Academic accommodation strategies for pharmacy students with learning disabilities: What else can be done?

Curr Pharm Teach Learn. 2019 Aug;11(8):751-756. doi: 10.1016/j.cptl.2019.04.001. Epub 2019 Apr 26.


Introduction: Colleges and schools of pharmacy in the US are faced with the challenge of providing appropriate academic accommodations for students with learning disabilities (SLD) including those with dyslexia, dyscalculia, or dysgraphia. Although there are no population statistics about SLD in pharmacy schools, current data show that their number at higher education institutions across the US has increased. This commentary discusses how the rigorous pharmacy school curriculum affects SLD and proposes creative and innovative measures to overcome these obstacles.

Perspective: The shift in the public perception about SLD from a state of stigma to a manageable condition in recent years has greatly contributed to increase the number of SLD enrolled in higher education institutions. Although most colleges and universities can now offer some type of academic accommodation to SLD compared to few years ago, other academic accommodation recommendations to SLD remain challenging to implement, especially for SLD enrolled in pharmacy programs.

Implications: SLD enrolled in pharmacy programs could benefit from a multifaceted approach involving the school's office of disability services, medical practitioners, behavioral and language specialists, as well as some sort of curricular changes in order to be academically successful and become practice ready upon graduation.

Keywords: Academic accommodation; Dyscalculia; Dysgraphia; Dyslexia; Learning disabilities.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Humans
  • Learning Disabilities / psychology
  • Learning Disabilities / therapy*
  • Schools, Pharmacy / organization & administration
  • Schools, Pharmacy / statistics & numerical data
  • Students, Pharmacy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Test Taking Skills / methods*
  • Test Taking Skills / standards