There is an established procedure for arranging for disability-related accommodations and services at GTCC. Close adherence to this process will ensure a timely response to your request.
General Documentation Guidelines
In most cases, in order to be determined eligible for accommodations through the DAS Office, an enrolled student (curriculum, continuing education or basic skills) with a disability or chronic medical condition should present documentation that contains information describing the student’s current level of functioning within and outside of the academic setting.
This documentation should be submitted by a professional who is licensed/certified in the area for which the diagnosis is made and who is not related to the student. The report must be presented on practice letterhead and signed by the examiner. Examples of qualified professionals for different disability areas include:
For deaf or hard of hearing, a licensed audiologist.
For blind or low vision, a licensed ophthalmologist.
For cognitive disabilities, a licensed psychologist.
For physical disabilities, a licensed medical doctor that specializes in that particular physical disability.
For your convenience, the DAS Office has provided detailed Documentation Guidelines and Verification Forms for many of the major disability types. Please use these documents to aid you in obtaining the appropriate documentation to establish eligibility. You can access the guidelines and forms on our Documents and Formspage. Please print and review the appropriate Documentation Guidelines and Verification Form(s) for your physician/medical professional. If you have any questions, or would like assistance with determining the appropriate files for your condition, please contact a DAS staff member.
Students who furnish false oral, written or forged documentation for a medical condition or disability to deliberately misrepresent, alter or modify forms and/or reports used to determine eligibility and/or accommodations will be reported to the Chief Disciplinary Officer for appropriate disciplinary action.
Information for the Examiner
Although this is not intended to be a template, we request that the information set out in this section be included in the report.
History of personal, social, medical and education activities as it pertains to the causes of the evaluation.
Diagnostic statement identifying the disability (ICD-DSM classification).
Description of the diagnostic methodology used, including all data from appropriate instruments of evaluation. Information based on “screening” instruments is not acceptable.
Description of current substantial limitations as they relate to meeting the various demands of college life. The report should contain a discussion and evidence of impact as it relates to the actual achievement (or lack thereof) for the current time period and during the past year (indicate any accommodations and/or services provided).
Recommendations for accommodations/Services. Please note that any recommendations should be directly linked to the impact of the disability and associated issues (ex: medication) and not simply to the diagnosis.
Expected progression or stability of the medical condition/disability.
Medication – mitigation of impact and/or (expected) side effects.
Co-morbid conditions – if multiple diagnoses are present, please indicate the primary and secondary conditions and how each affects learning.
Explanation of differential or exclusionary diagnosis
The first step to accessing the accommodations and services you need is to “self-identify” to the college as a student with a disability. To self-identify you simply make contact with the DAS Office and arrange an appointment to discuss your needs and present your official documentation. In addition to presenting your documentation, you should be able to provide details about the following:
How your disability impacts one, or more, “Major Life Activities.” Major Life Activities include; walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself, and performing manual tasks.
How your disability impacts you in the educational setting.
The types of accommodations/services you have received in the past and how those accommodations/services enabled you to overcome barriers to access.
At this initial meeting, the DAS staff member will share information about DAS services, answer your questions, and set a date for your intake appointment. Between the initial meeting and your intake appointment, your DAS advisor will (in consultation with at least one other DAS staff member) review the documentation you presented to determine your eligibility for the accommodations/services you requested.
Your DAS advisor will share the findings of the documentation review and collect additional information about you and your needs at the intake appointment. If it was determined that the documentation you provided was sufficient to support your requests, you will be presented with the necessary paperwork to give to each of your instructors. In cases where documentation is found to be insufficient, the student will be required to seek additional evaluation and/or clarifying information from the evaluator/medical provider regarding the documentation. The student is responsible for all costs associated with obtaining the reports, examinations, tests, etc.
Note: The process explained above outlines the basic steps required to establish eligibility for disability related services. In practice, the process of identifying appropriate accommodations/services in an educational environment can include additional input from other individuals involved in your medical and educational history (i.e., doctors, therapist, instructors, etc.) The process is also ongoing, requiring your continued diligence and analysis. Your DAS advisor can assist you with this.
Note: Some accommodations/services require more time to arrange than others. Therefore, the DAS Office requests that you submit your requests for services as soon as you can (30 days prior to the beginning of the semester, if possible). While failure to submit your documentation/request in a timely manner will not impact eligibility decisions, it may result in a delay in services.
In cases where documentation is incomplete or out of date, the student will be required to seek additional evaluation and/or clarifying information from the evaluator/medical provider regarding the documentation. The student is responsible for all costs associated with obtaining the reports, examinations, tests, etc.
Since the requirements for access in higher education are different than those for high school, generally the Individual Educational Plans (IEP’s), 504 Plans, and Summary of Performance (SOP) are not sufficient documentation to establish that the student is eligible for services and accommodations.
In most cases documentation consisting only of a diagnosis, case or chart notes, and/or prescription pad notations is insufficient to determine the impact of a medical condition/disability, to address the issue of substantial limitations, and to determine reasonable accommodations.
If a student leaves GTCC for any reason, upon being readmitted he or she will be asked to submit updated documentation prior to receiving accommodations and/or services.
Temporary Medical Conditions
Some medical conditions or disabilities are temporary (ex: a broken hand) and may only require accommodations for a limited time. Each case is considered individually.