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Documentation Guidelines - LD


Students with disabilities who are requesting support services from Learning Services must provide documentation of the disability and the need for services requested. Documentation cannot be more than three years old. Students are responsible for all costs involved in obtaining updated documentation.

Documentation Guidelines for Students with Learning Disabilities:

Students who seek accommodations from Mount St. Mary’s University on the basis of a diagnosed specific learning disability are required to submit documentation to verify eligibility under Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that evaluation reports are appropriate to document eligibility. The Director is available to consult with diagnosticians regarding any of these guidelines.

1.         Testing must be comprehensive. It is not acceptable to administer only one test for the purpose of diagnosis. Minimally, domains to be addressed must include, but are not limited to:

            Aptitude  - The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R) with subtest scores is the preferred instrument. The Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-Revised: Test of Cognitive Ability or the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale: Fourth Edition are acceptable.

            Achievement - Current levels of functioning in reading, mathematics, and written language are required. Acceptable instruments include the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-Revised: Tests of Achievement; Sanford Test of Academic Skills (TASK); Scholastic Ability Test for Adults; specific achievement tests such as the Test of Written Language-2 (TOWL-2), Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests-Revised, or  the Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test. The Wide Range Achievement Test-Revised is NOT  a comprehensive measure of achievement, and therefore is not suitable.

            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. Use of subtests from the WAIS-R or the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability is acceptable.

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. In most cases, this means within the past three (3) years. Since assessment constitutes the basis for determining reasonable accommodations, it is in the student’s best interest to provide recent and appropriate documentation to serve as the basis for decision-making about a student’s need for accommodations in a college environment which is academically competitive.

3.         There must be clear and specific evidence and identification of learning disability. Individual “learning styles” and “learning differences” in and of themselves do not constitute a learning disability.

4.         Test scores/data should be included. This is important since certain College policies and procedures (e.g., petitioning for permission to substitute courses) require actual data to substantiate eligibility.

5.         Professionals conducting assessment and rendering diagnoses of specific learning disabilities must be qualified to do so. Trained and certified and/or licenses psychologists, learning disabilities specialists, and educational therapists are typically involved in the process of assessment. Experience working with an adult population is essential.

6.         Evaluators should be able to demonstrate that the selection of assessment instruments is based upon their suitability (e.g., reliability and validity) for use with an adult population.

7.         Diagnostic reports must include the names and titles of the evaluators as well as the date(s) of testing.

All documentation should be submitted to:

Denise L. Marjarum, Director of Learning Services
Archbishop Borders Hall

Mount St. Mary’s University
Emmitsburg, MD 21727

(301) 447-5006
(301) 447-5918 FAX
E-mail: marjarum@msmary.edu

This documentation, along with a signed release, becomes a part of the student’s confidential file at Learning Services and does not become part of the student’s permanent academic record.

 
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