Eligibility for accommodations and academic adjustments is individually determined. The following standards for documenting a disability may be used to assist the student and evaluator in providing appropriate documentation, which serves as the foundation for legitimizing a student's request for academic adjustments and auxiliary aids. The professional providing this information must have first hand knowledge of the student's condition and must be an impartial professional who is not related to the student.
- Include a diagnostic statement identifying the disability, date of the current diagnostic evaluation, and the date of the original diagnosis.
- Be current, typically within the last three years. The age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, its interaction with development across the life span, the presence or absence of significant events (since the original diagnosis) that would impact functioning, and the current status of the student at the time of the request for accommodation.
- Include a summary of the evaluation procedures as well as the diagnostic tests/evaluation results used to make the diagnosis.
- Provide a description of the current functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activities.
- Address, as appropriate, the relevance of accommodation requests to the diagnosed disability.
- When appropriate, include treatments, medication, and assistive devices currently prescribed or in use.
- Include the credentials of the diagnosing professional(s).
In addition to the requirements listed above, certain disabilities may have additional guidelines, as outlined below:
- Psychiatric Disabilities: Documentation must also include the DSM-IV diagnosis and a summary of present symptoms, in a written report from a psychiatrist, licensed psychologist, certified social worker (CSW or ACSW) or licensed professional counselor.
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Documentation must include a statement of the presenting problem; testing that verifies a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity that currently affects learning; identification of DSM-IV criteria for ADHD; report summary and rationales for accommodations using evidence from the evaluation. Professionals considered acceptable for evaluating ADHD are licensed physicians, neuropsychologists, and psychologists.
- Learning Disabilities: Documentation should validate the need for services based on the individual's current functioning in the educational setting. A comprehensive assessment battery and the resulting diagnostic report should include a diagnostic interview, assessment of aptitude, academic achievement, information processing, and a diagnosis. Assessment, and any resulting diagnosis, should consist of and be based on a comprehensive assessment battery, which does not rely on any one test or sub-test. Individual "learning styles", "learning differences", "academic problems", and "test difficulty or anxiety", in and of themselves, do not constitute a learning disability. The tests used should be reliable, valid and standardized for use with an adolescent/adult population. The test findings should document both the nature and severity of the learning disability. The following professionals would generally be considered qualified to evaluate specific learning disabilities provided they have additional training and experience in the assessment of learning problems in adolescents and adults: clinical or educational psychologists, school psychologists, neuropsychologists, learning disabilities specialists, and medical doctors.
Additional Information Regarding Your Documentation
Recommendations from professionals with a history of working with the individual provide valuable information for the review process. They will be included in the evaluation of requests for accommodation and/or auxiliary aids. Where such recommendations are congruent with the programs and services offered by Olympic College, they will be given deference. When recommendations go beyond the services provided by the college, they may be used to suggest potential referrals to service providers outside the college.
For individuals who are or have recently been receiving services from a state rehabilitation agency, the requested disability information may be contained in your most recent eligibility evaluation and/or your vocational plan.
For individuals transferring from another college, information related to your disability will not be sent with a transcript request. You must request that information separately. Additionally, the information requested at Olympic College may or may not have been a part of your previous college's evaluation process.
For individuals who have recently been receiving services from a public school system, the information requested may be found in your most recent psycho-educational battery/evaluation summary and must be requested separately from your high school transcripts. A school plan, such as a 504 or individualized education plan (IEP), is insufficient documentation, but may be included as part of a more comprehensive diagnostic battery.
The office of Access Services shall make determination of reasonable accommodations for students based on documentation provided. The authority to make such decisions on behalf of the institution has been assigned by the President of the College.