Documentation Guidelines - ADA

Criteria for Disability Documentation

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) state that qualified students with disabilities who meet the technical and academic standards at Alabama College System institutions are entitled to reasonable accommodations. Under these laws a disability is defined as any physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity, a history of such impairment, or the perception of such impairment. Alabama College System institutions do NOT provide disability documentation for students. It is the student’s responsibility to provide appropriate documentation to the college office responsible for handling the request and to request accommodations. Appropriate documentation is defined as that which meets the following criteria.

Health Condition, Mobility, Hearing, Speech, or Visual Impairment

A letter or report from treating physician, orthopedic specialist, audiologist, speech pathologist, or ophthalmologist (as appropriate), including:

  1. Clearly stated diagnosis
  2. Defined levels of functioning and any limitations**
  3. Current treatment and medication
  4. Current letter/report dated and signed
Psychological Disorder

A letter or report from a mental health professional (psychologist, neuropsychologist, psychiatrist, licensed professional counselor) including:

  1. Clearly stated diagnosis (DSM-V criteria)
  2. Defined levels of functioning and any limitations**
  3. Supporting documentation (i e. test data, history, observation, etc.)
  4. Current treatment and medication
  5. Current letter/report dated and signed
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

A comprehensive evaluation report by a rehabilitation counselor, speech-language pathologist, orthopedic specialist, and/or neuropsychologist (or other specialist as appropriate), including:

  1. Assessment of cognitive abilities, including processing speed and memory
  2. Analysis of educational achievement skills and limitations (reading comprehension, written language, spelling, and mathematical abilities)
  3. Defined levels of functioning and limitations in all affected areas** (communication, vision, hearing, mobility, psychological, seizures, etc.)
  4. Current treatment and medication
  5. Current letter/report (post-rehabilitation and preferably within 1 year), dated and signed
Learning Disability (LD)

A comprehensive psychological evaluation report from a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, neuropsychologist, school psychologist, learning disability specialist, or diagnostician that should include:

  1. Clear statement of presenting problem; diagnostic interview
  2. Educational history documenting the impact of the learning disability
  3. Alternative explanations and diagnoses are ruled out
  4. Relevant test data with standard scores are provided to support conclusion, preferably including at least:
    • WAIS- IV (b) WIAT-III or the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-III, including Written Language; and (c) Woodcock-Johnson Cognitive Processing Battery normed on adults to substantiate any processing problems
  5. Clearly stated diagnosis of a learning disability based upon DSM-V criteria
  6. Defined levels of functioning and any limitations, supported by evaluation data**
  7. Current report (preferably within 5 years of enrollment date), dated and signed

Note: High School IEP, 504 Plan, and/or a letter from a physician or other professional are usually not sufficient to document a learning disability.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

A comprehension psychological evaluation report from a physician, psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, neurologist, or neuropsychologist that should include:

  1. Clear statement of presenting problem; diagnostic interview
  2. Evidence of early and current impairment in at least two different environments (comprehensive history)
  3. Alternative explanations and diagnoses are ruled out
  4. Relevant test data with standard scores are provided to support conclusions, preferably including at least:
    • WAIS- IV; (b) WIAT —III or the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-III, including Written Language; and (c) Behavioral Assessment Instruments for ADD/ADHD normed on adults
  5. Clearly stated diagnosis of ADD or ADHD based upon DSM-V criteria
  6. Defined levels of functioning and any limitations, supported by evaluation data**
  7. Current report (preferably within 3 years of enrollment date), dated and signed

Note: High School IEP, 504 Plan, and/or letter from a physician or other professional are usually not sufficient to document ADD or ADHD. Medication cannot be used to imply a diagnosis.