Apply for Accommodations

Official notice of accommodations must be given two weeks prior to exams and can take up to 10 institutional days to review your application. Therefore, students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. It may take several weeks for the entire application process to be completed.

  1. Fill out the application for disabilities services (link).
  2. Obtain documentation specific to your disability. Use the Letter to Providers – Verification of Disability (link).
  3. Schedule and complete an intake interview with Dr. Salazar.
  4. Once a completed application is turned in it will be reviewed and a decision made within 10 institutional days by Dr. Salazar.
  5. The student will receive a letter of accommodations to take to any appropriate individuals and faculty for implementation of your accommodations. Students are responsible for this step in the accommodation process.

Documentation and other supporting evidence must be submitted to DSS. Students should submit their documentation and request for accommodations prior to enrollment whenever possible. Guidelines for documentation are outlined below.

  • Documentation of disability must be provided by a properly credentialed professional.
  • Documentation should establish the existence of an impairment, indicate the degree to which the student’s impairment substantially limits a major life activity, and describe the manner in which the impairment limits the individual’s ability to function in the academic environment.
  • Documentation may include, but is not limited to, the following:
    • Test scores
    • Objective medical data
    • Clinical observations
    • Past academic or professional history
    • The student’s actual performance in similar situations
  • A direct link between the diagnosis and the requested accommodations

Please refer to pages 10-15 of the Disability Resource Manual (link) for more detailed information related to documentation guidelines. Documentation must specify the requested accommodations based on the student's disability.

Students must complete and submit the DSS Application for Disability Services. Included in the application is a release of information form that students should sign to allow DSS to discuss the student’s needs with their medical provider and/or diagnostician as well as any offices from which they have previously received accommodations. While this release is not required in order to gain accommodations, it may be of significant help in determining appropriate accommodations.

Upon delivering the application and documentation to DSS, students must make an appointment for an intake interview to discuss their disability and specific needs for accommodations. Interviews will take place in person, by phone, or through video conferencing, depending on the situation.

Students will be provided with a written decision regarding their accommodations within 10 institutional days after all requested material has been provided and reviewed.

Please note that we try our best to process the requests for accommodations in a timely fashion, however obtaining accommodations is not immediate and can be a lengthy process at times.

An approved accommodation(s) at TTUHSC El Paso is not a guarantee that an accommodation(s) will be granted on board exams. Board exams are a separate process, but the DSS office can assist students with application for accommodations on board/licensing exams.

Students may appeal the decision regarding accommodations by following the grievance procedure described in the Disability Manual (link) and filling out an appeals form (form).

Documentation Requirements for Specific Disabilities

1. A qualified diagnostician must conduct the evaluation.

  • Professionals conducting assessments and rendering diagnoses of ADHD must be qualified to do so and qualified to recommend appropriate accommodations for adult students. Professionals typically qualified include psychologists, neuro-psychologists, psychiatrists, and other practitioners trained in psychology/psychiatry.
  • Comprehensive training in the differential diagnosis of ADHD and direct experience in diagnosis and treatment of adolescents and adults with ADHD is necessary.
  • Diagnoses of ADHD documented by family members will not be accepted even when the family members are otherwise qualified by virtue of training and licensure/certification.
  • All reports should be in English, typed or printed on professional letterhead, dated and signed.

2. Evaluation report must include specific information.

Since reasonable accommodations are based upon the assessment of the current impact of the disorder on academic and other functioning, a comprehensive neuropsychological or psychological evaluation, interview, clinical narrative discussion and summary is required.

Evaluation reports must contain the following:

  • Date(s) of assessment;
  • Clear diagnosis utilizing the appropriate DSM-V or DSM-IV-TR code(s);
  • A description of the symptoms and criteria met for the diagnosis;
  • Identification of tools used for diagnostic purposes; (see #4)
  • Testing results using adult norms (if over 18 at the time of testing) and reporting as percentiles or stanines, along with standard scores;
  • Clinical narrative based upon observations and specific results as it pertains to the learning environment;
  • Relevant pharmacological history, explanation of the extent to which the medication(s) currently benefit and effect the student;

3. Documentation should build a case for and provide a rationale for the diagnosis of ADHD.

  • Description and emphasis on how ADHD symptoms have manifested across various settings over time, how the student has coped with the problems, and what success the student has had in their coping efforts.
  • A thorough explanation of the student’s current level of functioning, with or without the use of mitigating measures, including medication and increased time on exams.
  • Description of the functional limitation(s) to major life activities (e.g., learning, concentrating, thinking) posed by the disability and how it may affect the accommodations that are being requested.

4. Comprehensive testing battery and diagnostic report with specific assessment data must be included in each of three areas: aptitude/cognitive ability, academic achievement, and information processing.

