Documentation Guidelines

Requirements for Service or Assistance

Select a disability type:

Documentation Guidelines:

Students requesting services from Disability Support Services at MGA are required to submit documentation to determine eligibility in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that documentation is complete, accurate, and meets the criteria required by the University System of Georgia. Disability Support Services reserves the right to determine eligibility and appropriate services based on the quality, recency, and completeness of the documentation submitted. All documentation is confidential and will be maintained by Disability Support Services. 



All units of the University System of Georgia shall employ the same definition of learning disabilities in order to promote evenness in the way learning disabled students are accommodated. A definition that was originally published by the Interagency Committee on Learning Disabilities (1987) has been adopted as being in keeping with current practices of most state and federal guidelines.


Learning disabilities is a generic 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 abilities, or of social skills. These disorders are intrinsic to the individual and presumed to be due to central nervous system dysfunction. Even though a learning disability may occur concomitantly with other handicapping conditions (e.g., sensory impairment, mental retardation, social and emotion disturbance), with socio-environmental influences (e.g., cultural differences, insufficient or inappropriate instruction, psychogenic factors), and especially with attention deficit disorder, all of which may cause learning problems, a learning disability is not the direct result of those conditions or influences.

(Interagency Committee on Learning Disabilities [1987]) University System of Georgia Academic Affairs Handbook 

  1. I.Q. in the average range (90) in one domain/area (VIQ,PIQ, etc) on a standard IQ test (WISC-R, WAIS-R, Stanford-Binet [4th edition], WISC-III Kaufman Adolescent-Adult Intelligence Test), taken within the last 3 calendar years.
  2. Discrepancy in functioning between academic/achievement areas which is based on deficit achievement (standard score one standard deviation below IQ score from #1 above or 1 standardized achievement test which is normed for student's age group (WRAT-R, Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-educational Battery, etc.) Discrepancy should be in basic word recognition, reading comprehension, written language, computational or arithmetic reasoning or related are as directly related to academic problems.
  3. Documentation of a specific cognitive/processing deficit on other independent tests (language, visual-spatial, memory, attention, graphomotor, etc.) which is related to the specific learning disabilities.
  4. Transcript and other documentation: Special Education courses taught by Special Education Teacher within last 3 years of high school, most recent IEP records and copies of standardized group achievement test scores.

All testing must be given and evaluated by a qualified licensed professional (clinical, school psychologist) and a report provided which documents the actual scores and interpretation of these tests. The report must be signed by the qualified professional.

Although such professionals are typically qualified to select an appropriate battery of tests for evaluation purposes, they should be informed of the actual criteria being utilized for eligibility possible. Because of the limitations in available normative data on many tests for L D adults, it is advised that specific information about a test which may not be known by the evaluation committee should be provided for review purposes. Evaluations based only on IQ and achievement tests will generally be considered limited in scope and may require the student to undergo further evaluation.

The following list of commonly used tests is not all inclusive but should provide some guidance in the types of measures which are considered as part of a typical Adult-LD work-up: 

  • Stanford-Binet
  • Kaufman Adolescent - Adult Intelligence Test
  • WAIS-R
  • WISC-R
  • Wide Range Achievement Test - Revised
  • Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-educational Battery
  • Gray Oral Reading Test
  • Peabody Individualized Achievement Test (using 18 yr. old norms)
  • Border Diagnostic Screening Test
  • Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test - Revised
  • Boston Naming Test
  • Expressive One Word Vocabulary Test (using oldest age norms)
  • Verbal Fluency test (F, A, S)
  • Test of Written Language (using oldest age norms)
  • Seashore Rhythm Test
  • Speech-Sounds Perception Test
  • Rosner-Auditory Analysis Test
  • GFW Auditory Discrimination Test (using oldest age norms)
  • Token Test
  • Bender Gestalt Test
  • Beery Visual Motor Integration Test (using oldest age norms)
  • Rey Osterreith Complex Figure Drawing
  • Benton Line Orientation Test
  • Benton Face Recognition Test
  • Hooper Visual Organization Test
  • Benton Visual Recognition Test
  • Wechsler Memory Scale
  • Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test
  • California Verbal Learning Test
  • Benton Visual Retention Test
  • Selective Reminding Test
  • Babcock-Levy Story Recall Test
  • Gordon Diagnostic Testing
  • Underlining Test
  • Random A's Scanning Test
  • Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test
  • Continuous Performance Tests
  • Finger Tapping
  • Grooved Pegboard
  • Purdue Pegboard
  • Categories Test
  • Wisconsin Card Sorting Test
  • Porteus Mazes
  • Ravens Progressive Matrices
  • Trail Making Test A and B
  • Proverbs Test

