Support Services for Students with Disabilities

Learning Disabilities, Attention- Deficit /Hyperactivity Disorder, and other Cognitive Disorders

Students requesting support services are required to provide the Dean of Students/Academic Support Services with current documentation of a diagnosed learning disability, attention deficit disorder or neurological impairment from a recognized authority. The evaluation must have been administered within three (3) years of the student's enrollment date. The report must be comprehensive and include test scores and a clear diagnosis of a significant impairment. The following three domains must be addressed within the evaluation:

Intellectual Functioning

A complete intellectual assessment is required with all sub-test and standard scores. The preferred instrument is:

Achievement

A complete achievement battery, with all subjects and standard scores, should be provided. The battery should include current levels of academic functioning in reading, decoding and comprehension, mathematics, and written language. Scores reflecting measure of fluency should be provided. Acceptable instruments include, but are not limited to:

The Wide Range Achievement Test-3 (WRAT) is not a comprehensive measure of achievement and therefore is not acceptable if used as the only measure of achievement.

Information Processing

Specific areas of information processing, such a as short and long-term memory, auditory and visual processing, and processing speed must be assessed. Acceptable instruments include, but are not limited to:

Actual Test Scores

Standard scores and percentiles must be provided for all normed measures. Grade equivalents are not acceptable unless standard scores and/or percentiles are also included. The evaluation must show evidence of a significant discrepancy in cognitive/achievement and in information processing that demonstrates a substantial limitation for which an accommodation is recommended.

Specific Diagnosis

The evaluation must include a specific diagnosis. For example, individual "learning styles," "learning difference," or "academic weaknesses" are not considered neurological disabilities for which accommodations will be granted. The specific diagnosis must be supported by test data, academic history, and clinical observations that may include comments about the candidate's level of motivation, study skills, and other psycho-social factors.

Alternative diagnoses or explanations, such as medical and psychiatric disorders, as well as education and cultural factors affecting the individual's performance, should be ruled out.

Source: The Policy Book, LRP Publications, 2000