  • Summary of the assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis.
  • An assessment of aptitude and cognitive ability including sub-test scores, standard scores and percentiles orstanines listed by preference:
    • Acceptable Aptitude/Cognitive Ability Tests:
      • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – Revised (WAIS-R) or
      • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale 3rd Edition (WAIS-III)
      • Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-educational Battery: Test of Cognitive Ability
      • Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test
      • Stanford Binet – 5th Edition
    • A comprehensive academic achievement battery with all sub-test scores, standard scores and percentiles orstanines reported, and should include current levels of academic functioning in such relevant areas as reading (decoding and comprehension), mathematics, and oral and written language, listed by preference:
      • Acceptable Academic Achievement Tests:
        • Woodcock-Johnson III Psycho-educational Battery: Test of Achievement
        • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT)
        • Stanford Test of Academic Skills (TASK)
        • Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA)
        • Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests – Revised (specific achievement test)
        • Test of Written Language (TOWL-3) (specific achievement test)
        • Nelson-Denny Reading Testing (to be used as supplemental test)
      • Assessment of short and long term memory, auditory and visual perception and processing, executive functioning, and/or motor ability. Sub-test scores, standard scores and percentiles orstanines should be provided for all normed measures.
        • Acceptable Information Processing Tests:
          • Detroit Test of Learning Aptitude (DTLA-3)
          • Detroit Test of Learning Aptitude – Adult (DTLA-A)
          • Subtests from the Woodcock-Johnson – Revised: Tests of Cognitive Abilities
          • Subtests from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale - Revised (WAIS-R)
        • Other behavioral rating scales, attention, memory and learning assessments, or checklists/ADHD symptom rating scales may not be used alone but only in conjunction with other data above. Other tests/measures can and should be submitted in addition to the above assessments to support the evaluation report.
        • Age/grade equivalent scores are not sufficient in the absence of standard scores or percentile ranks; all test scores must be included in the report including sub-test scores, standard scores and percentile ranks or stanines.
        • Test data should logically reflect a substantial limitation to learning for which the student is requesting the accommodation.
      • The particular profile of the student's strengths and weaknesses must be shown to relate to functional limitations that may necessitate accommodations.

5. Each accommodation recommended must include a rationale.

  • An ADHD diagnosis alone will not necessarily establish disability status or warrant accommodations under the ADA.
  • Accommodations are not granted on the basis of a diagnostic label. Instead, accommodation requests need to be tied to evidence of current functional impairment that supports their use. Accommodations must be necessary, reasonable, and appropriate.
  • The evaluator must describe the type and degree of impact ADHD has on a specific major life activity and on the individual.
  • Each recommendation should be tailored to the individual and tied to specific test results and clinical observation.
  • A detailed explanation supporting the need for each requested accommodation must be provide. The rationale should explain why the specific accommodation is needed based upon functional limitations established through the evaluation process.
  • If extended time is recommended as an accommodation, specific evidence must demonstrate improved performance with additional time.
    • “The inability to complete an exam” is not sufficient evidence for extended test taking time. It does not address the academic need for the accommodation as related to testing data, the student’s functional limitation(s), and disability.
Note: If you were diagnosed after the age of 13, you should provide the records and documentation from your original testing as well as a letter from your current provider stating your current level of functioning and pharmalogical treatment.  You do not have to be tested again.

1. Report from an audiologist or otolaryngologist that includes the following:

  • Clear statement of deafness or hearing loss;
  • Current audiogram that reflects the degree of hearing loss and current impact the deafness or hearing loss has on the student’s functioning;
  • The type of hearing loss (conductive or sensorineural);
  • The status of the individual’s hearing in regards to whether the hearing loss is temporary or permanent, and if it is stable or progressive;
  • Whether the condition is mitigated by hearing aids or medication;
  • Recommendations for reasonable academic accommodations.

1. Report or letter from an ophthalmologist or optometrist that includes the following:

  • The specific medical condition which causes the visual impairment and how long the student has experienced the condition;
  • The degree of visual acuity, including with corrective lenses;
  • The extent of the visual fields;
  • Whether the condition is temporary or permanent, and if it is stable or progressive;
  • Whether the condition is mitigated by corrective lenses or medication;
  • A description of the functional limitation(s) caused by the disability;
  • Recommendations for reasonable academic accommodations including any visual aids.

1. Report or letter from a speech pathologist or physician that includes the following:

  • The specific disabling condition;
  • Whether the condition is temporary or permanent, and if it is stable or progressive;
  • A description of the functional limitation(s) caused by the disability on the student’s academic performance;
  • Recommendations for reasonable academic accommodations.

1. Letter or report from a physician in an appropriate medical specialization that includes the following:

  • The specific medical condition which causes the disability;
  • Whether the condition is temporary or permanent, and if it is stable or progressive;
  • Information about current prescribed medications used to treat the disability and possible side effects;
  • A description of the functionally limiting manifestations of the condition(s) for which accommodations are being requested;
  • Recommendations and rationales for reasonable academic accommodations.

If temporary, please include start and end dates for accommodation requests. (see Temporary Accommodations(link)

1. Psychological or neuropsychological evaluation or report from a psychiatrist, licensed psychologist, or otherwise qualified practitioner that includes the following:

  • Clear statement of the condition with the DSM-V diagnosis;
  • Clear description of the specific symptoms experienced by the student which meet the criteria for the diagnosis;
  • A summary of the assessment procedures and evaluation instruments which were used to make the diagnosis;
  • Information about current prescribed medications used to treat the disability and possible side effects;
  • Description of the functional limitation(s) caused by the disability that would impact the academic context for which accommodations are being requested;
  • Recommendations and rationales for reasonable academic accommodations.
 

