Adults with Learning Disabilities: A Review of the Literature

In this literature review, the authors report on the research and current knowledge regarding adults with learning disabilities. The literature review covers a number of areas including defining learning disabilities and their affects, determining if adults have LD, reviewing effective teaching and support strategies, and giving some implications for research, policy, and practice.

Mary Ann Corley
Juliana M. Taymans
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Informational Material
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What the experts say

Note: A more recent literature review called Learning to Achieve can be found at:

This resource is an excellent one, especially for those wanting to understand the history of literacy and learning disabilities.  It is a broad, comprehensive overview and compilation of research in the field of adults with learning disabilities and contains a density of data and facts as well as a solid foundation for advanced investigation and review.  Even though the literature review is more than eight years old, the relationship between the information as presented from 1989 through 2000 provides a solid connection to the ongoing work of the past five to ten years.  Anyone new to the field would benefit from reading this resource.

The literature review organizes the information into two broad categories: 1)What we Know about Adults with LD with seven major research studies and 2)How we Serve Adults with Learning Disabilities which is subdivided into sections on Reading ResearchAssessmentInstructional InterventionsandAssistive Technology. The results of the literature search are then presented, along with implications for research, policy, and practice. The authors identify many questions around diversity, assessment, reading, instructional interventions, employment, self-determination, and professional development of adult basic education providers.

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