Letter to DSS

SAMPLE LETTER TO COLLEGE STUDENT SERVICES
for a COLLEGE STUDENT with MATH LEARNING DISABILITY

From: Dyscalculia.org

August 10, 2010                               LETTER TO COLLEGE STUDENT SERVICES
Student: Jane Doe
Diagnoses: Dyscalculia

To whom it may concern:

After careful review of Jane's current and historical academic record, first grade through college, along with recent psychological reports and test results, we conclude that Jane is capable of outstanding academic achievement with appropriate accommodations and assistive technology.

The solution to successfully navigating life with learning disabilities, demands a two-pronged
strategy. Remedial training is required, but therapy is often expensive and years in duration. In the meantime, it is reasonable to support the disabled student by instructing them in the efficient use of accommodations and assistive technology.

Jane primarily has dyscalculia, a mathematics learning disability, and attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder. Jane has difficulty with memory of math facts, sequences, operations, and reasoning. She is very limited in visual-spatial interpretation, orientation and memory. Her ability to plan, organize and execute math tasks is very limited. Jane can learn and perform math tasks, basic to advanced, but does not retain material for later recall.

Given these facts, it is necessary to provide Jane with reasonable tools for accessing the
curriculum:

(1) All math classes should be taken on a PASS/FAIL basis, to prevent the disability from directly negatively affecting the grade point average and limiting future academic choices. 

(2) Poor math memory necessitates the use of an illustrated math reference book. We recommend “Math on Call” by Great Source Education Group. This book is to be used in class, for homework, and during all testing. 

(3) Errors in computation due to unconscious errors made during reading, writing,
speaking and processing (errors of sequencing, number transpositions, changing signs or
operations, seeing one number/operation but verbalizing another, forgetting mid-operation)
necessitate the use of a special accessible calculator the student can use proficiently. Such
calculators are simple, uncluttered, color coded, intuitive and have a legible display. Solar power is recommended. The student must receive training and demonstrate proficiency before AT is used during class, for homework and during tests. 

(4) In all cases, the course content should be accessible online or electronically with animated lessons, integrated audio and video, color-coding, illustrations, and opportunities to review, replay, practice and test. It is essential that e-courses NOT allow advancement without demonstrated proficiency. 

It may be necessary to take a required course off-campus if the school does not offer math courses accessible for those with learning disabilities. In these cases, the school must perform content mapping to assure the substituted course covers the content required in the institution's course so that proper credit is granted and the course results in methodical advancement through the student's plan of study. 

Please contact Dyscalculia.org for more information and implementation resources. Jane can also receive an AT consultation at Michigan Integrated Technology Supports (MITS).


Yours in education,
The Dyscalculia.org Team