General Guidelines for Disability Documentation
We have established the following disability documentation guidelines. If the original documentation is incomplete or inadequate to determine the extent of the disability or reasonable accommodation(s), OSDS has the discretion to require additional documentation.
- Be recent, within three years of request, in order to assess the current impact on learning or a major life activity. Please note that students requesting accommodations due to a chronic medical condition must submit documentation dated within 6 months and must update documentation annually. In no case will documentation over three years old be considered.
- Be sufficient to establish a direct link between the disability and the requested accommodations.
- Be issued by a medical or other qualified, licensed professional and printed on letterhead including the professional’s licensing information), dated, signed. The medical or other qualified licensed professional cannot be related to the student by marriage or affinity. The University reserves the right to require that a certified copy of the report be transmitted directly from the evaluator to the University.
- Specific recommendations for accommodations as well as an explanation as to why each is recommended as necessary.
Copies of the submitted application and documentation must be retained by the student. Touro is not the custodian of the student’s medical records.
Specific Guidelines for Documentation of Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
Including ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Communication Disorder and/or Learning Disabilities
Please refer to General Guidelines for Disability Documentation in addition to these specific guidelines for learning disabilities.
The following guidelines describe the necessary components of acceptable documentation for students with learning disabilities. Students are encouraged to provide their clinicians with a copy of these guidelines.
- Actual scores from all instruments must be provided with standard scores and percentile rank scores.
- The most recent edition of each assessment instrument must be administered.
The following areas must be addressed using standardized instruments:
Aptitude: The Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale IV (WAIS-IV) with subtest scores is the preferred instrument. The Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery III: Tests of Cognitive Ability or the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale-IV are acceptable. Brief versions or screening measures are not comprehensive, including: the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test, and the Slosson Intelligence Test-Revised, and are not accepted.
Achievement: Assessment of comprehensive academic achievement in the areas of reading (decoding and comprehension), mathematics (calculation and problem solving), oral language, and written expression (spelling, punctuation, capitalization, writing samples) is required. The Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-educational Battery III: Tests of Achievement is the preferred instrument. The Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA) and the Stanford Test of Academic Skills (TASK, Wechsler Individual Achievement Test - II (WIAT-II) or specific achievement tests are acceptable.
Cognitive and Information Processing: Specific areas of cognitive and information processing must be assessed. These domains include, but are not limited to:
- memory (i.e., visual and verbal acquisition, retrieval, retention, and recognition)
- processing speed and cognitive fluency (e.g., timed psychomotor or graphomotor tasks, decision and naming fluency)
- attention (e.g., visual and auditory spans of attention, scanning tasks, and vigilance assessment, including continuous performance tasks)
- sensory-perceptual functioning (e.g., high-level visual, auditory, and tactile tasks)
- executive functioning (e.g., planning, organization, prioritization, sequencing, selfmonitoring)
- motor functioning (e.g., tests of dexterity and handedness)
- visual acuity and possible need for prescription eye glasses.
A diagnosis as per the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – V (DSM-V) is required. Terms such as “learning problems,” “learning differences,” “weaknesses,” etc., are not the equivalent of learning disability.
Documentation must include all of the following elements:
- The evaluation must be performed by a qualified individual: The assessment must be provided by a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, or clinical social worker unrelated to the student by birth, marriage or affinity. An assessment from a general physician typically will not suffice. The University reserves the right to require that a certified copy of the report be transmitted directly from the evaluator to the University.
- Currency of documentation: Evaluations should be dated within 6 months of the date of the request for accommodation. Older evaluations will be considered if submitted with more recent supplemental documentation. In addition, documentation will need to be updated at the beginning of each academic year in order to assess up to-date accommodation needs. The Office for Student Disability Services reserves the right to adjust these timelines based on the nature of the student’s disorder and request for accommodation.
- Current treatment and medications: Documentation should include any counseling, specific therapies, current prescribed medications and any side-effects that would compromise academic functioning as well as the ameliorative effects of such treatments/medication.
- Specific diagnosis: This should not merely refer to symptoms and should correspond to a specific diagnosis as per the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – V(DSM-V). Please note that a diagnosis in and of itself does not automatically warrant approval of requested accommodations.
- Clinical Summary: A narrative clinical summary must include the following:
- A history of presenting symptoms, the current severity and expected duration of symptoms, a description of functional limitations and the impact of the disability on the student’s current participation in courses, programs, services, or any other activities of the University and a basis for the opinion.
- A detailed statement and explanation as to what major life activity(ies) is/are substantially limited by the student’s condition(s) and a rating of the limitation, such as mild, moderate, substantial, or severe of each affected major life activity, both with and without the use of mitigating measures, such as treatment and medication.
- Recommendations for academic or other accommodations, including a rationale for each.