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Guidelines

To receive services and academic accommodations:

Students must submit a type-written report of a comprehensive evaluation, which has been administered, scored and interpreted by a qualified, licensed professional such as a psychologist or learning disabilities specialist. The report should be sent directly to Learning Plus, not Admissions, and after the student has been accepted and deposited to the University.

Disability Documentation Guidelines for: (please click below on the category of the primary disability you are disclosing)

 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Learning Disabilities (LD)

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

How to Appeal a Disability-Related Decision

University of Hartford

Disability Documentation Requirements:

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder [ADHD]

Introduction 

Learning Plus [L+] at the University of Hartford is committed to providing accommodations and services to qualified students who have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder in order to reduce or eliminate any disadvantages that may occur as a result of the student’s disability.  In determining reasonable accommodations, the University is guided by the federal definition of “disability” which describes an individual with a disability as someone who has:  

  1. a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual;
  2. a record of such impairment; or
  3. regarded as having such an impairment.  

In order to establish disability status and eligibility for specific accommodations and/or services, Learning Plus requires current and comprehensive documentation of the student’s impairment(s). Disability documentation is reviewed by a team and determinations of accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis based on the functional limitations of the disability.  It is the student’s responsibility to obtain and provide this information.  

Disability documentation:

is credible evidence from a qualified practitioner that attests to the existence of a disability, the impact of the alleged disability on academic performance and related competencies, and recommendations for equal access and/or mitigating measures, commonly referred to as accommodations.  N.b. relatives or family friends are NOT considered to be qualified evaluators even if they are licensed and credentialed.  Information contained in disability documentation is used by postsecondary disability service providers to determine eligibility of disability status as well as individualized academic accommodations and services.  The law does not require postsecondary institutions to waive specific courses or academic requirements considered essential to a particular course or degree program. 

Confidentiality of Disability Documentation 

Learning Plus is the University of Hartford’s agent charged with the responsibility for collecting and maintaining the confidentiality of ADHD disability documentation. This information is kept in secure files with limited access, and is only shared with other University entities with the expressed written permission of the student.   Information will only be shared within the institutional community if there is a compelling reason, such as a threat to the safety of the individual or others. Consent of the student will be requested prior to releasing medical/psychological documentation to a third party.  N.b.Confidentiality is not maintained in the case of child abuse, suicidal or homicidal intent.   

Guidelines for Disability Documentation of Attention Deficit Disorder [ADHD] 

The following guidelines are provided for evaluators, physicians, medical professionals, students, and family members to guide the process of submitting documentation to Learning Plus.  These guidelines are provided in order to facilitate the Learning Plus review process for students with Attention Deficit Disorder who are requesting  accommodations and/or services at the University of Hartford. 

  • Documentation submitted must reflect evaluation conducted within the past 3 years.
  • Evaluators, physicians, medical professionals, etc. are encouraged to submit any prior assessments and/or evaluative reports together with the current documentation.
  • Documentation must be printed on official letterhead and signed by the credentialed professional.
  • A Summary of Performance (SOP), Individualized Education Program (IEP) and/or a 504 Plan are not considered adequate documentation in and of themselves.  However, they may be helpful in determining eligibility.
  • Documentation must be conducted by a qualified professional who is not a family member or a family friend of the student.
  • Reasonable accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis taking into account the severity of the ADHD, semester status, the resulting impairment(s) as posed by the ADHD, and other factors.
  • While the law requires that priority consideration be given to the specific methods requested by a student, it does not imply that a particular accommodation must be granted if it is deemed not reasonable or other suitable techniques are available.  
  • Prior receipt of accommodations (e.g., in high school) does not guarantee receipt of the same accommodations at the University of Hartford. In other words, accommodations for ADHD do not automatically follow a student from high school to college.
  • Missing ADHD documentation will likely result in a delay in reviewing a student’s request for accommodations/services.

