Students with Disabilities: Documentation Guidelines
Students who have disabilities and who seek accommodations through the College must provide the College with documentation of the disability. Documentation to support the need for requested accommodations must accomplish the following:
- Provide a recognized diagnosis for the disability using standard diagnostic criteria.
- Be current, usually within the last three years prior to enrollment at the College. (This currency stipulation may not apply to physical or sensory disabilities of a permanent or unchanging nature.)
- Include complete education, developmental, and medical history relevant to the disability for which accommodations are requested.
- Describe the functional limitations resulting from the disability and list the tests or techniques used to arrive at the diagnosis of the disability. This documentation must include evaluation dates and test results with relevant subtest scores.
- Provide evidence that the disorder significantly impacts a major life activity (e.g., learning) relevant to performance in college.
- Be typed or printed on official letterhead and signed by an evaluator qualified to make the diagnosis (including information about license or certification, and area of expertise).
For learning disabilities, the documentation should include a comprehensive testing profile, including tests for:
- information processing
- Test scores/data must be included.
- Assessment instruments must be appropriate for an adult population; tests (e.g., WISC-R) that were performed when the student was in an earlier age group are usually not appropriate.
- Terms such as "specific weaknesses," "learning differences," "learning difficulties," or "individual learning styles" do not constitute a learning disability.
- Recommendations about specific accommodations would be helpful.
If the learning disability is ADD or ADHD, reports should include medication history and current recommendations regarding medication; in addition, similar or related conditions (e.g., anxiety states, depression, bipolar disorders, substance abuse) should be ruled out as the primary diagnosis. For physical disabilities, documentation must include:
- Appropriate diagnostic tools/tests for the specific disability;
- However, for physical or sensory disabilities of a permanent or unchanging nature, testing or other forms of evaluation need not have been performed in the last three years.
Documentation or inquiries should be directed to the following address:
Dr. Ruth Feingold
Interim Assistant Vice President of Academic Services
Glendening Hall, suite 230
St. Mary's College of Maryland
18952 E. Fisher Rd.
St. Mary's City, MD 20686-3001
Telephone: (240) 895-4388
Fax: (240) 895-2234