Appropriate and reasonable accommodations are individualized according to the diagnosed disability based on the presenting documentation. Currently, the college adheres to ETS/ Dartmouth Consortium core testing and evaluating guidelines posted on this website.
A Summary of Performance (SOP) currently being issued by the secondary settings may or may not present sufficient evidence of a disability. An SOP is important to assist the student in transition from high school to college, and the information contained therein about the student’s current level of functioning is intended to help the college consider accommodations for access. These recommendations should not imply that any individual who qualifies for special education in high school will automatically qualify for services in the post secondary setting. Eligibility for accommodations decisions are made on a case by case basis.
Documentation provided by any student with a disability seeking reasonable accommodations must:
- clearly state the diagnosed disability or disabilities
- describe the functional limitations resulting from the disability or disabilities
- be current
- include complete educational, developmental, and medical history relevant to the disability for which testing accommodations are being requested
- include a list of all test instruments used in the evaluation report and relevant subtest scores used to document the stated disability (this requirement does not apply to physical or sensory disabilities of a permanent or unchanging nature)
- describe the specific accommodations requested
- adequately support each of the requested testing accommodation(s)
- be typed or printed on official letterhead and be signed by an evaluator qualified to make the diagnosis (include information about license or certification and area of specialization).
Documentation is examined on a individual basis and augmented by an interview process with the disability specialist should one choose to disclose. Documentation is treated in a confidential manner and is shared only in a need-to-know basis.
To document an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a student must submit a current report (no more than three years old) based on the results of a comprehensive psycho-educational evaluation by a psychiatrist or licensed psychologist experienced in the area of ADHD. The report must include the following information:
- Clear statement of a diagnosis of ADHD and the level of severity
- Identification of procedures and measures used to make the diagnosis
- Summary of a thorough diagnostic interview with relevant information about the individual's history, including evidence of early onset, and symptoms across multiple settings
- Description of current symptoms that meet diagnostic criteria
- Ruling out of alternative diagnoses or explanations for the symptoms
- Analysis of evaluation results, including relevant test data, to substantiate the diagnosis
- Explanation of how current symptoms cause significant limitations in a college environment
- Recommendations for appropriate accommodations to help compensate for the ADD, with a rationale for each one
To document a learning disability, a student must submit a current report (no more than three years old) from a comprehensive psycho-educational or neuropsychological evaluation performed by a licensed psychologist or certified school psychologist experienced in evaluating LD in young adults and adults. The report must include the following information: a clear statement diagnosing LD; data and analysis substantiating the diagnosis including standard scores and percentiles; identification of current deficits that significantly limit academic performance; and recommendations for reasonable accommodations with a rationale for each one. At a minimum, the following components must be included:
- Summary of a thorough diagnostic interview including educational history
- Assessment of cognitive functioning based upon results of one of the following tests:
- WechslerAdult Intelligence Scale - III (WAIS-III)
- Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery III (WJ3), Tests of Cognitive Ability
- The Stanford Binet Intelligence Scale, 4th edition
- Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Scale
- Data about academic achievement including current levels of reading, mathematics, writing, and spelling ability. Suggested achievement tests include the following:
- Wechsler Individual Achievement Test
- WJ3, Tests of Achievement
- Stanford Test of Academic Skills
- Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults
- Information about specific aspects of information processing (e.g., visual, auditory, and spatial perception; processing speed; short and long term memory; executive functioning), including performance under timed conditions, from measures such as the following:
- WAIS III
- WJ3, Tests of Cognitive Ability and Tests of Achievement.
- Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude (DTLA-4 or DTLA-Adult)
- Nelson-Denny Reading Test
A student with a physical disability or chronic medical condition may be required to provide documentation to support a request for an accommodation or to help identify appropriate accommodations. The documentation must be a written report of an evaluation by an appropriate professional relating the current impact of the condition to the requested accommodations. At a minimum, information about the following must be included:
- Nature and severity of the condition and date of the most recent evaluation
- Diagnostic tests (if any), methods, and criteria used to make the diagnosis
- Current manifestations of the condition that cause significant limitations in a college setting
- Treatments, medications, or devices currently prescribed to minimize the effects of the condition
- The expected duration or progression of the condition
- Recommendations for reasonable accommodations with a rationale for each one
Students, faculty, and staff with a psychiatric disability who are requesting accommodations or services through the Office of Disability Services are required to provide appropriate documentation of their disability from a licensed professional. These guidelines describe the necessary components for acceptable documentation.
- Diagnosis: A psychiatric disability should meet the criteria for a DSM-IV diagnosis, excluding Adjustment Disorders and Other Conditions that May Be A Focus of Clinical Attention (V Codes). Most typical diagnoses would include:
- Schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders
- Major Affective Disorders: Clinical Depression, Bipolar, or Major Affective Disorder
- Chronic Eating Disorders
- Anxiety Disorders: ADD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Dissociate Disorders
- Mental Disorders secondary to a medical condition
- Personality Disorders
- Substance abuse or alcoholism
- Severity: Documentation must include information on how the psychiatric disorder and/or related medications and treatments interfere or limit any major life activity including participation in courses, programs, services, or activities of the college.
Information to be provided by diagnostician:
- A brief description of the condition.
- Assessment of the severity of current symptoms and chronicity of the disability.
- A brief assessment of the history/current status of the disability, including medications and treatments.
- What accommodations have been provided in the past?
- What accommodations are recommended that address specific fuctional limitations?
- Additional information that may be useful in providing appropriate and effective accommodations at the post-secondary level.