This section includes information that will help you understand what a learning disability is and how eligibility for service is determined in the California Community College system. Included you will find information about the procedure to request an assessment and an overview of what to expect in the assessment process.

What is a Learning Disability?

Learning disability = A permanent disorder that affects how individuals take in information, remember it, and do something with it.  It impacts learning.

Key points to understand:

  • Average to above average ability
  • Causes problems in at least one area of learning:  reading, writing, or math
  • Causes a severe problem or disorder in an area of information processing that impacts understanding or expressing information
  • Results in a large gap between ability and achievement

Why would you get tested?

  • Learn more about your learning strengths and weaknesses
  • Identify learning strategies to study less with better results
  • Federal laws protect the rights of people with disabilities in college

Learning Disability Testing Procedure

The testing is provided as a service through DSPS located in the Student Services Center. The procedure includes:

  • Every student begins with an initial appointment with a DSPS Learning Disabilities Specialist. Please bring any questions and paperwork that may be helpful during this appointment.
  • If you have previously been tested for a disability, you may be immediately eligible for services with recent written documentation presented at your appointment. If you were in special education in previous schooling, you may be eligible for services. Our office needs a copy of your latest psychological evaluation. You may request this yourself from your last school, or you can complete a "Release of Information" form in our office and we will send for your records.
  • At your first appointment the specialist will discuss why you are requesting testing and answer any questions you have regarding the testing process and our services. At the end of this appointment the Learning Disabilities Specialist will make a recommendation on whether or not you should be tested.

Run as a class: DSPS 040 Diagnostic Assessment, .5 credit unit

  • Takes approximately 5-7 hours over 3-4 appointments
  • Student learns about his/her personal learning strengths and weakness
  • Learns how to use strengths to plan more efficient and effective learner
  • Identifies new strategies to improve learning with the LD Specialist


 1 hour screening appointment

 1 hour Intake

 2 hour intelligence testing (ability and processing strengths and weaknesses)

 2 hour achievement testing (reading, writing, and math skills)

 1 hour results appointment

At the end of testing, results will be shared. If you are eligible for services, those services will be described in detail along with recommended learning strategies. If you are not eligible for services, the test results will be shared along with recommendations to improve your learning.