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Guidelines for Developmental Disability Accommodations

Who is Considered a Qualified Student with a Disability?

In order to provide quality services to students with disabilities, Texas State University-San Marcos, requires a student provide verification of disability to the Office of Disability Services (ODS) at the time services are requested.  The documentation should be on official letterhead and include the following: a statement which classifies the individual has a disability; onset, nature, duration and severity of disability; any adverse side effects caused by medication; and recommended assistance to accommodate the individual's disability.  The documentation must be recent enough to sufficiently describe how the disability affects the individual currently.  Verification of a developmental disability may include, but is not limited to, a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation by a licensed professional.  A student may submit this documentation to the ODS for consideration.  In certain cases, updated information may be required.  To qualify for services and accommodations at the university, a diagnosis for developmental disability must meet the criteria outlined in this guideline.  The disabilities addressed in this guideline are Autism Spectrum Disorder, which encompasses previous DSM-IV NOS diagnoses of autistic disorder, Asperger's disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified.

Students should keep a copy of any disability documentation provided to the ODS for their own records.  The ODS will maintain a student's file no longer than ten years after graduation or the last semester services are requested.

What is Developmental Disability Criteria?

An evaluation for a developmental disability should include a coded diagnosis according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) diagnostic code and disorder name and should identify the learning areas impaired by the disorder.  Accommodations cannot be granted without a DSM-V diagnosis verified by a psychologist or psychiatrist.

Required Diagnostic Report Information

  • A Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) diagnostic code
  • Specific characteristics used to support the diagnosis
  • Areas impaired by the disorder
  • Academic accommodations recommended by the examiner
  • The time period for which academic accommodations are recommended
  • Examiner's name, address, phone number and credentials to include professional license number

Recommended Documentation

  • A comprehensive evaluation such as a diagnostic interview and other tools used
  • Other: 504 Plan, Individualized Education Program (IEP)

How are Accommodations and Support Services Determined?

Within 30 working days of receiving documentation, the Office of Disability Services (ODS) will review the need for accommodations and support services based on the individual's disability documentation.  The ODS will notify the student after determining appropriate accommodations in accordance with Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Amendments Act of 2008, and university policy and procedure.