Documentation Guidelines and Requirements
The University System of Georgia requires that students who are requesting accommodations provide appropriate documentation of their disability. Providing the necessary documentation is the responsibility of the student, not the institution.
The University System of Georgia general documentation guidelines can be found here.
In addition, The University System has developed specific documentation requirements for nine categories of disabilities.Documentation must meet University System requirements in order to be accepted. Documentation requirements are listed below:
Learning disabilities is a general term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical skills. These disorders are intrinsic to the individual, presumed to be due to central nervous system dysfunction, and may occur across the life span. Problems in self-regulatory behaviors, social perception, and social interaction may exist with learning disabilities but do not, by themselves, constitute a learning disability. Although learning disabilities may occur concomitantly with other disabilities (e.g., sensory impairment, mental retardation, serious emotional disturbance), or with extrinsic influences (such as cultural differences, insufficient or inappropriate instruction), they are not the result of those conditions or influences. (National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities, Learning Disabilities: Issues on Definition, January, 1990.)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)
AD/HD is a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequently displayed and more severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development. The manifestations of AD/HD result in functional impairment in at least two settings (e.g., academic, occupational, social). The diagnosis of AD/HD is based on the specific criteria included in the current version of the DSM of the American Psychiatric Association.
The ADHD Verification form can be provided to an evaluator to elicit information needed to document ADHD. Please note that this verification form, although helpful in the documentation of the diagnosis of ADHD, may not be sufficient by itself in determining functional impairment. If this form is used, it is requested that the evaluator fills out the form in its entirety and provides the functional impairment in the academic setting.
Pervasive Developmental Disorders (including Autism Spectrum Disorders)
Pervasive developmental disorders are characterized by severe and pervasive impairment in several areas of development including reciprocal social interaction skills, communication skills, or the presence of stereotyped behavior, interests, and activities. Several different disorders fall within this category including Asperger's Disorder and Autistic Disorder.
Acquired Brain Injuries
Brain injury can result from external trauma, such as a closed head or an object penetration injury, or internal trauma, such as a cerebral vascular accident or tumor. ABI can cause physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and vocational changes that can affect an individual for a short period of time or permanently. Depending on the location and extent of the injury, symptoms can vary widely. Understanding functional changes after an injury and resulting implications for education are more important than only knowing the cause or type of injury.
Some individuals experience significant disruptions in mood, thinking, and behavioral regulation that are secondary to a psychological disorder. Many different psychological disorders can interfere with cognitive, emotional, and social functioning and may negatively impact a student's ability to function in an academic environment. The symptoms and associated impairment may be either chronic or episodic. Test anxiety by itself is not considered a psychological disorder. Complete descriptions and diagnostic criteria for psychological disorders are available in the current version of the DSM.
Sensory Disorders: Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing experience a reduction in sensitivity to sound. Amplification may not assist the individual in interpreting auditory stimuli. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing from birth may experience lags in the development of speech and most often have language-based deficiencies.
Visual impairments are disorders in the function of the eyes that cannot be adequately corrected by medical or surgical intervention, therapy, or conventional eyewear. Individuals with visual disorders may not have any useable vision or the vision may be extremely limited (light, color or shadow perception only).
Mobility impairments refer to conditions that limit a person's coordination or ability to move. Some mobility impairments are congenital while others are the result of illness or physical injury. The functional abilities and limitations resulting from the impairment will vary from individual to individual.
Systemic disabilities are conditions affecting one or more of the body's systems, including the respiratory, immunological, neurological, circulatory, or digestive systems. Systemic disabilities are often unstable therefore, the need for and type of reasonable accommodations may change over time.
Communication disorders is a general term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in language, speech and, communication. This includes difficulties in receptive and expressive language, including the production of sounds, articulation and fluency deficits, difficulty in the acquisition and production of language across modalities (i.e., spoken, written), and difficulties in the social use of verbal and nonverbal communication.
No documentation. Need a referral?For learning disorders, attention disorders, psychological disorders, pervasive developmental disorders or acquired brain injuries that affect cognitive functions --
The Regents Center for Learning Disorders (RCLD) must review evaluations that were not done by the RCLD to determine whether or not they meet University System requirements. When you come for your intake interview, you will be asked to sign a release to send your evaluation to the RCLD for review. This review process can take several weeks, so please start early.
If your evaluation was done at the RCLD, or if it has already been approved by the RCLD through another institution, please bring that information to your intake interview. Your documentation will not need to be reviewed again.
If you have been attending another higher education institution but your evaluation has not been approved by the RCLD, please bring your list of approved accommodations from that institution as well as your evaluation to your intake interview.
If your documentation is reviewed and does not meet the University System requirements, or if you have never been tested for a learning disorder before, it is your responsibility to obtain the additional testing/evaluation. You may choose any of several methods to obtain a new evaluation.
1. Check with your insurance company to see if your insurance will pay for a new evaluation. If using an evaluator you have acquired through your personal healthcare service, be sure to direct the evaluator to the RCLD website for documentation requirements and recommended evaluation tools.
2. You may have an evaluation done at the RCLD for a cost of $500. To get this process started, please begin by completing an Online Intake Form on the SDS website. Then, you will receive an email requesting to schedule a meeting with a Disability Services Provider (DSP) to review the testing packet. You must include a $250 deposit to render payable to Georgia State University upon submitting the completed RCLD packet to your DSP. The balance of $250 should be paid at the first appointment with the test center.