University of Texas at AustinDivision of Diversity and Community Engagement

Tips for Working with Students with Learning Disabilities, AD/HD or Traumatic Brain Injuries

Individual accommodation letters are provided to students to deliver to their faculty members that outline the accommodations approved for that student by SSD. The following list contains suggested instructional tips in addition to possible approved accommodations.

Textbooks and Printed Course Material:

  1. SSD will provide textbooks or other required print material in an alternative format for qualified students.
  2. If the textbook has a study guide or computer tutorial, suggest that the student use it and help him/her obtain it.
  3. Double-space all material.


  • Provide clear written instruction for assignments and due dates and deadlines
  • Use multi-media presentations to meet the needs of different learners
  • Students may have difficulty with multi-tasking;
    • The student may need a notetaker so that he/she can give full attention to watching the speaker. SSD provides carbonless paper for a volunteer notetaker to use in the class. The student may ask for the instructor’s assistance in locating a volunteer (see Securing a Copy of Class Notes).
    • Provide copies of the instructor’s notes or overheads for the classes the student attends.

Written Assignments:

  1. When the object of the assignment is to demonstrate knowledge or opinions, allow alternative formats of equal difficulty such as taping, visual displays, oral presentation, etc.
  2. Allow the student to use a laptop in class.
  3. Minimize penalties for misspellings, incorrect punctuation and poor grammar unless the object of the assignment is to demonstrate written skills.


  1. Allow the use of a basic, four-function calculator in class.
  2. Examine the test for the types of errors. It may be appropriate to give partial credit for work shown even when the final answer is incorrect due to transposed numbers, etc.
  3. Allow exam questions to be broken up to one or two per page and printed in larger type.


  1. Allow tests to be taken in a quiet environment with minimal distractions.
  2. Allow the student to use a blank card or paper to assist with tracking the line they are reading.
  3. Allow extended time to take an exam (if approved by SSD).
  4. If possible, allow alternative formats of equal difficulty to show mastery of material.


Note: All disability related information including medical documentation, educational correspondence, and educational accommodation records are considered confidential. The University of Texas and SSD have an obligation to maintain the confidentiality of such documentation.