Documentation Guidelines for Physical or Mental (including learning) Disabilities.
Any student requesting accommodation services from Iowa Lakes Community College is required to submit an application for services and documentation of the disability to verify eligibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008 (ADA) defines a person with a disability as any person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (2) has a record of such an impairment; or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment. Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.“Major Life Activities” also include the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.
The diagnostic report must document a disability. Reasonable accommodations cannot be implemented until the student’s documentation is complete.
Accommodations cannot be granted until the application is completed and accompanied by supporting documentation.
- Documentation refers to written professional evaluation that identifies a mental health, medical, physical, or learning disability for the expressed purpose of determining appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities that ensure equal access.
- Documentation is required from a professional such as a school psychologist, psychologist, psychiatrist, mental health counselor, social worker, or other specialist in the area of the disability.
- The documentation should clearly specify the disability, DSM-IV diagnosis along with a summary of present symptoms and medications/treatment modalities, WAIS-III, Woodcock Johnson (cognitive, reading, math), Stanford-Binet, Kaufman Intelligence Test, Test of Written Language (TOWL), and other similar assessment instruments should be reported.
- The documentation should indicate the impact of the disability and the academic accommodations the student has used in the past.
- The documentation should recommend the types of accommodation(s) the student needs.
- The documentation should be current.
- If the documentation is inadequate in scope or content or does not address the student’s current level of functioning and need for accommodations, the Accommodations/Disability Resources Coordinator may require further evaluation. Other significant changes in the student’s functioning level related to medication changes, etc. may warrant an updated evaluation.
The Use of an IEP, a 504 Plan, or Support for Accommodation Request (SAR)
An Individualized Education Plan (IEP), 504 Plan, or SAR form validates that the student is an entitled individual and would qualify as professional documentation. However, these documents may not provide enough information regarding the specific disability, the IEP, 504, or SAR should be inclusive of evaluation information from the school psychologist or another source.
If a student has tested out of the Special Education program and is no longer receiving services prior to graduation, the IEP may not suffice as current, valid documentation.
Documentation procedures components are consistent with standards set by the Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD) and The Educational Testing Service Network (ETS).