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Documentation Guidelines

Documentation Guidelines


Each student requesting accommodations and support services through the Disability Services office is required to submit documentation to verify eligibility under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, 1990; ADAAA, 2008).  As defined by Section 504 and the ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity, including learning. Academic accommodations are implemented to provide equal access to college programs and services.


Learning Disabilities

Students with learning disabilities are required to submit documentation to verify eligibility.  The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that documentation is appropriate to verify eligibility and support requests for reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids at the postsecondary level. 

1.    Testing submitted must have be completed by qualified personnel:

Qualifications of the Evaluator Professionals conducting assessments, rendering diagnoses of specific learning disabilities, and making recommendations for appropriate accommodations must be qualified to do so. Trained and certified and/or licensed psychologists, learning disabilities specialists (LDT-Cs), and educational therapists are typically involved in the process of assessment.

2.    Testing documents submitted should represent the most recent evaluation available.
  In certain circumstances, additional information may be required in order to establish the presence of an educational disability, or need for educational accommodations.  In such instances, the office of Disability Services will request additional information directly from the applicant, not from the sending district or school.

3.    Testing documents should be comprehensive in nature and include both a full cognitive (psychological) evaluation along with a learning (educational) evaluation. 

•    Cognitive: The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV (WAIS-IV) is preferred. The Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-Revised: Tests of Cognitive Ability and the Stanford- Binet  Intelligence Scale: Fourth Edition are also acceptable. Note: The Slosson Intelligence Test, Weschler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI) and the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT) are not appropriate.
•    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 or the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WlAT). Note: The Wide Range Achievement Test is not acceptable.
•    Indication of how patterns in the student's cognitive ability, achievement, and information processing reflect the presence of a learning disability;
•    Indication of the substantial limitation to learning or other major life activity presented by the learning disability and the degree to which it affects the individual at the postsecondary level in the learning context for which the accommodations are being requested;
•    Indication as to why specific accommodations are needed and how the effects of the specific disability are accommodated
•    An addendum of scores.

Sensory/Medical/Emotional

Documentation must include the following information:

1. Diagnosis
- A current medical diagnosis including appropriate medical reports, relevant medical history, and a clinical summary.
Documentation must be provided by a doctor or other medical professional with training and expertise related to the particular medical condition identified. The diagnostic report must be submitted on official letterhead with name(s), title(s), professional credentials, address, and telephone/number of the person providing the documentation. All reports must be signed and dated. Handwritten notes on prescription pads or handwritten treatment records will not be accepted.

2. Current treatment
- It is helpful to include identification of treatment, medications, assistive devices, or other services currently prescribed or in use

3. Evaluation of impact
- Identification of the substantial limitation on a major life activity presented by the disability, and a description of the current functional impact of the disability in a college setting. The assessment should validate the need for services based on the impact of the student's disability and level of functioning in an educational setting.

4. Specific recommendations
- Suggested accommodations and/or academic adjustments, with an explanation supporting the need for each accommodation to achieve equal access.
In order to establish eligibility as an individual with a disability, the student must submit documentation that is comprehensive and appropriate to a postsecondary setting, and that clearly specifies the presence of a disability. Documentation must be current (psychiatric, psychological & medical documentation must be no more than one year old); if the documentation is not current, students may be required to submit updated information and/or documentation. 

Any specific recommendations for accommodations must be based on significant functional limitations and must be supported by the diagnostic assessment. Accommodations and academic adjustments cannot be implemented until the student's documentation meets these criteria. Prior history of having received an accommodation does not, in and of itself, warrant or guarantee its continued provision. An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a 504 Plan is not always sufficient documentation of a disability.
 
Submission of documentation is not the same as the request for services. The student must also complete an Application for Disability Services through our offices, and should follow up with our office to ensure that all paperwork has been received and all procedures have been followed.  The Disability Services office is ultimately responsible for determining appropriate accommodations, if any, based on the documentation provided.

Blindness/Low Vision

Students with disabilities who are attending the County College of Morris must provide documentation of Blindness/Low Vision to receive academic accommodations based on that disability.

Each student requesting accommodations and support services through the Disability Services office is required to submit documentation to verify eligibility under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As defined by Section 504 and the ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity, including learning. Academic accommodations are implemented to provide equal access to college programs and services.
 
Documentation must include the following information

1. Diagnosis - A current medical diagnosis including appropriate medical reports, relevant medical history, and a clinical summary.

