Attention Deficit Disorder

Documentation requirements for an individual requesting services due to an attention disorder must be completed by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other related medical professional with the experience or expertise in the domain for which he/she is diagnosing.

Comprehensive documentation must be submitted that includes:

  1. A clear statement of the existence of an attentional disorder
  2. A written report of:
    Symptoms as described by the DSM-IV
    Evidence of early impairment
    Results of diagnostic measures/instruments used to support attentional difficulties (include diagnostic report and scores)
    Relevant medical and family history
    Differential diagnoses that were excluded, including reasons for considering these and reasons for ruling them out
  3. A description of the condition's current functional impact on learning or other major life activity relevant to the academic experience
  4. A statement addressing the individual's requested accommodation(s), including rationale as to why these accommodation(s) are warranted
    *Any request for an extension of time on examinations, based on the impairment, should be supported by evidence that reflects a measurable decline in pre-morbid functioning.
  5. A statement regarding how medication (if appropriate) may or may not mitigate the attentional disorder. Include dosage, frequency, and any adverse side affects.

Chronic and/or Systemic Illness

Chronic and/or systemic illnesses are considered to be in the medical domain and therefore the documentation must be completed by a physician, neurologist, physiatrist, or other medical specialist with experience or expertise in the domain for which he/she is diagnosing. Comprehensive documentation must be submitted that includes:

  1. A clear statement of the existence of a medically determinable chronic illness or systemic illness
  2. A written report of:
    • A detailed medical history
    • A complete physical examination (including a mental status examination)
    • Medical evidence consisting of medical signs, symptoms (duration, incidence and severity) and laboratory findings
    • Proof of a substantial reduction in previous levels of occupational, educational, social, or personal activities
    • Results of diagnostic test battery performed to rule out other causes of symptoms
  3. A description of the condition's current functional impact on learning or other major life activity relevant to the academic experience
  4. A statement addressing the individual's requested accommodation(s), including rationale as to why these accommodation(s) are warranted
    *Any request for an extension of time on examinations, based on the impairment should be supported by evidence that reflects a measurable decline in pre-morbid functioning.
  5. A statement regarding how the use of medication or other rehabilitative measures may or may not mitigate either the illness or the symptoms associated.

Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Documentation requirements for an individual requesting services due to a partial or complete hearing loss must be completed by an otolaryngologist, otologist, or other medical specialist with the experience or expertise in the domain for which they are diagnosing. Audiologists may also provide current audiograms. Comprehensive documentation must be submitted that includes:

  1. A clear statement of deafness or hearing loss
  2. Results of a current audiogram with a narrative interpretation
  3. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis
  4. Medical information relating to the status of the individual's hearing (static or changing)
  5. A description of the functional impact or limitations the hearing loss may have on learning or other major life activity relevant to the academic experience
  6. A statement addressing the individual's requested accommodation(s) taking into account the preferred method of communication, and include a rationale as to why these accommodation(s) are warranted
  7. A statement regarding the use of hearing aids (if appropriate) or other corrective measures that may or may not mitigate the impairment.

Learning Disabilities

To be appropriately diagnosed, learning disorders require the expertise of a psychologist, neuropsychologist, or other related professional with experience and expertise in the area for which he/she is diagnosing a disability and recommending accommodations. The following guidelines must be followed to ensure that the diagnostic evaluation is appropriate for establishing eligibility, verifying accommodation needs, and determining academic adjustments.

