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Specific Learning Disability (SLD)

Definition: Specific Learning Disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.

Professional Development Opportunities

SLD Reading Professional Development Project

The Breakdown - Addressing Deficits in Phonology and Beginning Phonics

Edwards Workshop - Colorado Mountain Colllege

Denver Workshop - Lowry Conference Center

Fountain Workshop - Fountain/Fort Carson School District Board Room


SLD Extended Reading Project

Teams interested in receiving additional instruction and strategies may choose to participate in the Extended Reading Project.  Additional training credits will be available to those who choose to participate in this option.  See Flyer for details of the Extended Reading Project.


SLD Math Professional Development Project

Understanding Structure to Aid in Mathematical Problem Solving

  • Vail Workshop, November 11, 2015
    8:00 am - 3:30 pm
    Holiday Inn Apex
    2211 North Frontage Road West
    Vail, CO 81657
    (970) 476-2739
    Registration Link
  • Colorado Springs Workshop, December 12, 2015
    8:00 am - 3:30 pm
    Pikes Peak BOCES
    2883 South Circle Drive
    Colorado Springs, CO 80906
    (719) 635-6333

    Registration Link
  • Denver Workshop, January 9, 2016
    8:00 am - 3:30 pm
    Adams 12 Conference Center
    1500 East 128th
    Thornton, CO 80241
    (720) 972-4000

    Registration Link

Additional Opportunities

Math on the "Planes"R

Creating a Classroom Environment that Supports Students Who Struggle with Learning Mathematics

Dr. Eden M. Badertscher works to close opportunity gaps in mathematics education and ensure our system of mathematics education is equitable for all students. She brings extensive expertise in teacher education, mathematics curriculum and professional development. Dr. Badertscher provides experiences and tools that enable teachers and school administrators to effectively implement the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice.

Participants in this workshop will develop a knowledge base of how inequitable mathematical experiences and counterproductive identities develop and learn new ways to foster productive self-concepts. Participants will expand their knowledge of strategies that create classroom environments that empower students who struggle with learning mathematics. This nurturing classroom environment is designed to facilitate students’ progress within the standards.

For more information visit the Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities:



Check for professional opportunities addressing the implementation of Response to Intervention.

Documents related to the Identification of SLD

Presentations/Resources from SLD professional development sessions

  • SLD Eligibility and Identification Process: Slideshow Presentations (2014)
  • Oral Expression and Listening Comprehension as Areas of SLD
    PowerPoint presentation addresses eligibility in these two areas and considerations to assist in the determination of primary disability for students who may be considered eligible for both SLD and SLI (Speech-Language Impairment).
  • SLD Webinar: Basic Reading Skill Assessment and Specialized Instruction
    Melody Ilk, literacy consultant, led this session that addressed the assessment of basic reading skills, as well as the effective implementation of research-based instruction for improving the achievement of students with this most commonly-identified type of Specific Learning Disabilities. The presenter coordinated a six-year, multi-building, literacy project that resulted in extraordinary achievement gains in high risk schools and among students with disabilities. This PowerPoint presentation outlines the content covered by the presenter. There is no recording of the auditory portion of this Webinar.
  • SLD Identification: Body of Evidence Related to the 2 Key Criteria in Areas of Literacy and Math - 2010-2011
    • Presentation 1 (PDF)
      Introduction and Four Areas of Literacy (Basic Reading Skills, Reading Fluency, Reading Comprehension and Written Expression)
    • Presentation 2 (PDF)
      Two Areas of Math (Calculation and Problem Solving, Determining Progress and Measuring Fidelity)

Response to Intervention (RtI)

Determining a child’s response to scientifically, researched-based intervention as required in the identification of a Specific Learning Disability is critical. However, Response to Intervention as a statewide systems’ reform initiative is being promoted across the Colorado Department of Education to improve learning results for ALL students, not just those who may be identified as having a Specific Learning Disability. The follow link will provide access to the RtI Guidebook, sample brochure, training presentations, videos and other resources.

Twice Exceptional


For more information, please contact:

Jill Marshall
Phone: (303) 866-6883

Quick Links


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