorder that affects an individual’s ability to process sounds correctly
- Visual Processing Disorder: A disorder that affects an individual’s ability to process visual information such as images, charts and video
Strategies To Support Students with Learning Disabilities
Studies show that students with learning disabilities report greater anxiety, stress and fear. When it comes to learning, students with learning disabilities often need specialized education services and tools to help them succeed. The need for useful technologies in education is crucial in today’s climate, especially as special education students continue to learn remotely due to health and quarantine restrictions.
Educators can try implementing these new technologies to help support students with learning disabilities, in person and online:
- Artificial Intelligence: New research reveals that artificial intelligence can help students with learning disabilities by helping them write and revise without having to use pen or paper
- Captioning and Transcription: Captioning and transcription tools can help support students with auditory processing disorders, who benefit from having audio content in a written format to improve learning comprehension and engagement outcomes
- Audio Description: Descriptive audio can help support students with visual processing disorders and impairments by providing detailed descriptions of visual components in video content
- Remote-Text Interpreting: Remote note taking services can help support students with dyspraxia or other related disabilities that affect a student’s ability to take notes
Keep the Celebration Going
For those looking to keep the celebration around Learning Disabilities Awareness going, many resources are available. For example, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services frequently publishes important news on learning disabilities. The Learning Disability Association of America is also hosting multiple events throughout October, including an event about adults with learning disabilities.
More than 1 billion people depend on assistive technologies. With the help of assistive technology and services, educators can start transforming the learning experience for students with learning disabilities.
Automatic Sync Technologies (AST) supports institutions with useful accessibility tools and services that help improve learning and comprehension outcomes, including captioning and audio description. To learn more about ways to effectively support students with learning disabilities, reach out.