1. A qualified diagnostician must conduct the evaluation.

  • Professionals conducting assessments and making the diagnosis must be qualified to do so and qualified to recommend appropriate accommodations. Professionals typically qualified include psychologists, neuro-psychologists, psychiatrists, and other practioners trained in psychology/psychiatry.
  • The documentation must include name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about licensure and/or specialization.
  • Diagnoses of learning disorders documented by family members will not be accepted even when the family members are otherwise qualified by virtue of training and licensure/certification.
  • All reports should be in English, typed or printed on professional letterhead, dated and signed.

2. Documentation must be current.

  • Although a learning disability is normally viewed as lifelong, the severity and manifestations of the condition may change over time. The provision of reasonable accommodations and services is based upon assessment of the current impact of the disability on academic functioning; therefore it is necessary to provide recent and appropriate documentation.
  • If you were diagnosed after the age of 13, you should provide the records and documentation from your original testing as well as a letter from your current provider stating your current level of functioning and recommendations for accommodations. You do not have to be tested again.

3. Evaluation report must include specific information.

Since reasonable accommodations are based upon the assessment of the current impact of the disorder on academic and   other functioning, a comprehensive neuropsychological or psychological evaluation, interview, clinical narrative discussion and summary is required.

  • Date(s) of assessment;
  • A clear diagnosis utilizing the appropriate DSM-V or DSM-IV-TR code(s);
  • A description of how the condition was diagnosed;
  • Diagnostic interview and clinical observations;
  • Identification of tools used for diagnostic purposes, (see #4);
  • Testing results using adult norms (if 18 or over at the time of testing) and reporting as percentiles or stanines, along with standard scores;
  • Description of the individual’s current level of functioning, current impact of the disability on the student’s ability to function in an academic setting
  • List of the current treatments, therapeutic techniques, and any assistive technology that may be used to ameliorate the impact of the learning disorder.
  • Evidence that establishes a clear link between the functional limitations and the specific deficit areas along with a justification for the need of the recommended accommodations. Identifying a discrepancy on one test is not sufficient to warrant a diagnosis of a learning disability, nor does it establish eligibility for an accommodation.  The diagnosis must be based upon the full comprehensive assessment battery;
  • Demonstration that a major life activity (e.g., learning, concentrating, thinking) is substantially limited by providing a clear sense and implication of the frequency and severity of the disability and how it applies to the  accommodations being requested. 

4. Comprehensive evaluation and diagnostic report with specific assessment data must be provided.

  • Summary of the assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis.
  • An assessment of aptitude and cognitive ability including sub-test scores, standard scores and percentiles orstanines listed by preference:
    • Acceptable Aptitude/Cognitive Ability Tests:
      • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – Revised (WAIS-R) or
      • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale 3rd Edition (WAIS-III)
      • Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-educational Battery: Test of Cognitive Ability
      • Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test
      • Stanford Binet – 5th Edition
  • A comprehensive academic achievement battery with all sub-test scores, standard scores and percentiles orstanines reported, and should include current levels of academic functioning in such relevant areas as reading (decoding and comprehension), mathematics, and oral and written language, listed by preference:
    • Acceptable Academic Achievement Tests:
      • Woodcock-Johnson III Psycho-educational Battery: Test of Achievement
      • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT)
      • Stanford Test of Academic Skills (TASK)
      • Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA)
      • Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests – Revised (specific achievement test)
      • Test of Written Language (TOWL-3) (specific achievement test)
      • Nelson-Denny Reading Testing (to be used as supplemental test)
  • Assessment of short and long term memory, auditory and visual perception and processing, executive functioning, and/or motor ability. Sub-test scores, standard scores and percentiles orstanines should be provided for all normed measures.
    • Acceptable Information Processing Tests:
      • Detroit Test of Learning Aptitude (DTLA-3)
      • Detroit Test of Learning Aptitude – Adult (DTLA-A)
      • Subtests from the Woodcock-Johnson – Revised: Tests of Cognitive Abilities
      • Subtests from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale - Revised (WAIS-R)
    • Other behavioral rating scales, attention, memory and learning assessments, or checklists/ symptom rating scales may not be used alone but only in conjunction with other data above. Other tests/measures can and should be submitted in addition to the above assessments to support the evaluation report.

5. Each accommodation recommended must include a rationale.

  • Accommodations are not granted on the basis of a diagnostic label. Instead, accommodation requests need to be tied to evidence of current functional impairment that supports their use.
  • The evaluator must describe the type and degree of impact that the LD has (if one exists) on a specific major life activity and on the individual.
  • A detailed explanation supporting the need for each requested accommodation must be provided. The rationale should explain why the specific accommodation is needed based upon functional limitations established through the evaluation process.
  • If extended time is recommended as an accommodation, specific evidence must demonstrate improved performance with additional time.
  • “The inability to complete an exam” is not sufficient evidence for extended test taking time. It does not address the academic need for the accommodation as related to testing data, the student’s functional limitation(s), and disability.