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Adults with LD: You can succeed in independent living, learning, and working! Here are some tips and resources.




Understanding Your Learning Disability & Transition Needs
Postsecondary Educational Options
Workplace Accommodations & Your Civil Rights
Technology Solutions
Mental Health
Relationships & Social/Leisure Activities
Iowa Resources for Education, Training, & Employment
Useful Websites


Life is full of Transitions! For youth with disABILITIES, the transition from high school to adulthood is one that requires a LOT of planning and collaboration. Transition Iowa provides information and tools youth, their families and professionals can use to plan for a successful move to adult LIVING, LEARNING and WORKING!


There are many postsecondary options for people who have learning disabilities. Whether it’s a four-year college, a two-year college, a technical program, adult basic education, continuing education, or a life skills program, the key to choosing the right program is understanding your disability and good preparation.   Post Secondary Options


Transitioning from college to work, like transitioning through secondary education, is a process. Students must begin this process early and transfer their knowledge of the disability into the world of employment.  Transitioning From College To Work


The American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) protects adults with disabilities including learning disabilities (LD) in higher education programs and employment. A person that meets the requirements is protected by the law against discrimination based on disability. He or she is also entitled to appropriate accommodations. The fact that a person has a learning disability, though, does not necessarily mean that he or she has a disability under the ADA or RA.   ADA — Who Is Covered and Who Is Not?


What is Assistive Technology? Assistive Technology (AT) is any item or piece of equipment that is used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities in all aspects of life, including at school, at work, at home and in the community. Assistive Technology ranges from low tech to high tech devices or equipment. If you’re interested in apps, check out the Tools for Life App Finder.  More information coming soon!


It is common for adults with LD to struggle with anxiety, depression or anger control as a result of the frustrations and failures they have experienced. These emotional problems usually start at a certain time and relate to specific circumstances or stresses. For 50 percent or more of individuals with LD,though, problems with managing their emotions are not related to a situation but are neurologically-based. These problems often begin in early childhood and occur across environments. Often there is a family history of similar problems. Check out Friends of Quinn, one of several online blog communities for adults with LD. It is important to seek professional support if you are feeling overwhelmed or hopeless about your situation.


Many adults with learning disabilities have questions about the impact of their LD on social-emotional functioning. Here are some answers and resources.   Managing Social-Emotional Issues of Adults with Learning Disabilities

Your Future Starts Here: Adult Education & Literacy
 YourFutureStartsHere250x153Iowa’s Adult Education and Literacy programs provide adults with the opportunity to acquire and improve functional skills necessary to compete in today’s economy and enhance the quality of their lives.
A new campaign to increase awareness of the adult education and literacy programs throughout Iowa has been launched. The “Your Future Starts Here” campaign connects Iowans with resources and information to pursue achieving their High School Equivalency Diploma, increase their basic skills and participate in English as a Second Language classes.
In order for Iowans to get started, the “Your Future Starts Here” campaign has created a website and a hotline. At, students will be connected to their local program and find resources ranging from career exploration and interactive lessons to details on the required testing. Resources are also available in Spanish.
Adult, Career, and Community College Resources- Iowa Department of Education
Iowa has a variety of diverse programs that enhance Iowa’s educational system and provide guidance to Iowans in the areas of career and technical education, workforce training and economic development, adult education and literacy, military education, the state mandated OWI education program, the GAP Tuition program, Senior Year Plus, the National Crosswalk Service Center, the Statewide Intermediary Network, and the Pathways for Academic Career and Employment (PACE) program. See the Iowa Department of Education website for information and contacts for each of these programs.
Drake Adult Literacy Program
Located at Drake University in Des Moines, the Adult Literacy Center (ALC) improves the quality of adults’ lives by helping them learn to read, write and comprehend. The program, established in 1976, has improved the self-esteem, daily living, and life-long learning of countless Iowans.


LDA America 
Since 1963, the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) has provided support to people with learning disabilities, their parents, teachers and other professionals with cutting edge information on learning disabilities, practical solutions, and a comprehensive network of resources. These services make LDA the leading resource for information on learning disabilities.  LDA-Iowa is a state affiliate of LDA.
National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD)
Founded in 1977 as the Foundation for Children with Learning Disabilities, the organization provides leadership, public awareness and grants to support research and innovative practices in learning disabilities.  The mission of NCLD is to improve the lives of the one in five children and adults nationwide with learning and attention issues—by empowering parents and young adults, transforming schools and advocating for equal rights and opportunities. They are working to create a society in which every individual possesses the academic, social and emotional skills needed to succeed in school, at work and in life.
Understood is a comprehensive online resource for parents of children with learning and attention issues.  For the first time ever, 15 nonprofit organizations have joined forces to support parents of the one in five children with learning and attention issues throughout their journey.  With the right support, parents can help children unlock their strengths and reach their full potential. With state-of-the-art technology, personalized resources, free daily access to experts, a secure online community, practical tips and more, Understood aims to be that support.  Understood is a program of NCLD.
Get Ready to Read
This is another program created by NCLD.  It has a phonological screening assessment and activities for parents/teachers to help develop pre-reading skills of phonological awareness.
Center for Applied Technology (CAST)
CAST: Universal Design for Learning is an educational research & development organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals through Universal Design for Learning. CAST provides activities, resources and information for students, educators, and individuals with disabilities.
LD Online
LD Online seeks to help children and adults reach their full potential by providing accurate and up-to-date information and advice about learning disabilities and ADHD. The site features hundreds of helpful articles, multimedia, monthly columns by noted experts, first person essays, children’s writing and artwork, a comprehensive resource guide, very active forums, and a Yellow Pages referral directory of professionals, schools, and products. LD OnLine is a national educational service of PBS in Washington, D.C.
Reading Rockets
Reading Rockets is a national multimedia literacy project offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help. This is important information for parents of young children who are concerned about their child’s readiness for school. Reading Rockets is another national service provided by PBS.
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