Checklist: Documentation Requirements for ADHD 

In order for Learning Plus to determine eligibility for specific accommodations, ADHD documentation must include the following information, as appropriate: 

Presenting Issue(s) 

  • Reason for referral for evaluation
  • Information regarding the individual’s presenting issues (i.e., ongoing difficulties and behaviors) that significantly impact functioning in a postsecondary setting

Evidence of Existing Impairment 

Identification of the type of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD):

  • ADHD (DSM-IVR 314.01): predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type, or
  • ADHD (DSM-IVR 314.00): predominantly inattentive type (sometimes called ADD), or
  • ADHD (DSM-IVR 314.01): combined type (displays symptoms of both of types)

Date when individual was first diagnosed with ADHD

Date of current evaluation

Discussion of co-morbid conditions, if appropriate

Background History 

Discussion of pertinent background information including developmental, medical, psychosocial, family, academic and employment histories.

Sources of background information (i.e., parent/spouse/partner interview; review of records, self report, etc.)

Discussion of any prior accommodations received (whether in high school, at another postsecondary institution, or place of employment)

Evaluation Protocol 

Screening measures used (if any)

List of test instruments used (Adult versions of the tests are required.)

Clinical intake and findings (including self-report)

Behavioral observations during evaluation 

 

Discussion of Evaluation Results 

Assessment, and any resulting diagnosis, should consist of and be based on a comprehensive assessment battery that does not rely on any one test or subtest. Neuropsychological or psychoeducational assessment is important in determining the current impact of the impairment on the individual's ability to function in academically related settings.

Standard scores should be provided for all normed measures, including all subtests administered. Age equivalents and/or percentiles are not useful unless standard scores are also included. The tests used should be technically sound (e.g., statistically reliable, valid) and standardized for use with an adolescent/adult population. The test findings should document both the nature and severity of the disability. A profile of the student's strengths and weaknesses must relate to functional limitations that may warrant accommodations.

 

Aptitude tests: Recommended tests include 

  • WAIS IV; Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV (WISC IV is not acceptable because it does not reference adult norms),The WASI, an abbreviated form of the WAIS, is not acceptable or 
  • WJ III COG; Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-educational Battery-III, Cognitive Ability or
  • KAIT

Achievement tests: Recommended tests include 

  • WIAT-II or III; Wechsler Individual Achievement Tests-II, III, or
  • WJ III ACHV; Woodcock–Johnson Psycho-educational Battery-III, Tests of Achievement  n.b. the WRAT is not acceptable because it is not comprehensive

Tests of Information Processing

  • short, long term, working, and sequential memory
  • auditory and visual processing
  • processing speed

Recommended tests include; subtests of the WAIS IV, or WJ III; DTLA; WMS Wechsler Memory Scales

Tests of executive functioning (including planning, initiation, self-monitoring, concentration, attention, including a discussion of  (narratives)strengths and functional limitations as a result of scores obtained)  BRIEF ; Brown ADD Scales; Conners Rating Inventory.

Current Medications 

List of current medication(s) including dosage(s), frequency and dates (if applicable)

Description of any adverse side effects or functional limitations due to medications (if applicable)

Indication that evaluation was conducted while on or off medication

A well-integrated summary of the findings

A well-integrated summary based on a comprehensive evaluation process. Assessment instruments and the data they provide do not diagnose; rather, they provide important elements that must be interpreted and integrated by the evaluator with background information, observations of the student during the testing situation, and the current context. It is essential, therefore, that professional judgment be used in the development of a summary. The summary should include whether or not the student was evaluated while on medication and the nature of the response to the prescribed treatment

A specific diagnosis of ADHD if appropriate,or an explanation if the disorder is not present according to current data. 

Rule out alternative explanations for difficulties that interfere with a major life activity but do not constitute a specific disability.

Direct and specific language must be used in the diagnosis, avoiding the use of terms such as "suggests" or "is indicative of." 

Recommendations 

Specific recommendations regarding academic accommodations, auxiliary aids and/or services at the postsecondary level including a rationale for each accommodation based on the functional limitations posed by the disability.  

Evaluator’s Qualifications 

Name and title, license # with state (if applicable), address, phone number, fax number,  e-mail address and signature (Professionals conducting assessment, rendering diagnosis of specific disabilities and making recommendations for appropriate accommodations must be qualified to do so) n.b. relatives or family members of the individual are not considered qualified evaluators even if they are licensed and credentialed. 

Please mail disability documentation after “depositing” to the University of Hartford to the address below.   

