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Learning Disabilities (LD) refer to a number of disorders which may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or use of verbal or nonverbal information.These disorders affect learning in individuals who otherwise demonstrate at least average abilities essential for thinking and/or reasoning.Learning disabilities are a lifelong condition; they are not outgrown or cured, though many people develop coping techniques through special education, tutoring, medication, therapy, personal development, or adaptation of learning skills.Approximately 4.6 million adults in the United States have learning disabilities (National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2014).Visual Processing Disorder is the term used to describe a weakness in the ability to understand and use visual information.Individuals often have difficulty noticing and comparing features of different items and distinguishing one item from another, distinguishing a shape or printed character from its background, distinguishing the order of symbols, words or images, difficulty engaging in short-term and long-term recall of visual information, and understanding how objects are positioned in space.
Accommodations should be made on a case by case basis, considering each employee’s individual limitations and accommodation needs.Dyslexia is the most prevalent and well-recognized of the subtypes of specific learning disabilities.Dyscalculia is the term associated with specific learning disabilities in math.Executive functioning deficits are often seen in individuals who have a learning disability.Learning disabilities arise from neurological differences in brain structure and function and affect a person’s ability to receive, store, process, retrieve or communicate information.Local school districts can help with referrals to qualified professionals who can diagnose a learning disability, universities that have a doctoral psychology program will do testing as part of their training program, and clients of vocational rehabilitation may be evaluated as part of their assessment process.The ADA does not contain a list of medical conditions that constitute disabilities. Therefore, some people with learning disabilities will have a disability under the ADA and some will not. For more information about how to determine whether a person has a disability under the ADA, go to JAN's Accommodation and Compliance Series: The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 of 2008 at JAN.org/bulletins/adaaa1 Note: Employees with learning disabilities may experience some of the limitations discussed below, but seldom experience all of them.Learning disabilities can be divided into three broad categories with more specific disorders included in each (NCLD, 2015). Specific Learning Disability: A disorder in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations.Included in this category are expressive writing and expressive language disorders.Learning disabilities may also involve difficulties with organizational skills, social perception, social interaction and perspective taking.(Learning Disabilities Association of Canada, 2015) Although learning disabilities occur in very young children, the disorders are usually not recognized until the child reaches school age.