Disabilities and Health-related Needs
Disabilities and Health-related Needs
Requirements for Disability Documentation
ETS is committed to serving test takers with intellectual disabilities (ID) and providing them with services and reasonable accommodations. An intellectual disability is diagnosed by limitations in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior. An ID is lifelong and has its onset before age 18. Intellectual functioning is assessed by a comprehensive measure of intelligence, and adaptive behavior is assessed by a standardized measure of three domains: conceptual, social and practical.
As stated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), American Psychiatric Association, 2013, "The conceptual (academic) domain involves competence in memory, language, reading, writing, math reasoning, acquisition of practical knowledge, problem solving and judgment in novel situations, among others. The social domain involves awareness of others' thoughts, feelings and experiences; empathy; interpersonal communication skills; friendship abilities; and social judgment, among others. The practical domain involves learning and self-management across life settings, including personal care, job responsibilities, money management, recreation, self-management of behavior, and school and work task organization, among others." (p 33.)
Intellectual disability (intellectual developmental disorder) is a disorder with onset during the developmental period that includes both intellectual and adaptive functioning deficits in conceptual, social and practical domains. The following three criteria must be met:
The diagnostic term intellectual disability is the equivalent term for the ICD-11 diagnosis of intellectual developmental disorders. Although the term intellectual disability is used throughout this manual, both terms are used in the title to clarify relationships with other classification systems. Moreover, a federal statute in the United States (Public Law 111-256, Rosa's Law) replaces the term mental retardation with intellectual disability, and research journals use the term intellectual disability. Thus, intellectual disability is the term in common use by medical, educational and other professions and by the lay public and advocacy groups.
The ICD-9-CM code for intellectual disability (intellectual developmental disorder) is 319, which is assigned regardless of the severity specifier. The ICD-10-CM code depends on the severity specifier (see below).
Specify current severity:
The various levels of severity are defined on the basis of adaptive functioning and not IQ scores because it is adaptive functioning that determines the level of supports required. Moreover, IQ measures are less valid in the lower end of the IQ range.
Reprinted with permission from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth edition, (Copyright 2013). American Psychiatric Association. All rights reserved. (see p. 33)
Tests of Intellectual Ability
Adaptive Functioning Scales
Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)
|Mail:||107 Commerce Center Drive, Suite 204; Huntersville, NC 28078|
An excellent organization to contact for individuals with disabilities who are planning to attend college training programs, workshops and conferences.
American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
|Mail:||501 3rd Street, NW Suite 200; Washington, DC 20001|
National Center on Secondary Education and Transition
|Mail:||Institute on Community Integration; University of Minnesota; 6 Pattee Hall;150 Pillsbury Drive SE; Minneapolis MN 55455|
National Association of School Psychologists
|Mail:||4340 East West Highway, Suite 402; Bethesda, MD 20814|
1-866-331-NASP — Toll free
If you have questions or need additional information, contact Disability Services.