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Title: Industry Profile: Learning Disabilities Technologies and Markets
Author: Wendy Strobel
Published: 2006
Publication: Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) Conference, January 2006

Learning disability (LD) is defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) of 2004 as:

"a disorder in 1 or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which disorder may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations (P.L. 108-446 § 602).”

As implied by the definition, LD permeates every aspect of a person’s life. Often times, the impact becomes obvious as children begin to face the rigors of education.  While people with LD often learn to compensate for the challenges they face, the underlying LD does not go away as they enter adulthood.  However, life outside of school often provides a great deal more freedom in choosing career paths, compensation strategies, and learning opportunities. 

Technology holds great promise for people with learning disabilities.  There are many useful tools available in the marketplace today.  Text to speech engines, electronic spell checkers, and universally designed products that are used every day by people with and without disabilities.  This document provides an overview of the education technology industry as it relates to technologies for people with LD. The contents have been designed to provide information for technology development, manufacture and sale.  The Introduction will present some of the fundamental concepts of learning disabilities to ensure that the industry has a clear understanding of the challenges faced by people with learning disabilities.  The technologies section provides an overview of the current state of the technology.  

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