Community Connections | Learning and other disabilities and getting the help you need


A learning disability is a neurologically based problem that affects your ability to read, write, and do math. According to The National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2.4 million American public-school students are identified to have a learning disability. It is a common misconception that learning disabilities do not carry over into college, but they do.

As a student at UW-Parkside, there are resources that can help you excel. Accommodations and assistive technology available here; the UW-Parkside website has a lot of information on services provided. There is a step by step list of how to obtain services: “The staff works closely with the Disability Services office to coordinate services where appropriate for those in need. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the services offered to them under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.”

Disability Services

UW-Parkside has a disability services department that will assist students with learning disabilities, as well as other disabilities. You can visit the Disability Coordinator, Renee Kirby, in the Disability Services office in Wylie Hall. If you find yourself struggling in school get evaluated, there are so many resources and tools available to help you succeed.

Department of vocational rehabilitation

The Department of Vocational Rehabilitation’s (DVR) mission is to obtain, maintain and improve employment for people with disabilities by working with consumers, employers and other partners. They partner with other organizations, including UW system. They can offer a grant to assist in tuition costs, assistive technology, and assistance with internships.

To start the process of gaining assistance, you fill out a referral for services on their website. After accomplishing that  you will attend an orientation. You will then be place with a case worker, and they will develop a plan for success.

Social-emotional aspects

It is important to not try and hide your disability. The same disability can manifest differently in individuals. Things such as: educational, social, emotional, financial and health factors as they mature affect how your disability manifests.

A learning disability does not define you, and does not need to keep you from reaching your potential. It is not a reflection of one’s intelligence. Unfortunately, there is a negative stigma surrounding them, and this often deters people from seeking the help they need.

Just remember that just because a learning disability is life-long, it does not need to be a life sentence. The most important thing is that you stay positive, and that utilize the resources available to you.

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