Learning Disabilities: Legislation and Litigation

Legislation and litigation play a huge roll in the lives of those with learning disabilities and those that work with them. By the definitions that the government provides, individuals with learning disabilities receive services that aide in their education. The following will reflect on legislation and litigation and its effects on special education today.

Two of the big laws that affect those with disabilities in the US are: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, IDEA, and Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA. Learning disabilities are defined by IDEA as…

A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia (CEC).

This definition does not include those with motor disabilities, hearing/ vision impairments, emotional disturbance, mental retardation, or cultural/economic/ environmental disadvantages that may result in learning disabilities (CEC). The definition does include: dyslexia, minimal brain dysfunction, perpetual disabilities, brain injury, and developmental aphasia. It is important to note that the IDEA definition only applies to school-aged individuals, however, learning disabilities can occur at all ages since learning is an on-going process. With this in mind, those at LD Online, have materials date September 1992, which state ADA applies to those with disabilities into their adulthood. If this is correct, it means those with learning disabilities are entitled to have access to and be accommodated in employment, transportation, public accommodations, state and local government activities, and communication.

Those with learning disabilities have varying disabilities, which may affect them in different ways and to different extents. As an educator, parent, and professional, it is possible to help those with learning disabilities to compensate for the disability. Individuals with learning disabilities may perform differently considering their familiarity with the task, complexity of the task, the environment, access to assistive devices, and other external support.

References

LD Online. (2011).  From http://www.ldonline.org/

The Council for Exceptional Children. (n.d.). From http://www.cec.sped.org

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