E. Lynne Golden, Director                                                                                 Learning Plus                                                                                          860.768.4312                                                                                                              University of Hartford                                                                                                   200 Bloomfield Ave.                                                                                                   West Hartford, CT  06117       golden@hartford.edu        odonovan@hartford.edu    2011-2012


University of Hartford

Disability Documentation Requirements:

Learning Disabilities [LD]

Introduction 

Learning Plus [L+] is the department at the University of Hartford committed to providing disability accommodations and services to qualified students who have been diagnosed with a learning disability to eliminate any disadvantages that may occur as a result of the student’s disability.  In determining reasonable accommodations, the University is guided by the federal definition of “disability” which describes an individual with a disability as someone who has:  

  1. has a current physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual, including but not limited to: reading, writing, remembering, communicating, walking, hearing;
  2. has a record of such impairment; or
  3. is regarded as having such and impairment.  

It is the student's responsibility to obtain the required documentation and submit it directly to Learning Plus after the "admitted" student commits to the University of Hartford by "depositing".

In order to establish disability status and eligibility for specific accommodations and services, Learning Plus requires current and comprehensive documentation of the student’s impairment(s). Disability documentation is reviewed by a team: Determining accommodations is made on a case-by-case basis according to the functional limitations of the disability, as well as taking other variables into consideration. 

Disability documentation:

  •  is credible evidence from a qualified practitioner that attests to the existence of a disability, the impact of the alleged disability on academic performance and related competencies, and recommendations for equal access and mitigating measures, commonly referred to as accommodations

Information contained in disability documentation is used by postsecondary disability service providers to determine eligibility for disability accommodations and services.  Documentation weighs heavily in determining appropriate accommodations or services. The law does not require postsecondary institutions to waive specific courses or academic requirements considered essential to a particular program or degree. 

Confidentiality of Disability Documentation 

Learning Plus is the University of Hartford’s department that collects and maintains the confidentiality of disability documentation for students who have learning disabilities. This information is kept in secure files with limited access; it is shared with other entities if the student has provided written permission to do so.   It is not appropriate to submit disability documentation to Admissions, a Coach, any member of the faculty/staff, a tutor, or an academic advisor.  Information will only be shared within the institutional community if there is a compelling reason to do so

Guidelines for Learning Disability Documentation 

The following guidelines are provided for evaluators, physicians, medical professionals, students and family members to guide the process of obtaining and submitting learning disability documentation to Learning Plus. The goal in providing these guidelines is to facilitate the review process for students with disabilities requesting accommodations. 

  • Documentation must reflect evaluation conducted within the past 5 years. 
  • Evaluators, therapists or other individuals who have worked closely with the student are encouraged to submit prior assessments or evaluative reports together with the current documentation.
  • Documentation must be printed on official letterhead, signed, and dated by the credentialed professional.  
  • Professionals conducting assessments, rendering diagnoses of specific disabilities, and making recommendations for appropriate accommodations must be qualified to do so. They must have comprehensive training with regard to diagnosing disabilities. Direct experience with an adolescent or adult population is essential. Such professionals deemed qualified to assess for and render a diagnosis of a learning disability include: school psychologist, clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist, or neurodevelopmental physicians. 
  • The evaluator may not be a relative or family friend.
  • The name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about licensing or certification (e.g., license clinical psychologist), the area of specialization, employment, and state in which the individual practices should be clearly indicated.
  • It is of utmost importance that evaluators are sensitive and respectful of cultural and linguistic differences during the assessment process.
  • A summary of Performance (SOP), Individualized Education Program (IEP), or a 504 Plan are not considered adequate documentation but may be submitted along with the required information.
  • Disability accommodations are determined by the nature and extent posed by the learning disability: accommodations are selected to mitigate the functional limitations as posed by the disabilities.
  • While the law requires priority consideration be given to the specific methods requested by a student, it does not imply that a particular accommodation must be granted if it is deemed unreasonable or if other suitable substitutions are available.
  • Prior receipt of accommodations (e.g., in high school) does not guarantee receipt of the same accommodations at the University of Hartford. In other words, accommodations do not automatically follow the student from high school to college, or even from college to college in the case of a Transfer Student.
  • n.b. Missing disability documentation information may result in a delay in reviewing a students request for accommodations.

