The information and resources on this site are designed to assist Job Corps staff in providing services to students with Learning Disabilities (LD) and related disabilities [e.g., Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and Emotional/Behavior Disorder (EBD)].
Job Corps serves students with a variety of disabilities including those with Learning Disabilities (LD). An individual with a learning disability typically has that learning disability for life. Learning disabilities range in level of severity, from mild to severe and an individual may have more than one type of learning disability. Some individuals learn to compensate so well that the disability is no longer problematic; others learn to use a variety of strategies and supports in order to navigate life successfully.
Understanding the specific challenges and learning strategies to deal with LD and/or related disabilities at every stage can alleviate a lot of frustration. Many of the challenges can be overcome through the use of proper accommodations. Learning disabilities do not have to stop someone from achieving their goals and fulfilling their dreams.
Although the purpose of this Web guide is to provide assistance in the improvement of service delivery to students with LD and/or related disabilities, the resources and suggested strategies can also be used to improve service delivery to students who have not been diagnosed with a disability, but who may be having difficulty succeeding in Job Corps—a universal design approach.
The Connection to Employability
Prior to the economic changes and the technological revolution of the last few decades, an individual with a LD could successfully compete in a "hands-on" environment, where reading, writing, and computing was not always critical to the functions of the job. Now employers not only want their employees to possess the basic skills of reading, writing, and math but also skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and reasoning. Successful employees also must exhibit positive personal qualities and be effective communicators.
This poses numerous challenges for individuals with LD and/or related disabilities who not only have to overcome cognitive processing difficulties, but who may also have difficulties with social competence (e.g., accepting criticism and change, managing pressure, making inferences, being sensitive to others). These social skills deficits may be reinforced by previous negative experiences by individuals with LD and/or related disabilities arising from academic and social failures, rejection, and the attitudes of others. If an individual's social and emotional functions are not addressed, they still may face discrimination even with accommodations for their disabilities. Consequently, the impact LD and/or related disabilities has on education/training programs is significant.