Serving Students with Disabilities

Resource Information for Students with Learning Disabilities

Greetings! The following information for UC Davis students with learning disabilities (LD) has been developed by the Student Disability Center (SDC) to assist you. Whether you are a new or continuing student, this information along with our website will answer many of your questions about the SDC and resources available to you as a student with a specific learning disability. Since this information is not intended to answer all of your questions, please feel free to visit our SDC website at or contact the SDC Learning Disabilities Specialist if you need further information.

What the SDC LD Specialist Can Do for You

  • review and explain LD test results and recommend appropriate academic services and accommodations according to established SDC practices;
  • engage in individualized problem solving to help identify strategies and available resources;
  • consult with campus administrators, faculty, academic advisors, counselors, Learning Skills Center Specialists, and other staff who need information about learning disabilities;
  • provide general information to faculty and staff about Section 504, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and California laws as they relate to eligibility and academic accommodations;
  • meet to discuss ways to manage your disability and explore effective compensatory strategies by individual appointments or on-call office hours (call the SDC receptionist at 752.3184 to make an appointment).

What You Can Do To Improve Your Learning

  • while taking notes, use a tape recorder as a backup for information you may have missed during lecture or discussion group;
  • use a daily planner/schedule;
  • break down highly complex tasks into small steps and put them into a spreadsheet or timeline map, working backwards from the due date;
  • plan your quarters well in advance and with the assistance of your academic or faculty advisor;
  • explore study strategy ideas in books by some of our campus authors- The Cartoon Guide to Genetics, How to Ace Calculus and How To Ace (the rest of) Calculus. Some other useful books to augment your textbooks are from the Medmaster series (e.g., Clinical Biochemistry, Ophthalmology, Medical Boards Step 1, 2 and 3 Made Ridiculously Simple). Depending on your particular area(s) of study, you may want to just peruse the study aid sections of the various campus bookstores for additional ideas to reinforce learning complex information. Your professors and teaching assistants are also great resources.
  • use a slanted bookstand while reading textbooks at a table or desk;
  • use a rocking or swivel-type chair for a change of pace while reading or reviewing notes;
  • try listening to light classical music or tune into your local classical public radio station while studying;
  • use peer study groups to talk through complex concepts;
  • use multi-sensory study techniques like a regular or electronic whiteboard, large plain paper or newsprint tablet on an easel, colored pencils/felt tip markers, color coded post-it notes, colored sidewalk chalk and washable crayons to help reinforce learning;
  • check search engines for other study strategy ideas (e.g., SQ5R, )

Test Taking

  • go to your exams rested;
  • use earplugs to minimize noise distractions;
  • read test directions carefully, answer the easiest questions first, ask the professor/teaching assistant for clarification of questions that seem unclear and pace yourself;
  • submit your accommodation request as early as possible each quarter to ensure that you receive your accommodations. You can submit these requests on line at
    or stop by the SDC to pick up the yellow hardcopy version of the Accommodation Request Form.

What Other Resources Can Do for You

The LD Specialist can provide you with on- and off- campus resource information and referrals as appropriate such as the Student Academic Success Center, 2205 Dutton Hall, 752.2013,; Counseling Center, 219 North Hall, 752.0871,; Advising Services, South Hall, 1st floor, 752.3000, These campus resources offer a variety of workshops on study skills, organizational strategies, test taking techniques, stress management and graduate/professional school preparation to name a few. You can take advantage of these workshops and then personalize many of the strategies to make them work for you.

LD listserv: As an eligible SDC student you will be subscribed to an electronic mailing list. The SDC staff use it to distribute information in a convenient and timely way. Look for messages in your e-mail about upcoming SDC events, etc.

What To Do if You Encounter a Problem with Your Accommodations

While attending UC Davis, you may have concerns related to disability-based services. These concerns might pertain to person(s) or situations outside the SDC or within the SDC. If this should happen, there are some things to keep in mind.

  • It is important to deal with problems as they arise. Do not delay, as that only allows small problems to become bigger! If you're not sure what to do, contact the LD Specialist to discuss further.
  • If you have a problem with a particular individual, discuss the problem with that person first. The LD Specialist can offer helpful suggestions since problems often can be solved informally through effective communication.
  • If you have a problem with the implementation of your accommodations, please talk with the person(s) facilitating those accommodations first. For example, if you are using a reader and she/he reads too slowly, explain this to the reader!
  • If your professor is questioning the appropriateness of an SDC recommended accommodation, discuss it with him/her first. If you are still unable to resolve the issue, let the LD Specialist know. Clarification and/or suggestions on how to proceed can be provided. If necessary, the LD Specialist can work directly with the professor to resolve the particular question.

What To Do for Standardized Entrance, Licensing Exams

If you are interested in requesting accommodations on a standardized entrance or licensing examination (e.g., GRE, GMAT, PRAXIS Series, MCAT, LSAT, DAT, OAT, USMLE, CA State Bar Exam, etc.), you should visit the respective website and submit the appropriate documentation along with the application well in advance of the deadline. The requirements for documentation can vary from one testing agency to another, so be sure of the exact requirements. Typically, the application deadline for test accommodations is earlier than that of the general application. If your request for an accommodation is denied, an early submission of an application may provide you with enough time to appeal the decision and obtain the necessary additional testing that may be required. If you have applied for the test once before, be sure to contact the testing agency to find out if the requirements for accommodations are the same as when you last applied since testing agencies may make modifications in the process or documentation requirements for accommodations.

What To Do for More Information on Learning Disabilities

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