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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

2016-2017 SLD Literacy and Assistive Technology Institute

Access and Instruction for Accelerating Literacy Skills in Grades 3-12: A hybrid professional learning opportunity for educational teams with Marcia Henry, Ph.D.

Date: September 20, 2016

If you would like to learn about topics including: the rational and neuroscience behind the use of integrated assessment and instruction for decoding and spelling; the structures of language; assessments that can meaningfully inform intentional learning progressions and impact your choice of instructional strategies; how to routinely integrate Accessible Educational Materials and Assistive Technology into your daily practices, and simultaneously receive ongoing coaching and support from literacy and technology experts that will increase your ability to facilitate and accelerate students’ acquisition of literacy skills in grades 3-12,  then consider participating in this professional learning opportunity for educational teams.

This hybrid professional learning institute occurs over the course of 6 months and  is intended for teams of 2-5. Please note that although individuals are welcome to register, team registrations will be given preference over individual registrations.

For full details of this hybrid professional learning opportunity, see flyer.

Picture of the Flyer: 2016-2017 SLD Literacy and Assistive Technology Institute


Save the Date!  2016-2017 Specific Learning Disability (SLD) Affective Competencies Series

Part 1: The Missing Piece of the Puzzle  Reducing Stress and Addressing Social and Emotional Learning for Students with Specific Learning Disability (SLD): A hybrid professional learning opportunity with Dr. Jerome Schultz

Date: September 27, 2016

Would you like to know how toxic stress affects the brain and impacts learning, and why understanding the neuroscience behind toxic stress is important to teachers of students with SLD and/or ADHD?
Would you like practical strategies and tools to help students recognize and capitalize on their unique strengths, improve executive functioning and self-advocacy skills, and develop a sense of self-efficacy?
Then consider registering for this hybrid professional learning opportunity, in which teams of educators will learn and implement the DE-STRESS model for helping students with SLD and ADHD reduce and manage stress and develop affective competencies including self-regulation, self-advocacy, and executive functioning skills.

For full details of this hybrid professional learning opportunity, see flyer.

Picture of the Flyer 2016-2017 SLD Affective Competencies Series (Part 1)

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

Specific Learning Disability Listserve

The Colorado Specific Learning Disability (SLD) listserv shares professional development and training opportunities and provides information including current trends, research, and ongoing topics of interest related to SLD. The purpose of this network is to facilitate connections, awareness, and access to information, learning opportunities, and resources that will better the lives of students with Specific Learning Disability and benefit the families, communities, and professionals who support them. Sharing of information is encouraged; however, it is at the discretion of the CDE what information will be posted. This service is chat-free and does not include advertisements from vendors or contract-based companies. To subscribe to the CO-SLD Listserv or contribute information to share with this community, please contact Jill Marshall at

Join the CO-SLD Listserv

To subscribe to the CO-SLD listserv:

  • Open a new email.
  • In the “To” field, type the email and send the message.
  • You will receive a confirmation email. You will not be added until you respond to this email.
  • If you have a problem, try using “plain” text or check with the technology people in your district.

To unsubscribe from the CO-SLD listserv: 

  • Open a new email.
  • In the “To” field, type the email and send the message.
  • In the body of the message write, “unsubscribe CO-SLD.”
  • You will automatically be unsubscribed.


For more information, please contact:

Jill Marshall
Phone: 303-866-6883


A variety of learning opportunities, information, and resources are provided on this listserv. These materials do not represent an exhaustive list, nor are they required or endorsed by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE).  The identification or description is for the purpose of providing information and resources and does not constitute CDE's endorsement. Every effort has been made to identify the citation for the resource; please maintain the citation and/or authorship when adapting or modifying these materials.

For more information, please contact:

Jill Marshall
Phone: (303) 866-6883

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