Students with a Previously Diagnosed Disability
For students with a previously diagnosed disability
If you are a student with a documented disability, you can submit any documentation you have and think is appropriate to support your requested accommodations. Helpful information may include medical records, psychoeducational testing, and school records, such as IEPs or 504 plans. While every request is considered on a case-by-case basis, there are guidelines for documentation set by the University System of Georgia that our team uses in our review.
Once we receive your documentation, we will make a determination as to whether or not the information provided meets the guidelines set and is appropriate to support your requested accommodations. If additional documentation is needed, a team member will notify you of the specific information that is needed. For example, if your documentation does not reflect current functioning, we may need more updated information.
In most cases, it will only take a few business days (5 maximum) to review and respond via phone or email based on the student’s preference. There are some situations when the documentation much be sent for review by the Regents Center for Learning Disorders (RCLD) for guidance. These situations include requests for course substitutions, including requests made prior to admission, and instances when the documentation does not clearly meet the guidelines set. Since the RCLD reviews outside documentation on a weekly basis, this may add an additional two-three weeks for a determination to be made. A team member will notify you if this is the case and will keep you updated as to the RCLD’s determination.
For those students who were either tested at an RCLD or have already had documentation reviewed by the RCLD (in the case of a transfer student, for example), the letter outlining the determination of disability and the accommodations approved from the RCLD will likely suffice. However, there may be situations when a student is requesting additional accommodations not addressed in the RCLD letter. In these circumstances, it may be necessary to provide the actual documentation used in the RCLD review and/or additional information may be needed.
If additional documentation is needed, students may be referred to appropriate on campus resources (Counseling Center, Student Health Services, Speech and Hearing Clinic) and/or the RCLD for additional testing. While there is may be no cost or minimal costs associated with on-campus resources, there is a fee for psychoeducational testing at the RCLD. There are some occasions when funds (e.g., scholarship monies) are made available to support the cost of testing; these funds are separate from the Access Office. In the event that an Access Office team member believes that the testing is necessary to support the requested accommodations, they will inform you of any available (external) funds. Students are also encouraged to use outside agencies (e.g., Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency) that may be able to cover the cost of testing. Finally, students can seek additional documentation from private agencies. It is recommended that students share the guidelines for documentation with any outside agency so that it is clear that they are able to provide the necessary information to support accommodation requests.
Even if you believe that the documentation you have does not meet the USG guidelines for documentation, please make contact with an Access Office team member anyway. Depending on the documentation you have, we may be able to offer provisional accommodations for a limited period of time (usually one semester) to give you time to get the additional information needed.