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Updating Documentation for Learning Disabilities (LD) or LD/ADHD

If the documentation provided by the candidate does not meet ETS documentation requirements for learning disabilities (LD) or LD/ADHD, candidates have the option to submit new and/or additional documentation. A documentation update is a report by a qualified professional that includes a summary of the original disability documentation findings, as well as additional evaluation data necessary to establish the candidate's current eligibility and the appropriateness of the requested testing accommodation(s).

The summary in a documentation update should include:

  • A restatement of the diagnosis, including date(s) for all prior diagnoses and data that were used to establish the diagnosis. Evidence regarding the diagnosis should be more than a self-report by the test taker.
  • An update that verifies the continuing weakness in those areas identified as weak in prior evaluation(s).
  • Current functional limitations due to the disability, including information regarding its duration, severity and impact on academic performance in general and test taking in particular.
  • Observational data, gathered during the evaluation, of behavior such as affect, concentration, attentional fatigue, executive functioning and fluency.
  • History and types of accommodations received and used, consistency and circumstances of use (e.g., the type of test in which accommodations were most helpful), or an explanation of why no accommodations have been used prior to the current request.
  • Discussion of the appropriateness of the requested accommodations for ETS tests, including objective evidence confirming that performance would be negatively affected without the requested accommodations.

Additional evaluation data for LD and/or LD/ADHD should include:

  • Achievement measures that substantiate the ongoing impact of the disability on academic performance. The updated evaluation need not include a full battery of tests but may include selected academic tests and subtests deemed appropriate to support current eligibility. There should be an explanation of why certain subtests were selected for the update, interpretation of the scores received and a discussion of relevant error patterns based on the candidate's scores.
  • Assessment of cognitive functioning is necessary only if the existing documentation does not contain adequate and age-appropriate information to establish the disability status. An update of intellectual functioning is generally not necessary if the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale was used, given that intellectual functioning is typically stable in adulthood.

In conclusion, the extent of retesting required for a documentation update is applicant-specific and depends on how closely the initial documentation report complies with the prevailing professional standards and ETS documentation guidelines.

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