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SJHH / Patients & Visitors/ Accessibility/ Standards & Training/ Learning Disability

Learning Disability

Individuals Who Have Learning Disabilities

The term “learning disability” describes a range of information processing disorders that can affect how a person acquires, organizes, expresses, retains, understands or uses verbal or non-verbal information. Examples include dyslexia (problems in reading and related language-based learning); dyscalculia (problems in mathematics); and dysgraphia (problems in writing and fine motor skills).

It is important to know that having a learning disability does not mean a person is incapable of learning. Rather, it means they learn in a different way.

Learning disabilities can result in different communication difficulties for people. They can be subtle, such as difficulty reading, or more pronounced. They can interfere with an individual’s ability to receive, express or process information. You may not know that a person has a learning disability unless you are told.

Types of assistance an individual might use:

  • Alternative technology for writing
  • Calculator
  • Scanning or reading technology
  • Tape recorders, mini pocket recorders.

Guidelines for interacting with individuals who may have learning disabilities:

  • When you know someone with a learning disability needs help, ask how you can help.
  • Speak naturally, clearly, and directly to an individual.
  • Allow extra time if necessary - people may take a little longer to understand and respond.
  • Remember to communicate in a way that takes into account the individual’s disability.
  • Be patient and be willing to explain something again, if needed.