Intellectual and learning disabilities make up a large part of Millersville’s campus community. Those with learning disabilities have neurological problems processing information which can affect basic learning skills and can interfere with learning and understanding reading, writing, math, organizational skills, time and/or task management, abstract reasoning, and memory issues. While learning disability problems can occur on varying levels, they affect many students on campus.
Many are aware of the common learning disability of dyslexia, a disorder characterized by confusing letters and numbers which makes reading especially difficult. Though this disorder is quite common (more than 3 million cases in the United States are diagnosed per year), there are other types of learning disabilities as well that are noteworthy.
Auditory processing disorder (APD) is a condition that makes it difficult to understand speech and distinguishing between different types of sounds. A subcategory of this is also Language Processing Disorders (LPD), that make it harder to connect the sounds from words to their meanings. Dyscalculia is a disorder that is a difficulty in comprehending mathematical concepts and manipulating numbers for calculations. Dysgraphia is another kind of learning disability that affects handwriting and basic motor skills. Those with dysgraphia have illegible handwriting and have problems with expressing their thoughts on paper or typing them on a computer.
These are just a few of the many learning disabilities that plague students especially. The ability to comprehend concepts fully is affected greatly is a student suffers from any of these (as well as any other type of) learning disorders.
However, Millersville attempts to help these students on our campus with the Office of Learning Services. Their main goal is to accommodate students in any way they may need, whether it be through assistive technology, academic skills workshops, one-on-one tutoring, and helping foster individualized programs to aid in any student’s unique learning style.
Though all styles of learning differ depending on the specific student, Julianna Brown, the department secretary of the Office of Learning Services, speaks out on this, saying “We very much want our students to succeed, and we take care in doing all we can to support their success.”
The main goal of Learning Services is to bring about a climate of equity, making sure each student has their chance to succeed and that everyone is provided the tools needed to make learning and earning their degree possible.
Learning Services provides various workshops for students to help prepare them for learning in our campus environment all throughout the semester. Though these can specifically help those who suffer from any type of learning disability, these workshops are open to all students on campus. Currently, there are three more workshops over the course of the remainder of the semester. All relating about study skills to prepare for finals, these events are all during common hour in the SMC on April 2nd (Room 203), April 9th (Room 118), and April 18th (Room 24.)
The Office of Learning Services is located on the 3rd floor of Lyle Hall. To contact them for any reason regarding general information, they can be reached by phone at (717) 871-5554 or by email at Learning.Services@millersville.edu.