May 26th, 2021

Supporting Working Adults with Learning Disabilities in School and in the Workplace.

Students with learning disabilities or attention differences comprise 1 in 5 Americans, yet these individuals enroll in four-year colleges at half the rate of their peers. This is due to a myriad of barriers ranging from time poverty and increased financial pressure, to low self-esteem caused by a lack of equitable support and experiences of stigma. This confluence of factors has led to preventable negative outcomes, including:

  • The poverty rate for people with disabilities is 2x the average rate
  • 46% of adults with learning disabilities are employed as opposed to nearly 77% of adults without learning disabilities
  • 41% of young adults with learning disabilities complete post secondary degrees, compared to 52% of all students, which can severely limit job prospects

In this white paper, in partnership with Guild Education, we go in-depth on unique barriers that working adult students with learning disabilities face in accessing and thriving in higher education, and suggest impactful interventions that higher education institutions can implement to combat stigma and improve educational attainment for people with learning disabilities.


Guild Education is on a mission to unlock opportunity for America’s workforce through education and upskilling. We do this by connecting our exclusive network of world-class, Fortune 1,000 companies to academic institutions that share our aim to educate the 88 million working Americans in need of upskilling. As the leader in working adult education solutions, Guild helps academic institutions engage and serve tuition-backed students who are highly motivated, supported and able to learn debt-free. Together with our partners, we improve equitable access to higher education and prepare millions of Americans for the future of work.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities’ mission is to improve the lives of the 1 in 5 children and adults nationwide with learning and attention issues—by empowering parents and young adults, transforming schools and advocating for equal rights and opportunities.

Join the NCLD movement