About "Assistive Technology for Learning Differences"

AT4LD.net was created to provide prospective students with more information about UCSC Extension's new online course, "Assistive Technology for Learning Differences". This site was created by instructor Shelley Haven, ATP, RET, and it is not affiliated with UCSC.

laptop showing course on screenNew online college course

In March 2020, UC Santa Cruz - Silicon Valley Extension is offering a 3-unit online course titled “Assistive Technology for Learning Differences”.  It’s part of UCSC Extension's Educational Therapy Certificate Program. You do not need to apply for admission to take UCSC Extension courses, and because it's online, you don't need to live in Silicon Valley.

For the full course description and registration webpage, see:

Over the last few months, I've been asked several questions about the course (which I've nicknamed "AT4LD"), so I decided to summarize the most-requested information in this standalone website separate from my own (www.TechPotential.net) or the Extension's (www.UCSC-Extension.edu).

Course is Designed for Educational Therapists, Learning Specialists, Teachers, and Parents

My focus with AT4LD is technology for students with learning disabilities, ADHD, executive functioning deficits, and issues with processing information and memory.  Roughly one in five students in the U.S. has brain-based learning difficulties that interfere with reading, writing, math, organization, focus, listening comprehension, and/or motor skills. However, only about a third of these 1-in-5 students are formally identified with Specific Learning Disabilities or attention issues and receive accommodations or services (IEPs, 504 plans). The others often struggle, may be mislabeled (lazy, unmotivated), and may develop secondary issues as a result (anxiety, depression, social problems, resistance to school).

The course was specifically designed for Educational Therapists – highly-trained education professionals skilled in academic assessment, instructional intervention, and program planning for children and adults with learning challenges, typically working one-on-one or in small group settings.  For more about the Educational Therapy profession, please visit:

Association of Educational Therapists (AET) website: www.aetonline.org/
AET Mission Statement: www.aetonline.org/index.php/about/mission-statement/

AT4LD is also designed to assist teachers, learning specialists, other education professionals, and parents – in essence, anyone who teaches, works with, or supports the 1-in-5 students who struggle with brain-based learning difficulties, and who wants guidance on how to help these students with technology.

This is a beginner to intermediate level course, appropriate for those looking to add assistive technology to their practice or their skill set, and those familiar with AT who want to delve into the nuts-and-bolts of creating effective solutions.

About UCSC Extension

From their "About" webpage (www.ucsc-extension.edu/about/):

UCSC Extension, the leading workforce educator in Silicon Valley, is the only accredited institution in the area to offer University of California-quality courses designed by experienced instructors who are actually working in their field. We serve:

  • new college graduates needing practical skills,
  • people in the workforce looking to update skills or change direction, and
  • lifelong learners interested in studying with industry experts in the heart of Silicon Valley.


If you have questions about course registration, the Educational Therapy Certificate Program, or UCSC Extension in general, please contact a student services representative at 408-861-3860 or extension@ucsc.edu.  You can also submit an Inquiry Form on the bottom of this webpage: www.ucsc-extension.edu/certificates/educational-therapy/.

If you have questions about course content, please explore this website or feel free to contact me directly at shelleyhaven <at> TechPotential.net.