  1. Testing necessary to substantiate a learning disability must be comprehensive. Cognitive functioning in the following domains must be assessed by one of the following instruments:
    • Aptitude
      1. Wechsler Adult Intelligent Scale-III (WAIS-III)
      2. Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery-Revised: Tests of Cognitive Ability (WJ-R)
    • Achievement
      Current levels of functioning in reading, mathematics and written language are required.
      1. Test of Written Language-2 (TOWL-2)
      2. Woodcock Reading Mastery Test-Revised
      3. Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test
      4. Nelson Denny Reading Testc
      1. Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery-Revised: Tests of Achievement
      2. Stanford Test of Academic Skills (TASK)
      3. Scholastic Ability Test for Adults (SATA)
      4. Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT)
        or a combination of specific achievement tests such as:
    • Information Processing
      Specific areas of cognitive processing must be assessed.
      1. Wechsler Adult Intelligent Scale-III (WAIS-III)
      2. Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery- Revised:Tests of Cognitive Ability
      3. Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Battery
  2. Testing must reflect adult status (18 years and over) and is considered valid if administered within the last five years. The provision of accommodations is based upon the disability's current impact on an individual's ability to learn.
  3. Documentation must provide clear and specific evidence of a learning disability and include a diagnostic statement.
    • Evidence must be included that addresses alternative explanations for problems in learning such as emotional, attentional, or motivational problems.
    • Individual "learning styles", "learning problems", "learning differences", "slow reader", and "test difficulty or test anxiety", in and of themselves, do not constitute a learning disability.
  4. Standard scores and percentiles must be included for all normative measures.
    • Data must support a statistically significant limitation to learning.
    • Grade equivalents are not acceptable unless standard scores and/or percentiles are included.
  5. A narrative report should include:
    • Summary of a comprehensive diagnostic interview
    • Summary of student self report, interview with others, and historical documentation such as standardized test scores and transcripts
    • Description of the presenting problem(s)
    • Developmental history, relevant family history, medical history, and relevant psychiatric history
  6. Diagnostic evaluation must include a statement addressing the individual's requested accommodation(s) and rationale as to why these accommodation(s) are warranted.

Orthopedic Impairment

Documentation requirements for an individual requesting services due to any type of orthopedic impairment must be completed by a physician, physiatrist, orthopedist, or other medical specialist with the experience or expertise in the domain for which he/she is diagnosing. Comprehensive documentation must be submitted that includes:

  1. A clear statement of the existence of a medically determinable orthopedic impairment
  2. A written report of:
    • A detailed medical history
    • Results of a complete physical examination
    • Medical evidence consisting of medical signs, symptoms (duration, -incidence and severity) and laboratory findings
    • Proof of a substantial reduction in previous levels of movement
    • Results of diagnostic test battery performed to rule out other causes of symptoms
  3. A description of the condition's current functional impact on learning or other major activity relevant to the academic experience
  4. A statement addressing the individual's requested accommodation(s), including rationale as to why these accommodation(s) are warranted
    Any request for an extension of time on examinations based on the impairment should be supported by evidence that reflects a measurable decline in pre-morbid functioning.
  5. A statement regarding the use of any corrective devices or other rehabilitative measures, including medication that may or may not mitigate the orthopedic impairment.

Psychiatric Disabilities

Documentation requirements for an individual requesting services due to a psychiatric or psychological illness must be completed by a licensed clinical social worker, licensed professional counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, neurologist, or other medical specialist with experience or expertise in the domain for which he/she is diagnosing. Comprehensive documentation must be submitted that includes:

  1. A clear statement of the existence of a psychiatric impairment, including a DSM-IV diagnosis
  2. A written report of:
    • History of presenting symptoms
    • Relevant developmental and familial information
    • Relevant medical history
    • Duration and severity of the disorder
    • Current treatments
  3. A description of the condition's current functional impact on learning or other major life activity relevant to the academic experience
  4. A statement addressing the individual's requested accommodation(s), including rationale as to why these accommodation(s) are warranted
    Any request for an extension of time on examinations, based on the impairment, should be supported by evidence that reflects a measurable decline in pre-morbid functioning.
  5. A statement regarding how the use of medication and/or psychotherapy may or may not mitigate the psychiatric/psychological disorder.

Visual Disorders

Documentation requirements for an individual requesting services due to a visual disorder (blind or low vision) must be completed by an ophthalmologist or other medical specialist with the experience or expertise in the domain for which he/she is diagnosing.

Comprehensive documentation must be submitted that includes:

  1. A clear statement of a vision-related disorder
  2. A summary of the assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis, including standardized scores if appropriate
  3. Present symptoms that meet the criteria for the diagnosis
  4. Medical information relating to the status of the individual’s vision (static or changing)
  5. A description of the condition’s current functional impact on learning or other major life activity relevant to the academic experience
  6. A statement addressing the individual’s requested accommodation(s), including rationale as to why these accommodation(s) are warranted
  7. A statement regarding how the use of corrective lenses, technology, or ongoing visual therapy may or may not mitigate the visual disorder.