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Accessibility Services

DOCUMENTATION GUIDELINES

In order for students to receive accommodations, it is required that they self-disclose their disabilities and submit supporting documentation in order to determine eligibility in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the ADAAA. 

Understanding the ASC Process:

Once the materials have been submitted, the ASC will evaluate the documentation to determine eligibility based on the quality, recency, and completeness of the documentation submitted. 

If the materials submitted are out of date, incomplete, or do not support the student's request for accommodations, the student may be asked to provide additional documentation. 

In addition to submitting supporting documentation, the review process will also include a personal interview as part of an interactive process with the student. During the interview, consideration will also be given to the student’s self-report, strengths and needs, academic experiences, the current program of study, courses in which they are enrolled, and the student’s ideas regarding accommodations.

We encourage students to disclose their disability as early as possible but will happily receive your Intake Form and supporting documentation at any time.  Students who chose to self-disclose by July 15 or a few weeks prior to their first semester, often provide enough time to have accommodations in place by the start of the fall semester.  This proactive process is encouraged.  

Due to the high volume of activity in the ASC during the first few weeks of the semester, students who submit their documentation materials during that time may experience a delay in having their materials reviewed and accommodations implemented.   

The following guidelines are provided in order to assure that documentation is complete and accurate.  

Documentation Guidelines:

  1. Relevancy.
    Documentation must be current and within 3 years of requesting accommodations.  This is an individual process.  If documentation is beyond a three-year window, there may be circumstances in which it is appropriate and relevant.  Documentation beyond the three-year window often does not include updated medical information and refers to students in their elementary and middle school experience.  This does not provide enough information relevant to the high educational experience because it does not allow us to identify the functional limitation and accommodations needed.    
     
  2. Qualified Professionals.
    The evaluation must be conducted by a qualified professional who has the training and direct experience with the disability.  The evaluation must contain the following information:
     
    1. Date(s) of evaluation, visit, or service.
       
    2. The evaluation should be typed on the healthcare provider letterhead and contain the name, title, credentials, and state and license number of the professional, be dated and signed with an actual and legible signature. 
       
  3. Diagnostic Statement.
    The evaluation should include a clear diagnostic statement identifying the disability and the description of the diagnostic methodology and/or tools being used.  It also should describe how the condition was diagnosed, progression, and prognosis of diagnosis.
     
  4. Elements of a Comprehensive Evaluation.
    The elements of a comprehensive evaluation typically include the following:
     
    1. Evidence of existing impairment.
    2. Background information 
    3. Relevant testing with the use of multiple measures and interpretation of results.
    4. Specific diagnosis.
    5. Rule-out of alternative diagnosis or explanation.
    6. Integrated summary including recommendations.
       
  5. Functional Limitations.
    The evaluator should discuss how the disabling condition impacts the individual, the level of impairment to major life activity in terms of the severity, frequency, and pervasiveness of the condition(s), and a rationale as to how these are logically related to the requested accommodations.  
     
  6. Expected Progression or Stability.
    The evaluator should provide a description of the expected progression or stability of the disability (i.e., any expected changes in the functional impact of the disability over time, context, and/or in response to an environmental trigger).  Information on interventions may be helpful.
     
  7. Current and/or Past Accommodations, Services, and/or medications.
    The evaluator should note any current and/or prior accommodations, support services, auxiliary aids, medications, etc., and their effects on the functional impact of the disability.  While these are not binding on the current institution, they may provide insight for current planning purposes.  This information is especially important for transfer students. 
     
  8. Recommendations for Current Accommodations and/or Strategies.
    1. The recommendations should be specific recommendations and link to a rationale for the accommodations.
    2. Include a description of the impact of diagnosed disability on specific major life activity.
    3. Specific test results and/or clinical observations should support the recommendations.


Important to Note:

  • An Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 Plan is not sufficient documentation of a disability.
  • Prior history of any particular accommodation may not warrant its continued provision. 

 

Specific Documentation Guidelines:


ADHD:  

  • The evaluation report must specify a specific diagnosis of ADHD based on DSM-V criteria and with the corresponding DSM codes.   
  • Developmental History:  Presenting problems, medical concerns, developmental history, etc.
  • ADHD Diagnostic Scale:  The evaluator should include one or more scales specific to ADHD symptoms and diagnostic criteria. In addition, it is suggested that the evaluator provide a comprehensive evaluation that includes tests of intelligence, cognitive/information processing, and academic achievement to determine the current impact on the student's academic performance.  
  • Provider Interpretations and Recommendations:  
    • The provider should discuss the student's significant attentional concerns, cognitive ability, achievement, and/or information processing in order to explain the presence of ADHD.
    • The provider should include a statement as to how ADHD substantially impacts learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual’s learning.
    • Include an indication as to why specific accommodations are needed and how the effects of ADHD may be accommodated.
    • A statement regarding how medication (if appropriate) may or may not mitigate the attentional disorder.


Learning Disabilities:

  • Developmental History:  Presenting problems, medical concerns, developmental history, etc.
  • Assessment of Intellectual Functioning:  Including the reporting of all standard scores of one or more intellectual assessments.
  • Assessment of Academic Achievement:  A comprehensive academic achievement battery including current levels of all relevant areas such as reading, mathematics, and written language.
  • Evaluation of Information Processing:  This may include such areas of short- and long-term memory, sequential memory, auditory and visual perception/processing, processing speed, executive functioning.
  • Specific Diagnosis:  The report should include direct language if the evaluator is diagnosing and documenting a learning disability.  The evaluator should avoid the use of terms such as "suggests" and "is indicative of" a learning disability.
  • Standardized Scores:  Findings should document the nature and severity of the learning disability.  Data should logically reflect a substantial limitation to learning.  Standard scores and/or percentiles should be included and are expected to correlate with identified functional limitations and recommendations for accommodations.
  • Provider Interpretations and Recommendations:  
    • The provider should discuss the student's cognitive ability, achievement, and/or information processing in order to explain the presence of a learning disability.
    • The provider should include a statement as to how the learning disability substantially impacts learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual’s learning.
    • Include an indication as to why specific accommodations are needed and how the effects of the specific disability may be accommodated.


Physical/Medical Disability:

  • A clear statement of the diagnosis of the medical or physical disability.
  • Historical data including the date of the initial identification and the date of the current evaluation.
  • A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis.
  • A description of the current symptoms/features, including the severity of the disability and expected duration.
  • Information regarding the major life activities and specific academic functions that are affected by the disability in a college setting (e.g., walking, seeing, hearing, performing manual tasks, learning, concentrating, attending class, meeting deadlines, etc.)
  • Medication and treatment information, including any side effects that may impact the student’s ability to function in a college setting.
  • Recommendations regarding reasonable accommodations or services appropriate at the college level, including a clear rationale and justification for those accommodations.

 

Psychological Disabilities:

  • A comprehensive assessment that includes a clear statement of the disability and the DSM-V diagnosis.
  • A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis.
  • A summary of evaluation results that includes information regarding the severity of the disability and the specific academic functions that are affected because of the disability across college settings (e.g., work completion, concentrating, class attendance, social interactions, self-care, etc.).
  • Include information on current medication, including side effects, and/or other treatments available.
  • Recommendations for accommodations, including a rationale for the accommodations based on specific features/symptoms of the disability.

Forms:

If a report is not readily available, you may use one of the forms listed below to begin the conversation with your healthcare provider as it may be a convenient way to collect all the necessary information to describe how your disability impacts you.