Learning Center West

Educational Diagnostic Center


Frequently Asked Questions About Learning Disability


picture of the Keith Goodin Scholarship plaque

  1. How do I find out if I have a learning disability?
  2. Must I be a student at De Anza to get a learning disability
    assessment at the college?
  3. How long does it take to get an assessment?
  4. Will I have to do this testing every quarter?
  5. If I have a learning disability, does it mean I'm not intelligent?
  6. I'm not sure I really have a learning disability.  Why not just wait
    for an assessment?
  7. I am graduating from high school. How can I continue to get
    services at De Anza College?
  8. I had resource services at my high school, and I am currently
    a student at De Anza. How can I get services?

  9. I have ADD/ADHD.  Do I qualify for services?
  10. Do I have to tell my instructors I have a learning disability?
  11. Won't my instructors think less of my ability if they know I'm in EDC?
  12. If I am assessed and use services, will it show on my transcript or college records or will it affect my chances to transfer?
  13. Will I get services lilke these if I transfer to a university?
  14. Does De Anza have a program for students with developmental disabilities?

How do I find out if I have a learning disability?

The only way to find out for sure is to have an assessment that includes tests and interviews with  someone qualified to diagnose learning disabilities.  Achievement and ability levels, work and school history, learning style and problems that interfere with learning are part of the evaluation. 

If you are a De Anza student, attend one of the Information Meetings about programs and services for students with disabilities. If, after attending the meeting, you would like to enroll in the learning skills assessment class, you will be contacted as soon as an appointment is available. If you would like to have a private assessment, we can refer you to other outside resources.

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Must I be a student at De Anza to get a learning disability assessment at the college?

Yes, an assessment is only available to registered De Anza students.

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How long does it take to get an assessment?

Usually between 3 and 5 weeks, depending on your availability and how many people are waiting to be tested.  You can check with the EDC reception desk to find out about how long the wait would likely be until your first appointment.

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Will I have to do this testing every quarter?

No, once you complete your assessment and are eligible, you will not need to do it again.  You will need to meet with your EDC advisor, who is a learning disabilities specialist, each quarter to continue to receive services.  For the future, you will have a copy of your testing results for your files and to take to other colleges if you need to.

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If I have a learning disability, does it mean I'm not intelligent?

Actually, many very intelligent, accomplished people have learning disabilities.  You might be surprised that Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Whoopi Goldberg, and Bruce Jenner are among them.  The EDC has lists of famous people with names you would recognize.  Many of the classmates in your classes are likely receiving EDC services--and you're not even aware of it because the services are confidential.  Help yourself be successful by using resources available to you.

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I'm not sure I really have a learning disability.  Why not just wait for an assessment?

You can do that, but if you are having academic difficulties now, it would be best to get help and be more successful rather than wait until your academic record has been negatively affected.  Also, if you wait until you are no longer at De Anza, you might have to pay for a private assessment that could cost $1000 or more.

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I am graduating from high school. How can I get services at De Anza College?

Attend one of the special Information Meetings planned for high school transition students and  families for an overview of the programs and services.  These also cover information on how to enroll for services as soon as possible, after you start your classes.  Bring a copy of your most recent IEP, 504 plan and/or assessment reports.  DSS and EDC have special tips and strategies to help you prepare for your first quarter at De Anza College. 

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I had resource services at my high school, and I am currently a student at De Anza. How can I continue to get services?

Bring a copy of your most recent IEP, 504 plan and/or most recent assessment reports to an Information Meeting or to the EDC reception desk and we will schedule an appointment for you to meet with an EDC Advisor.

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I have ADD/ADHD.  Do I qualify?

Yes, but the Disability Support Services program will be your first contact.  You need to take a Disability Verification Packet to the professional who diagnosed or treats you for ADD/ADHD.  The Packet contains a Form the professional must fill out and sign.  It is then submitted to DSS.  After this is done, you will have an intake appointment with a counselor there.  You will then be able to receive services and accommodations, including tutoring or classes in EDC, based on your situation.

If you do not have a verifying professional or have other documented learning disabilities as well, contact EDC directly, or attend an Information Meeting.

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Do I have to tell my instructors I have a learning disability?

You have the right to confidentiality.  It is your decision whether you let other students or teachers know.  If you request accommodations, you need to tell your instructors that you have a verified disability, and what the appropriate accommodations are for your situation, but you don't have to disclose other details if you don't want to.  De Anza instructors typically are responsive and helpful to students who are working hard to succeed and using the college supports to do so.

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Won't my instructors think less of my ability if they know I'm in EDC?

No.  De Anza faculty are well informed about the potential of learning disabled students and the services here to assist.  Share with your instructors your desire to succeed in the class.  Instructors are a critical part of the team.  They refer students to us regularly for assessment and help and are strong supporters of services to students with disabilities.

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If I am assessed and use services, will it affect my chances to transfer or be on my transcript or record?

Actually, if you have a learning disability, knowing it will benefit you to find ways to be more successful as a student !  Students with learning disabilities find that having information and using services helps increase their grade point average and chances to transfer.

Your De Anza transcript lists the classes and grades you've taken.  There is NO record of your having a learning disability or using accommodations.  Official college records are separate from any EDC records.  Confidentiality and your privacy are safeguarded.

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Will I get services like these if I transfer to a university?

Yes.  Services of this kind exist now in all public colleges, as well as many private colleges in California and out of state.  Using services here will also prepare you to qualify and take advantage of services at your transfer institution.  EDC advisors will also assist you in preparing for a smooth transition.

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Does De Anza have a program for students with developmental disabilities?

Yes.  The HOPE-De Anza program serves students with developmental disabilities.

For information, please contact Monica Sheirich at 408.282.0427.

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Educational Diagnostic Center
Building: LCW-110
Contact: Kim Fukuyama
Phone: 408.864.8839
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Last Updated: 1/30/12