Checklist for the Required Documentation of a Learning Disability

In order for Learning Plus to determine eligibility for specific accommodations, LD documentation must include the following information, as appropriate:

Evidence of Existing Impairment

Statement of diagnosis(es) or impairment(s), as distinct from symptoms or behaviors). DSM-IVR code should be included as appropriate

Date(s) of current and all prior evaluation(s)

Discussion of co-morbid conditions

Presenting Issues

Reason for referral for evaluation

Information regarding the individual's presenting issues (i.e., ongoing difficulties and behaviors) that significantly impact functioning in a postsecondary setting

Background History

Discussion of pertinent background information including developmental, medical, psychosocial, family, academic and employment histories;

Sources of background information (i.e. parent/spouse/partner interview, review of records; self report, etc.)

Discussion of any prior accommodations received (whether in high school, at another postsecondary institution, or place of employment)

Evaluation Protocol

Screening measures used

List of test instruments used. n.b. Tests used must be adult versions;

Clinical intake and findings;

Behavioral observations during evaluation

The Results of the Evaluations

Assessment and any resulting diagnosis, should consist of and be based on a comprehensive assessment battery that does not rely on any one test or subtest. Neuropsychological or psycho-educational assessment is important in determining the current impact of the impairment on the individual's ability to function in academically related settings.

Standard scores, and percentiles, and age equivalents should be provided for al normed measures, including all subtests. N.b. Grade equivalents are not considered reliable and valid.

The tests used should be technically sound (e.g., statistically reliable, valid) and standardized for use with an adolescent/adult population.

The test findings should document both the nature and the severity of the disability.

A profile of the student's strengths and weaknesses must relate to functional limitations that may warrant accommodations.

Substantive narratives must accompany all test scores.

Aptitude tests: An assessment of aptitude using one or more of the following:

•Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale -4th edition (WAIS IV)

♦N.b. the Weschsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence is NOT acceptable (WASI)

•Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-educational Battery - III or IV: Tests of Cognitive Ability (WJ III or IV COG)

•Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test

•Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (4th ed.)

♦N.B. Other instruments that are NOT acceptable for testing: Neither    The Slosson Intelligence Test nor the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test. These "tests" are primarily screening devices. They are not comprehensive enough to provide the kinds of information necessary to determine eligibility for disability accommodations a the postsecondary level.

Achievement tests: Recommended tests including one or more of the following:

•Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA)

•Sanford Test of Academic Skills

•Wechsler Individual Achievement Tests II or III (WAIT III-IV)

•Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-educational Battery - III-IV: Tests of ACH

•Or a combination of specific achievement tests such as:

 Nelson-Denny Reading Skills Test plus

Standford Diagnostic Mathematics Test plus

Test of Written Language - 3 (TOWL -3) plus

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test

Test of Information Processing

including speed of processing

cognitive efficiency

visual-auditory processing

perceptual-motor processing and so on;

•discussion of strengths and functional limitations as a result of scores obtained

•recommended tests include

Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude -3 (DTLA-3), the Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude - Adult (DTLA-A),

subtests for the WAIS IV or the Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery - III or IV: Tests of Cognitive Ability, as well as other relevant instruments.

Assessment of Executive Functioning including the individual's ability to:

Inhibit                                                                                                                          Self-Monitor                                                                                                 Plan/Organize                                                                                                       Shift                                                                                                                            Initiate Task                                                                                                      Monitor                                                                                                         Emotional Control                                                                                             Working Memory                                                                                        Organization Materials                                                                                   Discussion of strength and functional limitations

•  recommended tests of Executive Function include:

BRIEF, Brown's ADD Scales, Conner's Scales, and others

Tests of language proficiency

including expressive-receptive language,

speech,

rapid naming ability

discussion of strengths, weaknesses, and functional limitations,

psycholinguistic evaluation if ability to learn a foreign language is impaired

Current Medications

list of current medications(s) including dosage(s) and frequency (if applicable)

description of any adverse side effects due to medications (if applicable)

indication as to whether or not the student was on medication during the testing process

Recommendations for Accommodations/Services

Specific recommendations for postsecondary academic accommodations, auxiliary aids and/or services including a rationale for each accommodation based on the individual's identified functional limitations.

Evaluator's Qualifications

Name and title

License # with state (if applicable), address, phone number, fax number, e-mail address and signature.

Professionals conducting assessments, rendering diagnosis of specific disabilities and making recommendations for appropriate accommodations must be qualified to do so.

Evaluator may not be a relative or family friend.

