Students having a disability or need for access not covered in one of the categories aforementioned should contact the Office for Access Services to discuss the type of documentation to submit.
What Documentation Should I Provide?
Documentation should be on letterhead and provided by a qualified, licensed professional whose field of specialization directly pertains to the student’s disability and who is unrelated to the student. The Access Services Department will also accept an IEP or 504 plan if the information provided also follows the below guidelines. There is also a formal document that can be provided to the student for their healthcare provider to fill out. The documentation that is most beneficial to Access Services:
- has been completed by a provider, who has an established/long-term relationship with and/or has conducted a multi-day evaluation of the student
- articulates the history of difficulties and any prior services, medications, or other supports received by the student as well as the effectiveness or limitations of these prior supports
- describes the functional limitations the student is likely to experience in an academic environment
- references a diagnosis, even if provisional, of the student’s condition, including any rule-out conditions or changes over time
- suggests possible academic accommodations
The most recent complete diagnostic evaluation from a qualified professional, generally a clinical psychologist, should be submitted. A partial psychological, consisting of select pages from a full report will be considered incomplete and cannot be accepted. A specific diagnosis must be included in the evaluation. Names of tests administered and the actual test scores must be included in the evaluation along with a discussion of the significance of the scores. How the disability impacts learning, recommendations for specific learning strategies, academic support services, any prescribed medication(s), as well as any other treatments should all be included in the psychological report. Reports must be current and should be based upon adult norms; thus a psychological report from grade school would not be an acceptable form of documentation for an adult student at the college. Documentation should consist of the information below:
- A clear statement and explanation of the diagnosis and/or functional impacts. Statements that the student has a “learning difficulty” or “learns differently” are often not, by themselves, sufficient.
- Scores from the tests administered using age-based norms. The battery of tests used should contain widely accepted instruments such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – Fourth Edition; the Woodcock-Johnson IV Tests of Cognitive Ability and Achievement, etc.
- A history and background section detailing developmental milestones and relevant medical history, any previous evaluations and diagnoses, and any previously utilized accommodations or interventions.
- Any medication(s) the student is prescribed and a clear statement as to whether the student was taking the medication(s) during the evaluation.
- Recommendations and rationale for appropriate academic accommodations showing a clear relationship with the student’s particular type of disability.
Attention Deficit Disorder
The most recent psychological evaluation or complete physician’s report is required. A note from a student’s doctor stating the student has Attention Deficit Disorder and needs testing accommodations will not suffice as complete documentation.
Deaf, Hard of Hearing or Hearing Impairment
An audiological report from a licensed audiologist verifying the degree of hearing loss is required. Students that have attended a program for the deaf, hard of hearing or hearing impaired are encouraged to bring in documentation that describes the accommodations that have given them the best access to classroom communication; including any specific equipment.
Blind, Low Vision or Vision Impairment
A vision evaluation or consult completed by a licensed eye care specialist is required. Students that have attended a program for the blind, low vision or visually impaired are encouraged to provide documentation that describes accommodations, including specific equipment, that have given them the best access to classroom and course material.
Health Impairments, Physical Disabilities or Orthopedic Impairments
Students should provide an appropriate report discussing the impact of the disability upon access. Medical, occupational or physical therapy reports discussing the impact of the disability upon access are examples of appropriate documentation. Students needing access to specialized equipment may need to bring in information about the needed equipment so that items can be purchased, adapted, or set-up in a timely manner.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Neurological or Psychiatric Disability
Students should bring in a neurological, psychiatric or physician’s report as appropriate on the evaluation and progress of the disability and how it affects learning and access to the college and courses. Documentation should include the following information:
- A clear diagnostic statement that describes the procedures or tests used to diagnose the condition
- A statement reflecting current impact of the head injury on the student’s functioning
- A summary of cognitive, achievement, and neurological tests used and the evaluation results including standardized scores for percentiles used to make the diagnosis
- A summary of present residual symptoms that meet the criteria for diagnosis
- Medical information relating to the student’s needs and the impact of any medication(s) on the student’s ability to meet the demands of the College environment
- A statement of the anticipated functional, long-term impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activities
- The degree to which the disability impacts the individual in the learning environment for which accommodations are being requested
Asperger’s or Autism Spectrum Disorder
Student should provide relevant documentation as it pertains to their disorder. Documentation should come from a qualified professional that has the appropriate educational training and experience working with students with ASD (autism spectrum disorder). Documentation should include the following:
- Functioning, needs and related recommendations
- Updated testing, social-emotional assessment and any current medications
- A statement of how the students symptoms have met the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for ASD.
- The ASD evaluation should include: cognitive, speech/language and sensory/motor testing if applicable. Such information can be provided from the following tests:
- The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV
- The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, 5th edition
- The Lieter Test of Nonverbal Intelligence-Revised
- Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-4
- Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-5
- Test of Adolescent/Adult Word Finding
- Woodcock-Johnson III
- Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration-6
- Tests of executive function (Tower of Hanoi, Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, Trail Making)
- Multiple forms of documentation may be required to determine appropriate accommodations.
Auditory Processing Disorder
Students requesting accommodations for Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) or Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) should provide an evaluation that was completed by a licensed audiologist within the last 3 years. An evaluation should include, but is not limited to, the following requirements:
- The administration of at least four of the following tests including their subtest scores:
- Competing Sentences
- Dichotic Digits
- Dichotic Rhyme
- Duration Pattern Sequence
- Filtered Speech
- Pitch Pattern Sequence
- Random Gap Detection
- Staggered Spondaic Speech
- Time Compressed Speech
- A statement specifying which of the 5 types of APD is being diagnosed:
- Prosodic deficit or temporal processing
- Auditory decoding deficit
- Binaural integration or separation deficit
- Output-organization deficit
- Associative disorder
- The evaluation should also include clear descriptions of how the student is impacted in the academic setting. Accommodations that are recommended or have been provided in the past, should be clearly linked to the functional impact of the APD. The evaluation should specify how the disorder directly impacts the student’s ability to fulfill the academic requirements of the program they are wishing to enter.