Learning Disabilities Program


What Are Learning Disabilities?

A learning disability can be described as a learning difference in the way a person takes in, understands, remembers, and/or expresses information. This translates into difficulties with reading, writing, and/or math.  To qualify as having a learning disability at the community college level, one must exhibit at least average to above average intelligence. It isn't because they can't learn - they just learn differently. 

Purpose of the Learning Disabilities Program

The purpose of the Learning Disabilities Program is to ensure equal access to education by providing appropriate accommodations, auxiliary aides and services to eligible students upon request.

Eligibility Assessment

Students with learning disabilities/differences must provide documentation of disability and need for services. Eligibility for services will be evaluated according to the criteria for determining learning disabilities approved by the Chancellor's office for the California Community College system. Skyline students taking DSKL 811: Differential Learning Skills Assessment, complete 8 hours of group and/or individualized testing based on the above criteria within a four week time frame. Areas assessed include cognitive ability, academic performance and information processing. Criteria addressed include presence of significant discrepancies between ability and achievement and within or between the major modalities for learning.

Program Planning

Learning Specialists and Counseling staff are available to assist students with a variety of support services related to program planning including identification of educational goals, career planning, course selection, course load, priority registration, and transfer services.

For additional information, please contact:

Carol Newkirk-Sakaguchi, Learning Disabilities Specialist at (650) 738-4228.


For many students in the DSKL program learning to use assistive technology related to reading, writing and study skills is strongly recommended. Eligible students may take classes taught by the Assistive Technology Specialist in which they are taught to use appropriate technology and encouraged to use it on a daily basis. The Alternate Media Specialist assists students in reformatting classroom texts and materials as needed.

Support Services

Support services include, but are not limited to:

Accommodations Facilitation

  • Access to assistive technology: alternative formats for reading and written language
  • Note-taking needs
  • Tape recording/strategies
  • Equipment loan
  • Instructor communications

Alternative testing

  • Extended time
  • Separate setting/Proctoring
  • Reader, scribe or assistive technology
  • Enlarged format
  • Recognition v. retrieval strategies

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