During the decision making process, if ALL prospective and accepted students submitted their disability documentation to Learning Plus for eligibility review, the sheer volume would be manageable. More importantly, the department would be so overwhelmed that our current students would not have access to Learning Plus services and accommodations. Therefore, please submit the accepted student' documentation to Learning Plus after "depositing" to the University of Hartford. Submit documentation director to Learning Plus. Disability documentation should NOT be submitted to a professor, an advisor, a member of the residential life staff or coach.

Submit documentation to:

E. Lynne Golden, M.Spec.Ed.                                                                            Director, Learning Plus, A209                                                                          University of Hartford                                                                                                   200 Bloomfield Avenue                                                                                               West Hartford, CT 06117


University of Hartford Disability Documentation General Guidelines

and Disability-Specific Documentation Requirements: 

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)

The Association on Higher Education and Disabilities [AHEAD] has determined the following 7 essential elements of quality documentation.  Following Essential  Element 7 is a disability-specific explanation of the required documentation for Acquired Brain Injury (ABI).

Essential Element # 1 

The best quality documentation is provided by a licensed or credentialed evaluator who has specific training or expertise related to the condition being diagnosed, and who is not related to the individual.

The name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license or certification, as well as the area of specialization, employment and state/province in which the individual practices should be clearly stated. All reports must be on letterhead, typed, dated, and signed.

N.B. The following practitioners are considered qualified to diagnose specific disabilities or conditions (all must be appropriately credentialed and licensed in their respective fields). It is inappropriate for professionals to evaluate members of their own families.

Essential Element # 2 

The documentation must include a clear diagnostic statement, including diagnostic sub-types where relevant.  It must identify the disability, describe how the condition was diagnosed and provide information on the functional impact of the condition.  A full clinical description will convey this information, as will diagnostic codes from the DSM –IV (Diagnostic Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association 4th Edition) or the ICF (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health of the World Health Organization.)

N.B.   “Learning differences” or “attention challenges” do not constitute disabilities, and therefore are not considered diagnoses. An IEP or 504 Plan is NOT sufficient as documentation, but may be attached to the comprehensive diagnostic report to provide additional information.  

Essential Element # 3

Description of the diagnostic methodology used including diagnostic criteria, evaluation methods, tests and dates of administration, clinical narrative, observations, and results.   Diagnostic methods must be congruent with the particular disability and with current professional practices in the field.

Substantiation of the Disability: The required document must be a comprehensive  diagnostic evaluation report. The report must include

a.   A diagnostic interview

b.   An assessment of aptitude using one or more of the following:

  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – 3rd or 4th edition (WAIS-III or IV)
  • Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery - III: Tests of Cognitive      Ability   (WJ III COG)
  • Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test
  • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (4th ed.)

N.B.  Instruments that are NOT acceptable for testing aptitude: Neither *The Slosson Intelligence Test nor the *Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test.  These “tests” are primarily screening devices.  They are not comprehensive enough to provide the kinds of information necessary to determine eligibility for accommodations.

c. An assessment of academic achievement using one or more of the following:

  • Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA)           
  • Stanford Test of Academic Skills
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Tests (WIAT)
  • Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery - III: Tests of ACH
  • Or a combination of specific achievement tests such as:
  • Nelson-Denny Reading Skills Test
  • Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test
  • Test of Written Language - 3 (TOWL-3)
  • Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests

Specific achievement tests are useful instruments when administered under standardized conditions and interpreted within the context of other diagnostic information.

N.B. Achievement “tests” that are NOT acceptable: The Wide Range Achievement Test - 3 (WRAT-3) is not a comprehensive measure of achievement and therefore is not useful if used as the sole measure of achievement.

d. An assessment of information processing using one or more of the following

  • Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude - 3 (DTLA-3), the Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude - Adult (DTLA-A),
  • subtests of the WAIS-III or IV or the Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery - III: Tests of Cognitive Ability, as well as other relevant instruments

Essential Element # 4

A description of the current functional limitations as posed by the disability(ies).  The documentation must provide descriptive evidence of the nature and severity of the disability, and the functional limitations in the postsecondary environment. 

Essential Element # 5

The documentation must include a description of the progression or stability of the disability over time and in context.

Essential Element # 6

The documentation must include a rule out of alternative diagnoses or explanations.

