Specific Learning Disability

Last Updated: June 29, 2018

Definition - What does Specific Learning Disability mean?

A specific learning disability is a lifelong impairment stemming from a neurological condition that limits cognitive function processes that may include comprehension, listening, mathematics, reading, and/or writing. Common specific learning disabilities can include dyslexia (reading/writing difficulties), dyscalculia (math difficulties), dysgraphia (fine motor skills impairment such as handwriting) and nonverbal communication (visual/social skills limitations). Many individuals experience varying degrees of specific learning disabilities ranging from mild to severe with independent cases reflecting different strengths and weaknesses.

WorkplaceTesting explains Specific Learning Disability

Generally, individuals with a specific learning disability possess average to superior intelligence, performing at an equal level to their colleagues without learning disabilities.

Although people with specific learning disabilities can encounter personal and social drawbacks to life, particularly unfounded stigmas, it is a misconception that learning disabilities are equal to an intellectual defect. Contrary to belief, individuals with specific learning disabilities can be efficient, productive, and punctual, demonstrating enthusiasm, and have a sense of strong work ethics.

According to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (RA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1970, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations without undue hardship to eligible people with a learning disability(s) to facilitate performance. The mandate was created to avoid discrimination liabilities while, incidentally, recognizing the distinct skill sets that makes these individuals a valuable asset.

Employers, family, and friends can instill motivation and support to an individual with a specific learning disability to enhance their success rate at work. Many individuals do not require accommodations when performing jobs involving laborious effort or strenuous activity. However, according to the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), companies are ordinarily exempt from any financial costs in provision of any ergonomic adjustments or modifications to existing equipment and/or standard work routines. Although tax incentives are a bonus feature to businesses that introduce practical accommodations to individuals with specific learning disabilities.

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