58th Annual international conference / february 18-21, 2021 / we are going virtual!

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Handwriting is very difficult for me and now that I am a graduate student I need to do a lot of writing. What type of accommodation would you recommend to help me?

Access to a keyboard and/or a speech-to-text program like Dragon Naturally Speaking may be effective solutions, but using speech-to-text may not be possible for note-taking during class.  It should be very helpful for writing papers, though.  You can find out more about Dragon at http://www.nuance.com/dragon/index.htm. You can also check your computer’s list of accessible programs; most have a speech-to-text program already installed on your computer that you don’t have to pay for.

For note-taking in class, you may want to check out the “Live Scribe” pen, which allows you to take notes, draw pictures, and digitally record what the teacher is saying – all at the same time.  It also instantly syncs with your laptop so you have a digital version of what you’ve written.   For more information, go to https://www.livescribe.com/en-us/.

There’s also an app called “AudioNote” that does much the same thing and is much cheaper.  See http://luminantsoftware.com/iphone/audionote.html.

One last idea is to use a graphic organizer approach to writing reports, papers, etc.  For more information about various types of graphic organizers and resources, see https://ldaamerica.org/graphic-organizers/

Is it possible to get exemption from taking a foreign language class if I have a diagnosed learning disability?

According to Robin L. Schwarz’s article, Learning Disabilities and Foreign Language Learning, “Policies on waivers from foreign language requirements vary enormously. Every school has its own set of requirements. Some require full documentation of a learning disability with findings pointing to the deficits which are associated with foreign language learning problems; others might require a score on the Modern Language Aptitude Test ( MLAT).

Unfortunately for the LD student, many schools, especially colleges, may require evidence of having attempted a foreign language and failed…Students and families asking schools for accommodation on this issue need to be well-versed themselves and prepared to provide literature or at least reference to literature that will inform the school of this problem. Even better, when possible, parents or adult students should discuss the problem with a school before enrolling, to be sure that the problem can be dealt with.”