The evaluator must investigate and discuss the possibility of dual or multiple diagnoses, where indicated, and alternative or co-existing conditions which may confound the specific disability diagnosis. This process should include exploration of possible alternative diagnoses as well as other factors impacting the individual which may result in behaviors mimicking a specific disability.

Because of the challenge of distinguishing normal behaviors and developmental patterns of adolescents and adults (e.g., procrastination, disorganization, distractibility, restlessness, boredom, academic underachievement or failure, low self-esteem, chronic tardiness or in attendance) from clinically significant impairments, a multifaceted evaluation should address the intensity and frequency of the symptoms and whether these behaviors constitute an impairment of a major life activity. 

Essential Element # 7

A clinical summary with suggested accommodations, assistive devices, assistive services, and/or compensatory strategies appropriate for the post secondary setting must be presented. The recommendations should indicate why specific accommodations are needed and how the effects of the specific disability are accommodated. In other words, justification for each of the requested accommodations is required.

Evaluator Qualifications

Professionals conducting assessments, rendering diagnoses of specific disabilities, and making recommendations for appropriate accommodations must be qualified to do so. Comprehensive training with regard to the specific disability being addressed and direct experience with an adolescent and/or adult population are essential.

The name, title and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license or certification (e.g., licensed psychologist), the area of specialization, employment, and state/province in which the individual practices should be clearly stated in the documentation. It is of utmost importance that evaluators are sensitive and respectful of cultural and linguistic differences during the assessment process.

Acquired Brain Injury  (ABI)

Students requesting accommodations and services on the basis of an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI), sometimes called Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), must provide documentation that is not older than 2 years (in most cases). The evaluation must be conducted by a professional who has undergone comprehensive training and has relevant experience in the assessment of ABI in adolescents and/or adults (e.g. neuropsychologists, neurologists). The ADA Amendment Acts of 2008 which expand major life activities to include “thinking” and concentrating” enhance the likelihood that students diagnosed with ABI will be eligible for consideration of accommodations. In addition to the requirements specified earlier, documentation for students requesting accommodations on the basis of ABI must include but not be limited to:

  1. A neuropsychological evaluation containing assessments of intellectual, conceptual, and cognitive competence; academic skills; personality status; motor facility of all extremities; sensory, perceptual and processing efficiency; visual, auditory and tactile facility; speech, language and communication ability; and evaluation of memory and attention.
  2. Utilization of particular evaluation techniques must be at the discretion of the evaluator. Measures, such as the following, will be expected to appear in the selected battery: Bender-Gestalt, Halstead Reitain Battery (or selected parts); Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude - 4 (DTLA-4) or Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude - Adult (DTLA-A); Luria Nebraska Battery (or selected parts); Peabody Individual Achievement Test-R/NU (or other adult individual achievement tests); Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests- Revised/NU; Woodcock-Johnson III; and Tests of Written Language (TOWL).
  3. An interview including a description of the presenting problem(s); developmental, medical, psychosocial and employment histories; family history (including primary language of the home and the student's current level of English fluency); and a discussion of dual diagnosis where indicated.  
  4. An integrated summary that:
  • Indicates executive functioning deficits expected to impact postsecondary education performance
  • Describes the impact of the limitations specifically on learning (e.g., reading, math, and written expression)
  • Identifies concerns with negotiation of the college environment (e.g., residential life and social expectations)
  • Identifies appropriate accommodations and services needed to mitigate the functional limitations of the brain injury.
  • States how the effects of the brain injury are mediated by the recommended accommodations.

 E. Lynne Golden, Director                                                                                    Learning Plus                                                                                           860.768.4312                                                                                                          200 Bloomfield Avenue                                                                                   West Hartford, CT 06117                                                                                                                                                golden@hartford.edu         odonovan@hartford.edu

 2011-2012


University of Hartford Disability Documentation General Guidelines

and Disability-Specific Documentation Requirements: 

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Asperger’s Syndrome; High Functioning Autism;

Nonverbal Learning Disability; PDD NOS

 

The Association on Higher Education and Disabilities [AHEAD],Educational Testing Services [ETS], and CTAHEAD have determined the following 7 essential elements of quality disability documentation.  A disability-specific explanation of the required documentation for Autism Spectrum Disorders follows the General Guidelines

 Essential Element # 1 

The best quality documentation is provided by a licensed or credentialed evaluator who has specific training or expertise related to the condition being diagnosed, and who is not related to the individual.

