Hone your writing skills while deepening your appreciation of literature. Through discussion and close personal attention, you’ll develop analytical, critical reasoning, and communication skills highly sought after by employers in many fields. These skills will also provide you with an excellent foundation for graduate study.

Degree Offered: B.A.
Offered on the Augusta and Bangor campuses

The campuses of the University of Maine System are committed to providing equal access to campus programs and activities for qualified persons with disabilities.  A qualified individual is a person who, with or without reasonable accommodations, can meet established criteria applied to all students for participation in campus programs and activities.

In order to determine if an individual is entitled to these protections the campuses of the University of Maine System require documentation that establishes the presence of a learning disability; and provides sufficient information to describe the likely impact of the learning disability on the individual’s participation in the learning process as well as other campus programs and activities.

Documentation consisting only of a diagnosis, case or chart notes, and/or prescription notations is unacceptable.  Copies of IEPs and Section 504 plans may be informative, but are not sufficient documentation to support accommodation.

Individuals conducting evaluation and rendering diagnosis must have appropriate qualifications.  Documentation typically would be provided by certified and/or licensed school psychologists, clinical psychologists, neuropsychologists, learning disability specialists, or other professionals with specific certification and experience in the identification of learning disabilities. 

The University has final authority for determining accommodations.  This decision is based on the nature of the course or program, and specifics of the individual’s disability-related needs.  Accommodations do not include interventions that are remedial or needed for personal care or study. 

Documentation of a Learning Disability must include:

  1. Relevant Historical Information
    A summary of background information includes relevant developmental, medical and educational histories.
  2. Testing
    Testing must be current, generally within the past three years, in order that accommodations are appropriately suited to the current impact of the disability.

    Testing must be comprehensive.  It is not acceptable to administer only one test for the purpose of diagnosis or establishing that substantial limitation exists.  Minimally, domains to be addressed must include but are not limited to:

    • Aptitude:  The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale III (WAIS lll) with subtest scores is the preferred instrument.  Other acceptable instruments include: The Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery lll: Tests of Cognitive Ability or the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale: Fourth Edition.  (The Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT) is NOT a comprehensive measure and therefore is NOT suitable).
    • Achievement:  Current levels of functioning in reading, mathematics and written language are required.  Acceptable instruments include the Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery lll: Tests of Achievement; Wechsler Individual Achievement Test ll (WIAT ll); Stanford Test of Academic Skills (TASK); Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA); or specific achievement tests such as the Test of Written Language 3 (TOWL 3), Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests – Revised, and the Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test.  (The Wide Range Achievement Test 3, WRAT 3, and the Mini-Battery of Achievement, MBA, are NOT comprehensive measures of achievement and therefore are NOT suitable.)
    • Information Processing: Specific areas of information processing (e.g., short and long term memory; sequential memory; auditory and visual perception/processing; processing speed) must be assessed.  Information from subtests on the WAIS-lll, the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability, or the Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude-Adult (DTLA-A), as well as other instruments relevant to the presenting learning problem(s) may be used to address these areas.

    This is not intended to be an exhaustive list or to restrict assessment in other pertinent and helpful areas such as vocational interests and aptitudes.
  3. Scores
    Standard scores are required in reporting test data.  Percentiles and grade equivalents are inadequate by themselves.
  4. Interpretation and Diagnosis
    Test scores and other information gathered through the evaluation process should be synthesized by the evaluator and provide clear and specific evidence that a learning disability does or does not exist.  Evidence of a substantial limitation to learning or other major life activity must also be provided.
  5. Recommended Accommodations
    Suggestions for appropriate auxiliary aids or services should be included.  The documentation should provide a rationale substantiating the need for accommodation based on the impact of the disability.  Description of accommodations and/or auxiliary aids used previously are informative, but past accommodations, especially those used in a high school environment, will not necessarily be appropriate in a university setting.  Accommodations that would fundamentally alter the essential nature of a course or program will not be implemented.
  6. Identifying Information
    Documentation must include the name and professional title(s) of the evaluator as well as the date(s) of testing.  Reports must be typed on letterhead and signed by the evaluator.  Handwritten scores or summary sheets are not acceptable.
  • ADDA  (Attention Deficit Disorder Association) resources and networking opportunities to help adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • CHADD  (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) education, advocacy and support for individuals with AD/HD
  • LDA  (Learning Disabilities Association of America) a national organization of parents, professionals and individuals with learning disabilities
  • LD Online - a "one-stop" for information on learning disabilities
  • National Resource Center for Traumatic Brain Injury (NRCTBI)  a source for relevant, practical information for professionals, persons with brain injury, and family members
  • Pepnet2 (pn2)  an organization focused on increasing the educational, career and lifetime choices available to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Perkins Scout  a searchable database of carefully evaluated online resources related to blindness and visual impairment
  1. Students and prospective students with physical, psychological or learning disabilities should be in touch with the appropriate local ADA contact person to discuss their academic needs and the accommodation process.   (See contact list to determine specific staff member.)
  2. If the disability is not readily apparent, the student must provide current documentation of their disability and accommodation needs from a qualified medical or licensed professional evaluator.  This documentation should describe the nature, longevity, and severity of symptoms, as well as the impact which the disability has on the learning process.  All documentation is considered confidential.
  3. Working with the local ADA contact, the student should complete a Student Disability Accommodation Request Form.
  4. On the basis of the documentation, appropriate accommodations are determined by the UMA Learning Support Services staff, in consultation with the student’s health care provider and faculty if needed.
  5. When accommodations are deemed appropriate for a specific course or activity, an Accommodation Authorization Form will be completed by a Learning Support Services staff member.  A copy of the form is sent to the student, the student’s professor(s), other University personnel who need to be involved in implementation, and the local ADA contact as appropriate.
  6. Some types of accommodations, such as modifications for taking exams, require ongoing discussion between student and professor to arrange specific details.  Plan ahead, and be sure everyone involved knows the plan.
  7. If a student does not agree with the accommodations deemed appropriate by the Learning Support Services staff, the student may appeal to the UMA Equal Opportunity Office.
  8. Any problems with a student’s accommodations which occur during the semester should be discussed with the Learning Support Services staff and/or the local ADA contact as soon as possible.


