Guidelines for Documentation of a Visual Disability
To qualify for services, a student must provide documentation of a diagnosed visual disability. The guidelines that follow are provided to assure that evaluation reports are appropriate to determine eligibility and to support requests for reasonable accommodations. The Office of Disability Services (ODS) staff is available to consult with students or diagnosticians regarding the following guidelines.
Practitioners Who Can Make the Diagnosis
Optometrists, Ophthalmologists, Vision Specialists, or other relevantly trained professionals.
Recency of Documentation
If vision is stable, a statement to that effect and the most recent documentation is usually sufficient. If vision is not stable, documentation should be as close as possible to the date that accommodations are requested, usually within the last six months.
Contents of Documentation
A specific designation as Blind or Low Vision
Functional limitations on major life activities as a result of being Blind or having Low Vision. These may include but are not limited to:
- Impact on ability to utilize standard educational materials.
- Orientation and mobility
- Academic achievement
- Evidence to support the functional limitations statements made in #2. This may include but is not limited to:
- Results of vision testing
- Age of onset
- Aptitude/Cognitive ability: Assessed using a standardized test such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale - Fourth Edition or a similar instrument
- Academic Achievement: Tests of reading, writing and math skills measured by standardized and comprehensive individual achievement tests such as the Woodcock-Johnson Third Edition, the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test - II or other similar tests
- Clinical observation/interview
- Teacher observation
- Recommended Accommodations. All accommodations should be directly related to functional limitations listed in #2. The rationale for each recommendation should be contained in #3 above.
- Recommendations for other supports, strategies or services that may benefit the individual in a higher education environment, including suggestions about how specific effects of the disability may be accommodated through use of assistive technology.
- Other pertinent diagnoses or recommendations for other evaluations that may be needed. This should also include any anticipated changes in the student's condition.
This is not intended to be an exhaustive list or to restrict assessment in other pertinent areas. Acceptable alternative evaluations may be determined by the ODS.
Students seeking qualified professionals for assessments may find referral sources from disability services staff at a college or university, or from a physician. ODS staff at KSC are available to assist with selection criteria for a qualified professional.
All documentation should be submitted directly to our office through mail or fax:
Office of Disability Services Keene State College 229 Main Street Keene, NH 03435-2609
Fax: 603-358-2313 (confidential line)