The name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license or certification, as well as the area of specialization, employment and state/province in which the individual practices should be clearly stated. All reports must be on letterhead, typed, dated, and signed.

N.B. The following practitioners are considered qualified to diagnose ASD:

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Asperger’s Syndrome, High Functioning Autism; Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified; Nonverbal Learning Disability

Neuropsychologist, Psychiatrist, Clinical Psychologist, Neurodevelopmental Physician

All must be appropriately credentialed and licensed and have at least 3 years experience diagnosing or working with adolescents and young adults who are on the Spectrum. It is inappropriate for professionals to evaluate members of their own families or friends’ families.

Essential Element # 2 

The documentation must include a clear diagnostic statement, including diagnostic sub-types where relevant.  It must identify the disability, describe how the condition was diagnosed and provide information on the functional impact of the condition.  A full clinical description will convey this information, as will diagnostic codes from the DSM –IV (Diagnostic Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association 4th Edition) or the ICF (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health of the World Health Organization.)

N.B.   “Learning differences” or “attention challenges” do not constitute disabilities, and therefore are not considered diagnoses. An IEP or 504 Plan is NOT sufficient as documentation, but may be attached to the comprehensive diagnostic report to provide additional information. 

Essential Element # 3

Description of the diagnostic methodology used including diagnostic criteria, evaluation methods, tests and dates of administration, clinical narrative, observations, and results.   Diagnostic methods must be congruent with the particular disability and with current professional practices in the field.

Substantiation of the Disability: The required report must be a comprehensive diagnostic evaluationThe report must include

a.   A diagnostic interview

b.   An assessment of aptitude using one or more of the following:

  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – 3rd or 4th edition (WAIS IV)
  • Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery - III: Tests of Cognitive  Ability   (WJ III COG)
  • Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test
  • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (4th ed.)

N.B.  Instruments that are NOT acceptable for testing aptitude: Neither *The Slosson Intelligence Test nor the *Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test.  These “tests” are primarily screening devices.  They are not comprehensive enough to provide the kinds of information necessary to determine eligibility for accommodations.

c. An assessment of academic achievement using one or more of the following:

  • Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA)        
  • Stanford Test of Academic Skills
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Tests (WIAT)
  • Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-educational Battery - III: Tests of ACH
  • Or a combination of specific achievement tests such as:
  • Nelson-Denny Reading Skills Test
  • Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test
  • Test of Written Language - 3 (TOWL-3)
  • Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests

Specific achievement tests are useful instruments when administered under standardized conditions and interpreted within the context of other diagnostic information.

N.B. Achievement “tests” that are NOT acceptable: The Wide Range Achievement Test - 3 (WRAT-3) is not a comprehensive measure of achievement and therefore is not useful if used as the sole measure of achievement.

d. An assessment of information processing using one or more of the following

  • Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude - 3 (DTLA-3), the Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude - Adult (DTLA-A),
  • subtests of the WAIS-III or IV or the Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery - III: Tests of Cognitive Ability, as well as other relevant instruments.

 Essential Element # 4

A description of the current functional limitations as posed by the disability(ies).  The documentation must provide descriptive evidence of the nature and extent of the disability, and the functional limitations in the postsecondary environment. 

Essential Element # 5

The documentation must include a description of the progression or stability of the disability over time and in context.

Essential Element # 6

The documentation must include a rule out of alternative diagnoses or explanations.

The evaluator must investigate and discuss the possibility of dual or multiple diagnoses, where indicated, and alternative or co-existing conditions which may confound the specific disability diagnosis. This process should include exploration of possible alternative diagnoses as well as other factors impacting the individual which may result in behaviors mimicking a specific disability.

Because of the challenge of distinguishing normal behaviors and developmental patterns of adolescents and adults (e.g., procrastination, disorganization, distractibility, restlessness, boredom, academic underachievement or failure, low self-esteem, chronic tardiness or in attendance) from clinically significant impairments, a multifaceted evaluation should address the intensity and

frequency of the symptoms and whether these behaviors constitute an impairment of a major life activity.

