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The challenges presented by learning disabilities and ADHD persist into adulthood and can have profound effects on the lives of individuals. Examine various conceptions of disability and their implications for adult literacy development, explore the role of executive function in literacy learning, experiment with methods of assessing learning needs, and practice integrating Universal Design for Learning elements into instructional planning to meet the needs of adult learners. 


This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • ELA teachers
  • Those who support ELA teachers
  • Accessible for Corrections teachers

First, we will explore the impact that LD and other learning differences have on adult learners and the legal framework for providing accommodations. Second, we will explore Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as a means for removing barriers to learning for adults with and without disabilities. In addition to discussing LD, we will also examine the crucial role of executive function for literacy development and apply this understanding to the design of instruction that aligns with CCRSAE, evidence-based literacy instruction, and the principles of UDL. Participants will have opportunities to practice integrating UDL elements into their instructional planning and will leave this workshop with a set of tools to continue applying UDL principles to their teaching.

There will be a follow-up webinar on May 2, 2019 from 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Learning Objectives: 

Upon completion of this professional development activity/course, you will be able to:

  • Review and compare various definitions of learning disabilities; identify their legal and pedagogical implications in the context of adult literacy development
  • Explore how a wide range of learning differences impact literacy development
  • Relate models of executive function to adult learning and literacy meaning
  • Identify the core concepts of Universal Design (UD) and how they align with the CCRSAE, literacy pedagogy, and general ELA curricula
  • Apply Universal Design to the planning of literacy instruction that is supportive of adults with learning differences and executive function difficulties
Presenter(s) / Facilitator(s): 

Introduction to Learning Disabilities in Adults online course 

03/28/2019 - 9:30am to 3:30pm
05/02/2019 - 10:30am to 11:30am
Quinsigamond Community College, Ahlfors Building, Room 111ALF
670 West Boylston St.
Worcester, MA 01606
PD Center: 


SABES English Language Arts Curriculum & Instruction PD Center
Topic Area: 
ABE/Adult Education
Learning Disabilities
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