Documentation Guidelines for Other Disabilities
Many specific disabilities not listed on this website are subtypes of disabilities that are listed. For instance:
- Dyslexia and dysgraphia are covered under learning disorders.
- Cerebral palsy and diabetes are covered under physical/medical disabilities.
- Autism diagnoses based on DSM-IV are covered under autism spectrum disorders.
To receive accommodations for College Board exams, students with disabilities must make a request to College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD)—even if they have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), a 504 plan, or already receive those accommodations for school or state tests.
All requests should meet seven key criteria.
The diagnosis should be clearly stated.
Documentation should state the specific disability as diagnosed. The diagnosis should be made by someone with appropriate professional credentials, should be specific, and should reference the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5 or whichever edition was current at the time of diagnosis).
All information should be current.
Because disabilities change over time, documentation should be up to date. In most cases, the evaluation and diagnostic testing should be no more than five years old. However, medical, visual, and auditory reports should be no more than one or two years old (see guidelines for those disabilities for more specific information).
History should be presented.
Provide relevant educational, developmental, and medical history in support of the diagnosis and the functional limitation. Information about the student’s history of receiving school accommodations and current use of accommodations helps College Board understand the nature and severity of the student’s disability and the need for accommodations. Teacher observations are often helpful as well; they may be recorded on the Teacher Survey Form.
Teacher Survey Form
Form used to record detailed teacher input regarding a student's needs on classroom tests. Teacher observations are often helpful in support of student accommodations requests.
The diagnosis should be supported by testing.
A note from your treatment provider is usually not sufficient to support the need for accommodations. Documentation should demonstrate that a comprehensive assessment was conducted and include:
- A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis
- A narrative summary of evaluation results
- Test results with subtest scores (standard or scaled scores)
Consult our page on commonly used diagnostic tests for frequently used assessments.
Functional limitations should be described.
Explain how the disability impacts the student’s academic functioning and ability to participate in College Board exams. Functional limitations can be documented in a variety of ways, depending in part on the specific disability:
- Psychoeducational evaluations, including standardized test scores and narrative. Use national norms to support both the diagnosis and functional limitation.
- Speech and language or occupational therapy evaluations, where applicable.
- Summary of the student's developmental, educational, and/or medical history.
- Descriptive information from the school, such as teacher observations, which can be recorded on the Teacher Survey Form.
Recommended accommodations should be justified.
Provide a detailed rationale for the requested accommodations, focusing on:
- The connection between the student’s diagnosed disability and requested accommodations
- Current academic needs of the student, including functional impairments and use of accommodations in school
- A detailed description of current symptoms, including frequency, duration, and intensity, could be helpful.
See documentation guidelines for frequently requested accommodations for requirements specific to extended time, breaks, reading and seeing accommodations, recording responses, use of a four-function calculator, and assistive technology.
Evaluators' professional credentials should be listed.
To ensure valid testing and diagnosis, evaluators must be licensed by the state in which they practice.