Transitioning from High School to Georgia Tech
The responsibilities of Georgia Tech may be significantly different from those that you may be use to in high school. You will have responsibilities as a Georgia Tech student that you did not have as a high school student. It is strongly encouraged that you know your responsibilities and those of Georgia Tech under Section 504 and Title II. Doing so will improve your opportunity to succeed as you enter Georgia Tech.
As a student with a disability leaving high school and entering Georgia Tech, will I see differences in my rights and how they are addressed?
Yes. Section 504 and Title II protect all elementary, secondary and post-secondary students from discrimination. However, several of the requirements that apply through high school are different from the requirements that apply beyond high school. For instance, Section 504 requires a school district to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to each child with a disability in the district's jurisdiction. Whatever the disability, a school district must identify the individual's educational needs and provide any regular or special education, and related aids and services necessary to meet those needs, as well as it is meeting the needs of students without disabilities. Unlike your high school, Georgia Tech is not required to provide FAPE. Rather, Georgia Tech is required to provide appropriate accommodations as necessary to ensure that it does not discriminate on the basis of a disability.
Can Georgia Tech deny my admission because I have a disability?
No. If you meet the essential requirements for admission, Georgia Tech may not deny your admission simply because you have a disability.
Do I have to inform Georgia Tech that I have a disability?
No. However, if you want Georgia Tech to provide accommodations or ensure that you are assigned to accessible facilities, you must identify yourself as having a disability. Disclosure of a disability is always voluntary, and may be done at any time.
What accommodations must Georgia Tech provide?
Appropriate accommodations are based on your disability and individual needs. Accommodations include reasonable modifications to non-fundamental academic requirements, auxiliary aids, and services. Accommodations may include arranging for recording devices, sign language interpreters, extended time for testing, or voice recognition or other adaptive software or hardware. In providing accommodations, Georgia Tech is not required to lower or waive essential requirements. For example, although Georgia Tech may be required to provide extended testing time, it is not required to change the substantive content of the test. In addition, Georgia Tech does not have to make modifications that would fundamentally alter the nature of a service, program or activity or any circumstance would result in undue financial or administrative burdens. Finally, Georgia Tech does not have to provide personal attendants, individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other devices or services of a personal nature, such as tutoring and typing.
Do I have to prove that I have a disability to obtain accommodations?
Georgia Tech requires documentation of a disability so reasonable accommodations can be determined.
What documentation should I provide?
To receive disability-related accommodations, students must identify themselves to the Office of Disability Services as having a disability and provide adequate documentation of a disability. Documentation must provide a diagnosis of the student’s condition and explain how it “substantially limits” one or more major life activities. Documentation needs to come from an appropriately licensed professional. It must be recent, and it must adequately explain how the condition impacts the way the student functions in an academic environment. The information must be clear and detailed because it will be used to determine the accommodations the student will receive. It is important to keep in mind that the Office of Disability Services recommends accommodations only for disabilities that you identify for us by providing documentation. Click here for more information.
A disability services staff member will explain what documentation is necessary for each disability. Most health care professionals provide documentation letters at no charge, but if yours does not, you are responsible for the cost of documentation. If the Office of Disability Services requires a second opinion, Georgia Tech will be responsible for the cost of that documentation. Please talk with the Disability Services staff if you have questions.
Who has to pay for a new evaluation?
Neither your high school nor Georgia Tech is required to conduct or pay for a new evaluation to document your disability and need for accommodations. This may mean that you have to pay or otherwise find funding for the evaluation. If you are eligible for services through your state vocational rehabilitation agency, you may qualify for an evaluation at no cost to you. This information may differ from state to state so you may locate your state vocational rehabilitation agency through the Department of Education.
Once the school has received the necessary documentation from me, what should I expect?
The Office of Disability Services will review your request, and the essential requirements for the relevant program, to determine accommodations. If you have requested a specific accommodation, the Office of Disability Services may offer that accommodation or a comparable alternative. While the Office of Disability Services will work with you to identify appropriate accommodations, you should not expect Disability Services to invite your parents to participate in the process or to develop an IEP for you.
What if the accommodation we identified is not working?
Let the Office of Disability Services know as soon as you become aware that the results are not what you expected. It may be too late to correct the problem if you wait until the course or activity is completed. You and the office should work together to resolve the problem.
May Georgia Tech charge me for providing an accommodation?
No, there are no additional fees for services. Furthermore, Georgia Tech may not charge students with disabilities more than other students to participate in its programs or activities.
For more information concerning Georgia Tech's admission policies, please refer to the GT Admissions Page.
Undergraduate Admissions: 404-894-6809
Graduate Admissions: 404-894-1610