Community Resources for Adults with LD, ADD, or BD

As part of the course, each student investigated a community resource in order to determine services, accommodations, or allowances for adults with learning disabilities. Some of the community resources included the Goodwill, Department of Motor Vehicles, State Board of Elections, Richmond Public Libraries, and Virginia Employment Commission to name a few. I concluded after last night’s class that if I knew someone with a learning disability who needed special services, the Goodwill is the number one place to go. I was blown away at the amount of programs, workshops, and trainings  for adults with all types of disabilities, but specifically for someone with LD, ADD, or BD. I mentioned in class how much I appreciate this assignment because I want to be able to refer someone to the appropriate place if I ever needed to for my job, family, or friends. I was again reminded of how sad it can be for someone who is learning disabled and wants to be able to drive, vote, do library research, or receive unemployment benefits. It was incredibly hard for some students to even reach a real person when exploring certain community resources. I imagined the extra time and effort one would need to put in if he or she had a learning disability. At the Library of Virginia, the Archives’ employee implied that a research library isn’t the place for someone who can’t read well. I then wondered how many successful historians with learning disabilities are out there that have encountered difficulties looking at primary source material. Or, maybe successful historians with learning disabilities used their learned creativity skills and mastered the art of collections research.  I concluded that the type of service and accommodations available to adults with learning disabilities may depend upon funding, employee knowledge, and type of facility. For instance, Goodwill is a for-profit organization that uses its revenue for various programming efforts, such as resume review, job skills training, and basic math, reading, or writing courses. The Virginia Employment Commission, on the other hand, did not offer any special accommodations for someone with a learning disability online or via phone. The main city branch library serves a more diverse population as opposed to the Library of Virginia and other smaller, branch libraries. For this reason, the Richmond Public library’s main branch provided an adult reference section with audio books for adults with learning disabilities. I think the more knowledge employees have on this subject, the better they can serve the learning disabled population. I am reminded of one of the readings on ADA implementation efforts that involved employee training programs in order to better educate workers on the various types of learning disabilities. The more knowledgeable an institution on this subject, the better they can be at implementing advocacy programs and accommodations of various types.

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