A CSD DePaul Student’s Perspective on Learning Disabilities

“The NCES found that 94% of high school students with learning disabilities receive some form of assistance. In contrast, only 17% of college students with learning disabilities take advantage of learning assistance resources at their school.”

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Many of us know someone with a learning disability or even a friend or family member with one. In college, we hear less and less about learning disabilities, it isn’t as though they stop existing, students just aren’t getting the help they need.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association states: “the laws mandate that postsecondary institutions (like DePaul) provide equal access to programs and services for students with learning disabilities.”

While attending a four-year university like DePaul, you are bound to be in a class with a student with a disability and probably not even know it, maybe even more than one.

I myself am a CSD student at DePaul. “CSD” stands for Center for Students with Disabilities. I have a slow processing/reading comprehension “learning difference” as well as difficulty with test-taking specifically and I have ever since I was in 4th grade. So I was given a Section 504 documentation of my disability.

A Section 504 is basically documentation stating the rights of an individual with a disability. It is essentially the proof of a disability and is the reason a student is eligible for academic accommodations.

Lots of college students are in denial of their learning disability or are deliberately choosing not to advocate for themselves for fear of being judged or harassed.

I interviewed Abby Kayman, who is also a CSD student in my sorority, Delta Gamma.

I asked her the question, “If you could give one piece of advice to a high school senior with a learning disability transitioning into college, what would it be?”

She said, “Own your disability going into college. It is a part of who you are. Utilize the resources your school offers for students with disabilities because in most cases they are super accommodating, understanding, and will have your back and be a quality support system” (Kayman).

Regardless of what type of learning difference or disability a student has, they can and are still going to four-year universities just like any average student. The difference is, they’re just doing it their way.

“Fast Facts – Students With Disabilities.” National Center for Education Statistics. N.p., n.d.                      Web. 16 April. 2017.

“Learning Disabilities: Issues in Higher Education.” American Speech-Language-Hearing Association., n.d. Web. 16 April. 2017.

Kayman, Abby. “Being A CSD Student at DePaul.” Personal interview. 16 April. 2017.

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