Equal Opportunity Officer for UMA students at all locations

Sheri R. Stevens, Executive Director of Administrative Services
Office of Administrative Services, Farmhouse
Phone:  (207) 621-3100
Fax:  (207) 621-3405

Text-To-Speech Software

There are a number of software programs available which can be used to convert text on the computer screen into speech, thus allowing the user to listen to print information.  Examples include:

  • TextAloud
  • ReadPlease
  • NaturalReader Alive
  • Read & Write Gold
  • Narrator (included with Windows XP)
  • Universal Reader, PDF Equalizer both from Premier Assistive Technology

Cost varies, and several of the programs have a basic version that is free which can be downloaded from the Internet.

Some of the programs provide the option to purchase additional voices with varying qualities of voice and natural sound.  The following website offers demos of numerous voices from several different companies: http://nextup.com/TextAloud/SpeechEngine/voices.html

A free version of ReadPlease available to download from the Internet provides a good example of text-to-speech technology.  Instructions for installation and use are included below.

Scanning: Converting from print to digital form

If the text you want to read is on a printed page, it must be changed to an electronic form by scanning.  The scan needs to use a process called optical character recognition (OCR) which allows the computer to recognize the print as words rather than as a picture.  Software which can scan print and convert it to speech include:

  • Kurzweil WYNN
  • Scan and Read from Premier Assistive Technology  

Readplease 2003 Installation

Go to www.readplease.com

  1. On the left side of the screen click Downloads
  2. Click on the Disc icon ReadPlease 2003/ReadPlease Plus 2003 and follow the directions to install the program.
    ReadPlease 2003 is the free version.

How to use this program with CDs of your textbooks...

  1. Place the CD of your textbook in the correct computer drive and open it.
  2. Choose the file or chapter that you would like to read.
  3. Click on EDIT, then Select All
  4. Choose Copy from the EDIT menu
  5. Close the file
  6. Open ReadPlease 2003
  7. Click EDIT, then Clear All
  8. Click in the blank area and choose Paste from the EDIT menu
  9. Click Play on the ReadPlease program (make sure the cursor in the box with the text is at the beginning of the text)

There are four voices to choose from.  You can adjust the speed and volume of the voice. 

It is helpful to have a copy of the actual textbook at hand to follow along as the computer “reads” since the production of the CD occasionally reorganizes things.  The book will help you keep track of where you are in the text.

UMA complies with all laws which define the rights of individuals with disabilities, and makes reasonable efforts to accommodate specific academic needs.  Students with disabilities who apply to the University are admitted through the same admissions process, and must meet the same admission standards, as other students.  It is the student's responsibility to request support through contact with the Learning Support Services Department, or their local Coordinator of Student Services.

It is important to note that the laws and procedures which govern support for students with disabilities are different in college than in high school. Colleges do not offer special education, rather they provide accommodations. An accommodation is any change in the learning environment or in the way things are customarily done that enables a person with a disability to have equitable access to the University experience.

Accommodations may vary according to the specific requirements of a course or activity; therefore, an accommodation request must be made by the student prior to each new semester, or desired participation in University sponsored events. Students are encouraged to request course accommodations as soon as they know their class schedule for the upcoming term. Accommodations may take several weeks to implement.