By Erin Grisham
Getting into a university is a commendable feat in itself, and for many beginner college students, it’s a way to prove they can get by on their own. But that independent mindset could be detrimental to students who keep their learning disabilities a secret.
According to an Education News article by Alexandria Suarez, thousands of students keep their learning disabilities under wraps once they get to college. Although 94% of these students are helped in high school, only 17% go on to get help in college. This leads to a significantly higher dropout rate for students with learning disabilities than the population as a whole.
Acknowledging their disability isn’t the only problem. Many universities have few resources for these students, or require expensive tests to verify disabilities. Some tests can cost as much as $5,000.
So what can universities do to make students more comfortable with disclosing their disabilities? Some schools—like the University of North Carolina—are ahead of the game and have already begun using alternative education tools; for example, Universal Design for Learning, which provides ways to explain concepts to students with disorders like dyslexia.
Plenty of successful people have learning disabilities. As soon as we start recognizing that there are many different ways to learn, students will feel more comfortable asking for help.