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Help On Campus for Adults with Reading Disabilities
(Continued from 1)

Beth scheduled a diagnostic appointment with a licensed reading specialist/psychologist, who administered to Beth a series of specialized reading, writing, numerical and memory tests over a period of two days. Beth was diagnosed with severe dyslexia.

“Finally, after all these years, and being told over and over by my high school counselors that I was dumb and would never be able to go to college,” Beth reports, “I knew what was going on.”

As part of the assessment, the specialist provided Beth with a written detailed report, including detailed diagnosis, and recommendations for learning support services. These recommendations were tailored for Beth’s college setting and included guidelines for testing and assignments.

“I took the doctor’s report to the evening school’s director and met with her, outlining the recommendations. As a result, all of my professors were required to provide me with their class outlines four weeks before classes started so I would have time to get the textbooks on tape from the Philadelphia Public Library or the Dyslexia Association,” Beth said. “I was allowed to tape record my classes. Also, the college assigned me a proctor and was required to allow me to take my exams separate from the class. I would schedule a time to meet my proctor at the evening school’s offices, usually a day or two before the exam was given to the class. Then the proctor would read me the test questions and I would have a certain amount of time to type the answers into the computer, using a word processing program. I also had the choice to tape record my answers if I felt I couldn’t write out my answers, because sometimes when I’m tense my disability really kicks in and I can’t even type.”

Beth also worked with the private reading and writing coach once a week. Two years later, after years of going to college two nights a week, Beth graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration degree.

“I couldn’t have done it without first having the diagnosis and report, and second, having the support of both the college and my private coach,” Beth said. “And they said I could never do it,” she adds with a mischievous smile, as
she proudly points to her specially framed and matted college diploma in her living room.



Additional Resources

Peterson’s Colleges with Programs for Students with Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit Disorders, by Peterson’s Guides. Lists more than 1,000 two-year and four-year colleges and universities that have either comprehensive programs or special services for students with learning disabilities. Includes CD-ROM and Quick Reference Chart.

LD Online.
Learning Disabilities Online provides information on learning disabilities and treatment, a newsletter, and online forums. See also LD Resources.

International Dyslexia Association .
The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) helps individuals with dyslexia, their families and the communities that support them. See also The Dyslexia Center (provides solutions to reading, writing, and attention problems.

Adults With Learning Disabilities.
Looks at definitions of learning disabilities, the experiences of adults with LD, factors influencing their successful adjustment to adult life, and strategies for educators and counselors.

Success in College for Adults with Learning Disabilities.
Information on self advocacy, legislation, choosing a college, and available services and programs.

* Name has been changed to protect privacy.


Suesan Harper is a Personal Resource Coach and Writer who specializes in reading, writing, and personal coaching. She has a Master’s in English Linguistics from the University of Cincinnati and is a trained personal coach. She can be reached online through The Writers Cottage.

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