Hi and thank you for taking my question. I’m an adult male in my late 30’s. I was diagnosed with a learning disability in the early 1970s. I was in special education classes from elementary school through high school. Just recently, I put in a request for my high school to send me copies of my transcript to see if they had me listed as an LD student. They responded by saying that at that time, they didn’t use the terminology of a learning disability. My high school transcripts show that indeed I was in special education classes, but do not list a learning disability.
I want information about my diagnosis because I want my workplace to know that I have a learning disability. I have no other record about my disability and I know my workplace will want something in writing or on file. Any suggestions about what I can do to prove my case?
Thanks for your advice,
Gerald: You are correct in needing documentation if you are to use the Americans With Disabilities Act to request accommodations at work. The federal law that established a formal need for special education services was not passed until the mid-1970s. Thus, your school may have provided special education services without the formal documentation needed today. Also, many schools kept a formal record on each student that could be read and released to the proper people and a confidential record that contained any testing or evidence of a disability.
Most important to you is that when you request accommodations based on the ADA, you need evaluations that are not more than three years old. Thus, you will have to find out who does formal studies, known as psycho-educational evaluations, for adults with learning disabilities in your area. The professional who does these studies will help you document your disabilities as they relate to work.