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Center for Disability Services Student Handbook

The staff of the CDS is always willing to speak to students and their families; however, the office will not provide direct services until students have provided documentation.

Documentation must demonstrate that the individual has a physical or mental disability that substantially limits a major life activity. Documentation must also demonstrate a need for accommodation in order to assure equal access to college programs. Documentation must be provided by an appropriately credentialed professional. To provide accommodations, the CDS requires that documentation be current (within the last three years). All documentation is kept confidential (See Confidentiality page).

Documentation of a Disability
Documentation must include:

  1. Verification of diagnosis and severity of disabling condition from a qualified treating professional (medical doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist).
  2. Detailed description of how this impairment significantly limits a major life activity in an educational setting.
    To ensure the provision of reasonable and appropriate services for students current documentation is required. This documentation should include information from which the diagnosis was made, a description of students' functional limitations in an educational setting, the severity and longevity of the condition, a description of the effectiveness of current treatment, and recommendations for services and/or auxiliary aids needed in a postsecondary setting.
    If the initial verification is incomplete or inadequate to determine the present extent of the disability and/or appropriate accommodations, the CDS may request supplementary documentation or an assessment of the disability. The cost of the supplementary documentation or assessment is the responsibility of the student.
    Students seeking accommodations or services on the basis of a temporary disability, must provide documentation verifying the nature of the condition, the expected duration of the condition, and the accommodations deemed necessary.

Documentation of a Learning Disability
To ensure the provision of reasonable and appropriate services for students with learning disabilities, documentation must be in the form of a current IEP, psy report or diagnostic evaluation. All documentation should include but is not limited to:

  • developmental history
  • academic history including results of prior standardized testing, reports of classroom performance and behavior, and notable trends in academic performance
  • family history
  • psychosocial history
  • medical history, including the absence of a medical basis for the present symptoms
  • history of prior psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy
  • discussion of any dual diagnosis
  • a description of the presenting problems

The diagnostic evaluation must be submitted on letterhead of the qualified professional and provide clear and specific evidence of a learning disability. It is not acceptable to administer one test, nor is it acceptable to base a diagnosis on only one of the several subtexts. Objective evidence of a substantial limitation to learning must be provided.

Cognitive Ability - A complete cognitive ability battery is required with all subtexts and standard scores. This may include the following: Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale' evised; Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery'Revised Tests of Cognitive Ability; the Stanford'Binet Intelligence Scale: Fourth Edition.

Achievement - A complete achievement battery is required with all subtexts and standard scores. The battery should include current levels of academic functioning in reading (decoding and comprehension), mathematics, and written language. Acceptable instruments include the following: Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery'Revised Tests of Achievement; Wechsler Individual Achievement Test; Stanford Test of Academic Skills; Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults; or specific achievement tests such as the Test of Written Language-2; Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests'Revised; or the Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Tests.

Information Processing - Specific areas of information processing (e.g., short- and long- term memory; sequential memory; auditory and visual perception/processing; processing speed; executive functioning; motor ability) must be assessed. Acceptable instruments include: the Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery'Revised Tests of Cognitive Ability; information from the subtexts on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Test'Revised; the Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude-3, and other instruments relevant to the presenting learning problem(s).

Testing must be current. Students must provide recent and appropriate documentation. In most cases, this means testing that has been conducted within the past three years. In the case of adults tested after age 21, testing within a five-year period can be accepted.

The report must include a specific diagnosis. The nature and severity of the functional limitation(s) must be supported by the test data, academic history, anecdotal and clinical observations that may include the level of motivation, study skills and other noncognitive factors. These findings must support the fact that the functional limitations are due to the Specific diagnosis.

Actual test scores must be provided. Standard scores must be provided for all measures. Percentiles are also acceptable; grade equivalents are not acceptable unless standard scores and/or percentiles are also included. The assessment must show evidence of discrepancies and intra-individual differences. The individual profile of strengths and weaknesses must provide a rationale for the accommodations that are recommended. Tests used to document eligibility must be technically sound. The test used must be reliable, valid, and standardized for use with an adult population. The test findings should document both the nature and severity of the learning disability.

A description of requested accommodations including the rationale must be provided. The psycho-educational or diagnostic evaluation must include specific recommendations for accommodations and relevant recommendations regarding the curriculum, as well as testing considerations. A detailed explanation must be provided as to why each accommodation is recommended and should be correlated to specific test results or clinical observations.

Documentation of Physical, Sensory and Health-Related Disabilities
Students with a physical, sensory or health-related disability are to provide documentation verifying a disabling condition by a licensed health care professional, who is qualified in the diagnosis of the disability and is currently or recently associated with the student. The diagnosis must reflect students' present level of functioning of the major life activity affected by the disability.

The professional staff of the Center for Disability Services reviews all documentation and makes decisions regarding the accommodations necessary to provide equal access. The responsibility and authority to make these decisions are granted by the administrative body of the college to the CDS and is undertaken on behalf of Moraine Valley Community College.

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