"The LD Resources web site has been providing resources for people with learning disabilities since 1995. The site has recently been overhauled with better organization, more resources, and a discussion area where users can post questions, their own resources or stories, or join numerous ongoing discussions. LD Resources is a non-commercial site designed, built, and run by Richard Wanderman who is an educational technology consultant, well-known presenter, and a successful adult with a learning disability." (taken from the Site Info page) Additionally there is a newsletter, The LD Reader, which is an informal, free, email newsletter for the learning disabilities community. It is published irregularly (as often as monthly and as slowly as yearly). In it you will find:
Notice of updates to this Web site Announcements Articles and essays on learning disabilities Short reviews of electronic and other tools An occasional bit of humor Other assorted fragments and goodies
Type of Material:
This site could be particularly beneficial for those pursuing a teaching credential in special education. Also, general educators should find it extremely useful in understanding many of their students' characteristics and learning needs.
In order to read some of the linked pages (ex: handouts), Adobe Acrobat Reader is required. The user must also know how to log in and participate in an online discussion, and in some cases, download outside resources.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The major learning goal of this site is to provide as much information as possible to those interested in discovering more about learning disabilities.
Target Student Population:
Information included on this site appears to be appropriate for those in high school or college. Anyone interested in learning more about LD would find this site particularly enlightening.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Evaluation and Observation
The content areas of the LD Resources site include Articles, Resources, Discussion, and Newsletter. The site is also searchable by topic.
Article topics are vast: the user should be able to locate information on any aspect of LD. Examples of the over 100 articles are Autobiographical Essays, K-12 Education, Tools and Technology, Digital Lifestyle, and Portable Keyboards.
The Resources section includes topics such as School with LD Support, Tools, Books and eText, Reference, and Handouts. These handouts are downloadable in pdf.
Back issues of the LD Reader (newsletter) are available since issue #1 in December, 1995.
If topical sections were listed alphabetically, the user could move more quickly through the items. In general, the site is a bit disorganized, tends to emphasize "tech" language and manuevering, and the timeliness of the newsletter is sporadic.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This site would be a welcome addition to any teacher training program. The application to those studying to teach students with learning disabilities is obvious, but the strong connections to general education cannot be overlooked. For example, articles and resources that explain how to use assistive technology in the classroom could be invaluable information for any teacher. One reviewer particularly appreciated the perspective and flavor provided by being created by someone with a learning disability. Personal stories are a strength for increasing awareness and empathy of what indidivuals with learning disabilities experience. Also, numerous etext resources can be downloaded.
Lack of organization and irregularity of the newsletter.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The new organization of this site has made it easier to locate desired information. All links are active, and navigation is simplified. The design of the site is attractive, but not confusing or overwhelming to the eye. It is an outstanding example of how Web sites should be designed with all users in mind.
Organization could be improved even further. Some links include "tech" jargon - usually there is some explanation when this occurs.
Other Issues and Comments:
< This is one of the most complete and thorough Web sites available today on the topic of learning disabilities. Any user searching for information regarding LD need look no further. However, if he or she desires, plenty of other resources and links are provided.