NOTE: Because some of these tests only have norms up to 16-18 years old, it may be necessary to use the oldest age group's normative data for college age students. Because of this, caution in interpretation is warranted and when there is question, additional related test.

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The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSMIV) classifies Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) into three types: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive-impulse, and combined. Although once considered "childhood disorders," these conditions have been recognized as chronic impairments which continue into adulthood and are often controlled through medication. Distractibility, impulsivity, and possible hyperactivity are symptoms which make learning difficult for adult students.

  1. Reported history of ADHD by the age of seven. Suggested Data Source:
    • Clinical Interview
    • Past Psychological
    • Parent / Spouse Report
  2. Self report of three major behaviors from the Draft DSM-IV.
    Suggested Data Source: Draft DSM-IV items
  3. Observations from two professionals (clinicians, teachers, etc.) across the following settings:
    • Working Independently
    • Working Under Direction
    • Working Under Time Constraints
    Identification of the same three major behaviors across both observers.
    Suggested Data Source: ADHD Observational Form
  4. Mandatory corroboration of behaviors by another adult (parent, spouse, relative, friend with integrity or knowledge of client).
    Suggested Data Source:
    • Signed permissions to talk with another adult
    • Phone or in person identification of at least 3 behaviors from the Draft DSM-IV items
  5. Documentation on two rating scales of ADHD behaviors.
    Suggested Data Source:
    • Client Rating Form
    • SCL-90
    • Self-Rating Symptom Checklist
    • Other(s)
  6. Schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, autism, and mental retardation is not the primary disability

Note: All clients must be given an anxiety and depression measure in addition to criterion one through six.
(Source: Regents Center for Learning Disorders, University of Georgia)

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Psychological Disabilities:

  1. Documentation must include a medical or clinical diagnosis of a psychiatric disability based on DSM-IV criteria and a rationale for the diagnosis.
  2. The evaluation must be performed by an appropriate professional: a psychiatrist, a clinical psychologist, or a clinical social worker. The evaluator's name, title, and professional credentials and affiliation should be provided.
  3. The documentation should include the following:
    • Information regarding the severity of the disability and the specific academic functions by the disability and/or medication (e.g., ability to concentrate, ability to attend class regularly, ability to interact in small/large groups);
    • Recommendations for and compliance to prescriptive treatment, including medication;
    • Recommendations for academic accommodations based on specific features/symptoms of disability.
  4. Documentation must reflect the current array of features/symptoms and level of functioning; if the documentation does not, students may be required to submit up-dated information and/or documentation.

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Physical, Sensory or Systemic Disabilities:

  1. Documentation must include a medical diagnosis.
  2. Diagnosis and evaluation should be made by a medical doctor or appropriate specialist licensed in the specific field of disability. The evaluator's name, title, and professional credentials and affiliations should be provided.
  3. Documentation should include the following:
    • Stability of the disability (Is the disability stable, progressive, fluctuating?);
    • Information regarding the specific academic functions affected by and the severity of the disability (e.g., ability to concentrate, ability to attend class regularly);
    • Recommendations for academic accommodations based on specific features/symptoms of disability (e.g. assistive technology/equipment).
  4. Recency of the documentation is dependent on the nature/stability of the disability.
  5. Documentation must reflect the current array of symptoms/features and level of functioning; if the documentation does nor, students may be required to submit up-dated information and/or documentation.

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