Succeed in College as a Learning Disabled Student

Software that reads text aloud can help a student with learning disabilities excel.

A school's office for students with learning disabilities may provide quiet environments to take tests.

A school's office for students with learning disabilities may provide quiet environments to take tests.

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"If they could get access to their books or their readings in digital format, that could save them a lot of headache once they get into class," he says. Listening to a textbook while also reading it can be especially helpful for students with dyslexia, he says.

Word processing and dictation software could also help students, experts say.

Frost suggests students use a LiveScribe Pen. "It's a pen with a recorder inside of it," she says. Students write as much as they can on a special paper. They can place the pen on the area of the sheet where text is missing and the pen will dictate the missing words.

Students can also invest in different software programs and mobile apps that translate text to speech and that read text aloud.

Evan Greer, a senior majoring in information, science, technology and art at the University of Arizona, uses a range of software programs as well as tutors and note-takers to do well in school. But when he started college, he shied away from using resources available to students with learning disabilities.

"I really didn't want to use our services here at the SALT Center," he says, referring the school's Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques Center, which provides support for students with learning and attention differences.

Greer was diagnosed with dyslexia about 10 years ago, a diagnosis he said became a stigma that followed him for years.

"I kind of wanted to steer away from that and become my own person." He received an F and a D on some of his first exams.

He began going to SALT for weekly tutoring and saw his exam grades go up to A's and B's. He encourages students with learning disabilities to do much of what students without learning disabilities do to succeed: Find an environment that helps you focus on your work, and embrace places that help you succeed.

"Find a really good study place on campus. Whether it's here at the SALT Center, or if it's the academic resources center, or at the fifth floor of the library," he says. "Find a good spot to study on campus where you can always go to."

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