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What Is a Learning Disability Policy?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2016
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A learning disability policy for a school or workplace provides written directives for handling those who suffer from these difficulties. These include conditions like attention deficit disorder, autism, and dyslexia. Policies create clear and consistent guidelines for all personnel to follow and in some cases are required by law. Sources for the content in a learning disability policy can include advocacy organizations, individual employees with input, and legal stipulations.

The policy typically defines learning disabilities and discusses the kinds of accommodations available. In many regions, the law requires the provision of “reasonable accommodations,” any measures which do not present undue hardship. If a small business needed to spend a substantial sum of money to install an accommodation, for example, it could qualify for a waiver.

Educational environments use a learning disability policy to discuss the kinds of options available to students who experience difficulties in the classroom. These could include more time for tests, a quiet area to study, or the provision of an aide to help with some tasks. Policies are designed to ensure equal treatment for all students; anyone who qualifies for accommodation can request it under the learning disability policy. These accommodations can be comparable to those provided to other students with similar impairments.

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Workplaces may want to create a friendly environment to disabled employees, with clear guidelines for human resources staff, supervisors, and others. Such policies make employees aware of their rights under the law and within the company, and can be used to press for equitable treatment. If one employee is allowed to have a quiet office to focus on tasks, for example, someone with a similar disability could also request that accommodation.

Such policies may include training requirements for other personnel. At a school, for example, teachers might need to complete a set number of hours of continuing education in handling students with learning disabilities. The school's learning disability policy could discuss the kind of training necessary to ensure that teachers keep up with progress in the field so they can serve their students adequately. Workplaces might require supervisors of disabled employees to undergo some training so they can work effectively with those staff members.

As a document, the policy both provides guidance and limits liability. Clear policies enforced equally across the board can be cited in the event of discrimination suits and other challenges. They can also be a defense mechanism in the event of audits from government agencies and third party organizations, as an organization can show it is complying with the law by providing copies and proof of its policies.

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