Students are required to submit documentation to the Learning and Accessibility Services office in order to receive support services and accommodations. This documentation will verify eligibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The following information is provided to assist the student in ensuring that the documentation provided is complete and appropriate. Our office will confidentially maintain all documentation received, separate from the academic record, and will disclose the documentation only in accordance with the law or with the student’s consent.
Physical/Chronic Medical/Mental Health Disability
Appropriate documentation for a disability must be current and submitted on formal letterhead written by a qualified medical or mental health professional.
Documentation submitted should:
- State the diagnosis clearly
- Describe the functional limitations or impairments resulting from the disability
- Make specific recommendations and explain why each accommodation is recommended
Additionally, students requesting accommodations should include evidence of any prior accommodations they have received such as in High School or other undergraduate or graduate institutions.
Professionals diagnosing Learning Disabilities must have comprehensive training in assessment, evaluation and diagnosis. Diagnostic reports should include the names, titles, professional credentials, addresses, and phone numbers of the evaluators as well as the date(s) of testing. These guidelines have been developed to assist the diagnosing/treating professional(s) in preparing the documentation needed to evaluate the accommodation request. A single test, an individualized education plan (IEP) or a 504 plan may not be considered sufficient for the purpose of diagnosis. The student’s documentation should consist of a comprehensive assessment battery that includes the following:
- Diagnostic statement identifying the disability
- Summary of the diagnostic interview including relevant academic history
- Description of diagnostic methodology
- Description of current functional limitations
- Description of progression or current stability of the disability
- Description of current and past accommodations, services and/or medications
- Specific recommendations for accommodations, adaptive devices, assistive services, compensatory strategies and/or collateral support services
The use of testing instruments is critical to the diagnosis of Learning Disabilities in adolescents and adults. The list of testing instruments listed below is not intended to be definitive or exhaustive.
- Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery-Revised: Tests of Cognitive Ability (Subtests 1-14)
- Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale- Third Edition (WAIS-III)
- Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale; Fourth Edition.
- Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery-Revised: Tests of Achievement
- Nelson-Denny Reading Skills Test
- Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA)
- Woodcock Reading Mystery Tests-Revised
- Detroit Test of Learning Aptitude – 2 (DTLA-3)
- Information from subtest on the WAIS-III, or the Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery-Revised
- Tests of Cognitive Ability
- Wechsler Memory Scale-II
- Luria-Nebraska Neuropsychological Battery
- Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Battery
All documentation must include a specific diagnosis of ADHD and provide the evidence used to meet the seven criteria listed below. It is important for all evaluations to clearly state how ADHD functionally impacts the student’s life across multiple settings and creates a substantial limitation in learning. Clear rationale must be provided as to why specific accommodations are needed to mediate the impact of ADHD.
- Developmental history, documented using independent sources, of appropriate symptoms and problem behaviors across multiple settings [Possible data sources: past evaluations, school records, teacher report].
- Documentation of current symptoms that meet diagnostic criteria [Possible data sources: clinical interview, behavior rating scales].
- Documentation of both childhood and current adult behavior on rating scales of ADD/ADHD symptoms that have appropriate age norms [Possible data sources: norms-based behavior rating scales].
- Corroboration of current ADD/ADHD symptoms across multiple settings by two independent observers with knowledge of the student’s functioning [Possible data sources: parent, spouse, teacher, supervisor, coworker, relative, and/or clinician observation].
- Clear evidence and documentation of interference with developmentally appropriate academic social or vocational functioning.
- All other psychiatric or medical disorders which may cause problems with inattention are differentially evaluated, documented, and considered in the differential diagnosis. This is particularly important when mood or anxiety disorders are involved. Other causes of problems with attention and concentration must be considered and discussed (e.g., text anxiety). A positive response to medication is not by itself considered diagnostic.
- Assessment on which the documentation is based must have been completed no more than three years prior to the student’s application for academic assistance, OR must have been completed as an adult (18 years old or older) and still be considered current.
Determination of reasonable and appropriate accommodations are made by LAS based on the clinician’s diagnosis and recommendations as well the request for services by the student. Accommodations are always individually determined.