Documentation Guidelines

Physical, Sensory, or Health-Related Disabilities

 

Documentation in the form of an evaluation performed by a qualified professional (such as a licensed physician or audiologist) should be provided to Disability Support Services.  Documentation of physical, sensory, or health-related disabilities (including, but not limited to, orthopedic, hearing, visual, systematic, or chronic illness) should include:

  1. A diagnosis of the specific disability (including prognosis if appropriate).
  2. An indication of the severity and manner in which the disability limits the student’s activity, particularly as it relates to University life.
  3. Recommendations for reasonable academic accommodations to equalize the student’s opportunities at a post-secondary level. 

 

Attention Deficit Disorders & Psychological Disorders

 

Diagnosis of an attention deficit disorder or psychological disorder should be made by a psychiatrist, licensed, clinical, or educational psychologist, neurologist, developmental or behavioral pediatrician, or a combination of such professionals.  Because the provision of reasonable accommodations is based upon the current impact of the disability on the student’s academic functioning, in most cases ODS personnel will request this evaluation to have been performed either within the past three calendar years or during adulthood (after eighteen years of age).  All documentation will be reviewed on an individual basis.  Documentation of an attention deficit disorder or psychological disorder should include:

  1. A specific diagnosis, the date of diagnosis, and the specification of the diagnostic criteria on which the diagnosis is based (for example, DMS-IV).
  2. Specific statements concerning way(s) the student’s diagnosed disability might have impacted academic performance in the past or might impact it in the future.
  3. Recommendations regarding reasonable academic accommodations to equalize this student’s educational opportunities at the post-secondary level.
  4. Other information that is pertinent to the diagnosis such as:

Ш       Description of the functional limitations which meet the criteria for this diagnosis with the approximate date of onset.

Ш       A list of the measures (informal and formal) that were used to assess the educational impact of the attention deficit disorder or psychological disorder.

Ш       An evaluation of the effectiveness of past and current medications prescribed for relief of attention deficit disorder or psychological disorder’s symptoms.

Ш       Complete developmental educational, medical, and family histories as they relate to the attention deficit disorder or psychological disorder.

 

Learning Disabilities

 

The diagnosis of a learning disability should be evidenced by a psychological/educational evaluation performed by a qualified and licensed professional such as a clinical or educational psychologist, school psychologist, neuropsychologist, medical doctor, educational diagnostician or other qualified professional.  Because the provision of reasonable accommodations is based upon assessment of the current impact of the disability on the student’s academic functioning, in most cases CDS will request this evaluation to have been performed by an accredited professional either within the last three calendar years or during adulthood (after eighteen years of age).  All documentation will be reviewed on an individual basis.  Documentation of learning disabilities should include:

  1. A specific diagnosis of the learning disability.
  2. An indication of the substantial limitation to learning or other major life activity presented by the learning disability and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which reasonable accommodations are being requested. A converted standard score of a subtest must at least be one standard deviation (15 points) below the full scale IQ score to constitute a substantial limitation.
  3. Recommendations for reasonable academic accommodations to equalize this student’s opportunities at a post-secondary level.
  4. There should be evidence of the evaluator’s having ruled out alternative explanations for academic problems such as a result of poor education, poor motivation, and/or study skills, emotional, mental, or physical problems, attention problems, and/or cultural/language differences.
  5. An individualized history of the student’s educational, medical and family histories that relate to the learning disability should be included.
  6. Comprehensive testing which addresses the following domains:
  • Aptitude— A complete intellectual assessment with all subtests and standard scores reported.  The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R) or the WAIS-III is the highly preferred instrument.  The Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery-Revised:  Tests of Cognitive Ability, the Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test and Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (4th ed.) are also acceptable. 
  • Achievement— A comprehensive academic achievement battery is essential with all subtests and standard scores reported for those subtests administered.  Preferred instruments include the Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery-Revised:  Test of Achievement, Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT), Stanford Test of Academic Skills, Scholastic Abilities for Adults (SATA), or specific achievement tests such as the Test of Written Language (TOWL-3), Woodcock Reading Mastery Test-Revised, or the Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test. Standard scores must be reported and interpreted.
  • Information Processing— Specific areas of information processing (i.e. short and long term memory, sequential memory, auditory and visual perception processing, processing speed, executive functioning and motor ability) should be addressed.  Preferred instruments include the Detroit Test of Learning Aptitude (DTLA-3), the Detroit test of Learning Aptitude-Adult (DTLA-A), information from subtests on WAIS-R and the Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery-Revised: Tests of Cognitive Ability.


Standard scores and/or percentiles should be provided and interpreted for all normed measures.  Grade equivalents are not useful unless standard scores and/or percentiles are also included.



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