Documentation of a Learning Disability/Attention Deficit Disorder

All students with disabilities who are requesting accommodations or services through the Office of Disability Services (ODS) are required to provide appropriate disability certification. The guidelines below describe the necessary components of acceptable documentation for students with learning disabilities/ADD. Students are encouraged to provide their clinicians with a copy of these guidelines. Additional questions about documentation or accommodations may be referred to Director Susan E. Quinby or Learning Disabilities Coordinator Olga Hrycak.

  1. Testing must involve a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation. The following areas must be assessed:

    Aptitude: The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Third Edition (WAIS-III) with subtest scores is the preferred instrument.

    The Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery III (W-J-III): Tests of Cognitive Ability or the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale: Fifth Edition are also acceptable.

    Achievement: Assessment of academic ability in the areas of reading, writing and math is required. Suggested instruments include:
    Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery III: Tests of Achievement (W-J-III); Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT-II); Stanford Test of Academic Skills (TASK); or a combination of tests in specific skill areas such as the Test of Written Language-IV (TOWL-IV); the Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests-Revised; the Nelson Denny Reading Test; the Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test; or the Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test. The Wide Range Achievement Test-III (WRAT-III) is not a comprehensive measure of achievement and therefore is not suitable.

    Information Processing: Specific areas of information processing such as short-and long-term memory, sequential memory, visual and auditory perception/processing or processing speed must be assessed. These areas may warrant evaluation as indicated by results from assessment of ability and achievement.

    This is not intended to be an exhaustive list or to restrict assessment in other pertinent and helpful areas such as vocational interests and aptitudes.


  2. Testing must be current. Generally, this means testing has been conducted within the past three years and with adult-referenced norms. Because the provision of reasonable accommodation and services is based upon assessment of the current functional limitations of the student's disability, it is important to provide recent and appropriate documentation.


  3. Testing must state that there is a learning disability/attention deficit disorder and specify the criteria for diagnosis. Terms such as learning problems, learning differences, weaknesses or deficiencies are not the equivalent of a diagnosed learning disability/ADD
    A DSM-IV diagnosis and code number must be included.


  4. Testing must be performed by a qualified evaluator. Clinical or educational psychologists, learning disability specialists or clinicians known to specialize in learning disabilities/ADD are most often used. Information about their professional credentials, including licensing and certification, and their areas of specialization must be clearly indicated on the report.
  5. Testing must include information about the functional limitations of the student. Please indicate how the student's disability will affect her current participation in courses, programs, services or any other activity of the College.