“DACTA”: Documenting Accommodations for Colleges or Testing Agencies
Nearly 11% of the U.S. undergraduate population reports a disabling condition in order to request accommodations. These can be for classroom/learning use (e.g., note takers, alternate format text) or course exams (e.g., extended test time, a quiet test room, extra breaks). In addition, many graduate and professional school students request accommodations on “high stakes” exams such as the GRE, LSAT, Praxis, or MCAT as well as on national licensing board exams such as the NBME. In some cases, students request the same accommodations they received in high school. A large percentage of students, however, request accommodations for the first time as they transition to college or prepare for high stakes tests.
CRG’s psychologists and psychiatrists can assist by creating the documentation that is needed to support these accommodation requests. However, each college or testing agency has its own documentation guidelines and procedures. Clients who request these accommodations often have many questions about the accommodations they should request and/or what they need to do to qualify. They are often under the pressure of impending deadlines, complicated procedures, as well as stress about the exam itself. These stressors can be compounded by the time CRG providers may need to research exactly what type of documentation a client needs.
We are pleased to offer individualized support to help each client with this important need. Our Intake Team will schedule a one-hour intake meeting for you with Dr. David Parker, CRG’s postsecondary disability specialist. Dr. Parker has coordinated accommodations for students with LD/ADHD at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Connecticut, and Washington University in St. Louis. In addition, he has reviewed accommodations requests for Educational Testing Services (ETS) since 1998. These experiences give him a detailed understanding of how to document accommodations requests. The intake meeting includes:
1.) A brief intake form you complete in advance, which helps you gather necessary information to support your request
2.) A one-hour meeting with Dr. Parker to:
- clarify your needs
- understand the college’s or testing agency’s requirements and forms
- document your experiences with prior learning or testing situations
- identify whether new or updated testing/assessment is needed
- schedule you for CRG testing if needed/desired
3.) Dr. Parker will then consult with the appropriate CRG psychologist or psychiatrist to coordinate what is needed to support your accommodations request. This would entail either:
- Completing the appropriate form and sending it to you so you can submit it to your college disability services office,
- Writing a brief letter to verify your disability and describe reasons to support your request for accommodations, or
- Organizing any testing that is needed to document your need for accommodations. The testing would occur at a later date and entail a separate fee. Dr. Parker will preview this fee during the Intake and help you schedule the testing, if you’d like, for the next available testing time slot.
4.) If testing is needed, you would meet with the psychologist who conducted it approximately 2-3 weeks after the testing. That psychologist will review your assessment report, which you can then share with the college or testing agency to support your request for accommodations.