Essential Element # 7

A clinical summary with suggested accommodations, assistive devices, assistive services, and/or compensatory strategies appropriate for the post secondary setting must be presented. The recommendations should indicate why specific accommodations are needed and how the effects of the specific disability are accommodated. In other words, justification for each of the requested accommodations is required.

 

Specific Guidelines for Documenting Autism Spectrum Disorders:

 Asperger’s Syndrome; High Functioning Autism;

Nonverbal Learning Disability; PDD NOS

Students requesting accommodation on the basis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) must provide documentation from an appropriately credentialed  professional who has undergone comprehensive training and has at least 3 - 5 years of experience diagnosing ASDs in adolescents or young adults (depending on age of student).  The preferred form of documentation is in the form of a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation accompanied by a clinical statement reviewing history and current symptoms. Comprehensive diagnostic evaluations should include, but not be limited to, the following:

 

  • Thorough medical, family, and developmental history gathered by appropriate professional (developmental pediatrician, neurologist, psychiatrist, psychologist, neuropsychologists, etc.).
  • Comprehensive psychological or neuropsychological examination, within the past three years, including a detailed discussion of the individual’s current cognitive functioning as it impacts the educational environment.
  • Academic testing – standardized achievement tests, including standard scores; WJ III ACH or WIAT II or III or a combination of achievement tests for reading, writing and mathematics; and a review of the academic record.
  • Current level of social/emotional functioning by a separate evaluator if not contained in neuropsychological evaluation.
  • Integrated narrative summary, including impact of symptoms on learning and/or communicating, ability to function in a residential college community and executive functioning deficits as relevant to postsecondary education.
  • Clear identification of symptoms as they pertain to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV TR (DSM-IV TR) criteria for all relevant diagnoses.
  • A clinical interview including a description of the presenting problem(s) including any significant developmental, medical, psychosocial and employment; family history; and a discussion of co-morbid diagnoses (if relevant).  A comprehensive interview with parents or knowledgeable informants and a self-report is needed to obtain a view of the individual’s present function and ability.
  • Prescribed medications, dosages, and schedules which may influence the learning environment, including any possible side effects.
  • Supplemental documentation may include evaluations by allied health professionals such as speech/language assessments, occupational therapy records, statements from therapist or other treating professionals.

How to Appeal A Disability-Related Decision:

The Procedure for a Student to Appeal a Disability Service Provider's Decision

Dear Student:

You have the right to appeal a decision about your eligibility for a disability accommodation or service. Please keep in mind that the Disability Service Provider has made the determination based on a number of factors including but not limited to:

  • the documentation you submitted;
  • your degree program;
  • your student status: semester, year;
  • other factors

It is important to note that during the time that the disability-related decision is under appeal, the student does not have access to the disputed accommodation or service.

The steps to follow:

  • The student writes and submits a Letter of Appeal to the Director of Learning Plus and the Associate Provost identifying his opposition to the denial of eligibility or denial of a specific accommodation or service.
  • The Letter of Appeal should be submitted to the Director and the Associate Provost in a timely manner; certainly within 5-7 business days upon receipt of the Disability Service Provider's decision.
  • The Disability Service Provider writes a Letter of Justification based on the student's confidential documentation that supports the disputed decision about eligibility for disability accommodations or services within 5 business days of receipt of the Letter of Appeal from the student. The Letter of Justification is submitted to the student and the Associate Provost within 5 business days.
  • The Associate Provost reviews the student's disability documentation and the Disability Service Provider's Letter of Justification in a timely fashion.
  • The Associate Provost may call upon University Counsel for a legal perspective and ruling.
  • The Associate Provost will notify the student and the Director of Learning Plus in writing about his decision within 5-8 business days post input from the University Counsel.
  • The student and the Director of Learning Plus will abide by the decision of the Associate Provost.

Nb. The same process is followed if a student appeals a disability-related decision made by the Disability Service Provider for the Division of Student Affairs with the following changes to protocol: the student submits the Letter of Appeal to the Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs and the Dean of Students who is also the Vice President of Student Affairs.

Please contact the appropriate Disability Service Provider if you have any questions about appealing a disability-related accommodation or service.

E. Lynne Golden A209                              Suzanne Anderson McNeil, GSU307          The Director of Learning Plus                     The Assistant VP of Student Affairs       860.768.4312                                            860.768.4260      golden@hartford.edu                                  smcneil@hartford.edu     

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