The evaluation must be done by a qualified professional. This documentation can be prepared only by a person who is not a family member of the student and who is qualified by professional training and practice to diagnose, treat, and recommend accommodations for the medical disability.
The diagnostic report must be submitted on official letterhead with name(s), title(s), professional credentials, address, and telephone/number of the person providing the documentation. All reports must be signed and dated.

Documentation of a vision impairment must include a report from an optometrist or ophthalmologist. The report must reflect the current functional limitations of the impairment (documentation for vision impairments may require periodic updates, especially if changes occur in the student’s functioning). In addition, documentation of a vision impairment must fully explain the following criteria of the student’s impairment (if applicable) 
 
  • Diagnosis
  • Visual acuity
  • Duration (chronic, episodic, or short term) of the impairment
  • History of the impairment and the symptoms related to the impairment
  • Severity (mild, moderate, or severe) and an explanation of the severity
  • Dates and frequency of contacts with the student


2. Current treatment – as related to the individual’s needs and the status of vision (static or changing) including the use of corrective lenses and ongoing visual therapy (if appropriate).  
  
3.  Evaluation of impact - Identification of the substantial limitation on a major life activity presented by the disability, and a description of the current functional impact of the disability in a college setting. The assessment should validate the need for services based on the impact of the student's disability and level of functioning in an educational setting.

5. Statement of eligibility to receive services through the NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired. If this is not available, the other above documentation will be considered as well.
 
In order to establish eligibility as an individual with a disability, the student must submit documentation that is comprehensive and appropriate to a postsecondary setting, and that clearly specifies the presence of a disability.

Any specific recommendations for accommodations must be based on significant functional limitations and must be supported by the diagnostic assessment. Accommodations and academic adjustments cannot be implemented until the student's documentation meets these criteria. Prior history of having received an accommodation does not, in and of itself, warrant or guarantee its continued provision. An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a 504 Plan is not always sufficient documentation of a disability.

Submission of documentation is not the same as the request for services. The student must also complete an Application for Disability Services through our offices, and should follow up with our office to ensure that all paperwork has been received and all procedures have been followed. The Disability Services office is ultimately responsible for determining appropriate accommodations, if any, based on the documentation provided. 

Deafness and Hearing Disability Documentation


Documentation must include the following information:


Diagnosis - A current medical diagnosis including appropriate medical reports, relevant medical history, and a clinical summary.

1. The evaluation must be done by a qualified professional.  Physicians, including otorhinolaryngologists and otologists, are qualified to provide diagnosis and treatment of hearing disorders. Audiologists may also provide current audiograms. 

This documentation can be prepared only by a person who is not a family member of the student and who is qualified by professional training and practice to diagnose, treat, and recommend accommodations for the medical disability.

The diagnostic report must be submitted on official letterhead with name(s), title(s), professional credentials, address, and telephone/number of the person providing the documentation. All reports must be signed and dated.

2. Current treatment – It is helpful to include identification of treatment, medications, assistive devices, or other services currently prescribed or in use

3. Evaluation of impact - Identification of the substantial limitation on a major life activity presented by the disability, and a description of the current functional impact of the disability in a college setting. The assessment should validate the need for services based on the impact of the student's disability and level of functioning in an educational setting.

4. A clear diagnostic statement of deafness or hearing deficiency, with a current audiogram that corresponds with the current impact the deafness or hearing deficiency has upon the student's functioning.  The age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the status of the individual's hearing (static or changing), the current functional status of the student, and the student's request for accommodations.

5. Specific recommendations - Suggested accommodations and/or academic adjustments, with an explanation supporting the need for each accommodation to achieve equal access.

In order to establish eligibility as an individual with a disability, the student must submit documentation that is comprehensive and appropriate to a postsecondary setting, and that clearly specifies the presence of a disability.
 
Any specific recommendations for accommodations must be based on significant functional limitations and must be supported by the diagnostic assessment. Accommodations and academic adjustments cannot be implemented until the student's documentation meets these criteria. Prior history of having received an accommodation does not, in and of itself, warrant or guarantee its continued provision. An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a 504 Plan is not always sufficient documentation of a disability.
 
Submission of documentation is not the same as the request for services. The student must also complete an Application for Disability Services through our offices, and should follow up with our office to ensure that all paperwork has been received and all procedures have been followed.  The Disability Services office is ultimately responsible for determining appropriate accommodations, if any, based on the documentation provided.