Disability Services

Overview

Presidio Graduate School is committed to diversity and inclusion of a diverse student body. PGS provides students with disabilities with reasonable accommodations and services to assist them in accessing the curriculum and school environment. Students with either permanent or temporary disabilities may be eligible for a variety of support services in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Rehabilitation Act, Section 504.

Decisions regarding the exact accommodations to be provided are made on an individual basis. Accommodations are determined based on documentation, student collaboration, and essential functions of the curriculum. Students requesting accommodations must provide verification of disability at least three weeks before the accommodation is needed. Some services or accommodations require considerable review of student’s documentation of a disability; therefore it is important for students to plan ahead.

Applying for Accommodations and Documentation

When a student requests accommodations and services from PGS, there is a system in place to determine appropriate and reasonable accommodations to support a student’s learning. Students who think that they might need disability-related accommodations should begin this process as soon as possible. Students should be aware that the process for accommodations might take time to be established and implemented (approximately 2-3 weeks). The first step is to contact the Disability Services Coordinator (“Coordinator”, currently the Director of Professional Development and Career Services) to make an official request for accommodations. This will initiate an interactive process between the student and PGS.

Accommodations will be determined based on student disclosure, discussion with the Coordinator, and documentation from a trained professional qualified to assess the disabling condition in question. All accommodations are considered on a case-by-case basis.

It is standard practice for schools to require documentation of disabilities when an individual puts the disability at issue. PGS has the right to request documentation of any disability, disabling condition or nature of functional limitations due to the disability, but may choose not to exercise this right in some instances when a disability is readily visible and the student is able to describe the functional limitations. A professional qualified to diagnose the disability must provide documentation. PGS reserves the right to request for further documentation at any time.

The professional writing the letter of documentation should be qualified to diagnose the condition for which the student is requesting accommodations. For example, a chiropractor could not document a learning disability, although the chiropractor might diagnose and recommend accommodations for a physical disability. Please consult the Coordinator to determine the best individual to document a disability.

Please note that Presidio Graduate School has the right to determine accommodations through an interactive process with the student. Recommendations from the professional will be taken into consideration but may not necessarily be implemented.

The following are may be needed to document a disability:

  • qualifications of the evaluator
  • testing procedures followed
  • instruments used to assess the disability
  • test results and interpretation of the test results, which includes a diagnosis of a specific learning disability.

Such documentation must reflect the individual’s present achievement level, be as comprehensive as possible, and adequately measure cognitive abilities and academic achievement skills. For assessment of learning or attention disabilities, the achievement test should sample reading, math, and writing. It must include test results for at least the following characteristics: intelligence, vocabulary, reading rate, reading comprehension, spelling, mathematical comprehension, memory, and processing skill.

Documentation should state the disability or disabling condition that impacts the student’s academic functioning. This should include the methodology used. This may include but is not limited to tests, assessments and/or clinical information.

It is always preferable to have recent documentation. Many students who were tested in elementary and high school have received services throughout their education, and reasonably can be assumed to continue to have the disability. Nonetheless, more current documentation may be requested.

Documentation should include current level of functional limitations. This should include how the disability impacts student major life functions. These limitations should substantiate the student’s request for accommodations. This should include a description of the expected progression or stability of disability.

Documentation should include current and past accommodations, services, and applicable medications. This might include adaptive devices, assistive technology, and compensatory strategies.

If there is no documented record of a disability but the student feels there is one, the student may pursue an evaluation at his or her own expense. The Coordinator can assist you in finding an appropriate professional to perform an evaluation for a learning disability. However, the Coordinator is not responsible for the quality and nature of any subsequent evaluation.

Records and Privacy

PGS will maintain confidential records related to the disability within PGS’s the Student Lifecycle and Engagement department relating to academic adjustments and accommodations based upon the student’s disability. The records will include documentation submitted to verify the disability, documentation requests for reasonable accommodations, and correspondence with the Disability Services Coordinator (currently the Director of Professional Development & Career Services). Information will only be released on a need to know basis such as clarify accommodation requests or in the case of grievances. The records are subject to FERPA/HIPAA rules and regulations.