Guidelines for Documentation of a Specific Learning Disability
To qualify for services, a student must provide documentation of a diagnosed learning 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 Provide a Diagnosis
Certified School Psychologists, Licensed Psychologists, Licensed Clinical Psychologists, and other relevantly trained professionals.
Recency of Documentation
Evaluative information regarding academic achievement and information processing skills needs to be current (typically no more than 3 years old) in order to assess the current impact of the disability on academic functioning and to establish appropriate academic accommodations at the postsecondary level.
Contents of Documentation
- A diagnosis of Specific Learning Disability that conforms or reflects the elements to the current DSM criteria.
- Current functional limitations resulting from the Specific Learning Disability. These may include but are not limited to:
- Cognitive ability
- Academic skill development
- Information processing skills
- Receptive or Expressive language skills
- Evidence to support the functional limitations statements made in #2. This may include but is not limited to:
- Aptitude/ Cognitive ability: Assessed using a standardized test such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale - Fourth Edition or 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
- Information Processing. Specific areas of information processing (e.g., short and long term memory; sequential memory; auditory and visual perception/processing; processing speed) must be assessed. Information from subtests on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale , or the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability, as well as other instruments relevant to the presenting learning problem(s) may be used to address these areas.
- Standardized tests of expressive and receptive language skills
- Teacher observation
- Clinical observation/interview
- 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 the use of assistive technology.
- Other pertinent diagnoses or recommendations for other evaluations that may be needed.
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)