Required Documentation of a Specific Learning Disability

Students requesting accommodations or other support services from the Office of Disability Services are required to submit documentation to verify eligibility for protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The provision of reasonable accommodations and services is based upon assessment of the current impact of the student's disorder on a major life activity, such as learning. Therefore, documentation must reflect the findings of a comprehensive assessment done within the past three years. The diagnostic report must have been written by a professional qualified to evaluate specific learning disabilities, and must contain the following information:

Information Gathered from a Diagnostic Interview
In which relevant information regarding the student's academic history is ascertained, and which includes a description of the student's presenting problems, developmental, medical, psychological, and employment history, as well as familial history of academic difficulties.

Results of a Norms-Referenced, Individually Administered, Comprehensive Intelligence Test Such As:
  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 3rd Edition (WISC-III)
  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, 3rd Edition (WAIS-III)
  • Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test (KAIT)
  • Stanford-Binet, Fourth Edition (SB4)
  • Woodcock-Johnson III, Tests of Cognitive Abilities (WJ III Cog)

All standard scores and percentile ranks must be provided; age- and grade-equivalents alone are insufficient.

Results of An Age-Normed, Individually Administered, Comprehensive Achievement Test Such As:
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT)
  • Woodcock-Johnson III, tests of Achievement (WJ III Ach)
Or a set of specific achievement tests such as:
  • Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test
  • Test of Written Language 3 (TOWL 3)
  • Nelson-Denny Reading Test
  • All standard scores and percentile ranks must be provided; age- and grade-equivalents alone are insufficient.

    Discussion of Information Processing Abilities
    Including auditory processing, visual-spatial perception, memory (visual, verbal, long-term, short-term, sequential), executive functioning (attention, planning, organization, persistence to task completion, ability to evaluate own performance), and fine-motor dexterity. There are a number of standardized tests that evaluate these skills; information may also be obtained from observation of behaviors on the tests of intelligence and achievement.

    Discussion of the Student's Oral Language Skills
    Indication of whether a separate speech disorder is present (formally or informally evaluated).

    Discussion of the Student's Socio-Emotional Status
    Including personality characteristics, sense of academic and social self-esteem, sense of self-determination, \and response to stress (formally or informally evaluated).

    Documentation Must Include a Diagnosis of a Specific Learning Disability.
    Individual "learning styles," "learning differences," "academic weaknesses," or "test anxiety," in and of themselves, do not constitute a specific learning disability. If the data indicate that a learning disability is NOT present, the evaluator should state that conclusion in the diagnostic report.

    Recommendations for Particular Accommodations
    Based on objective evidence of a substantial limitation to learning or academic performance, supported by specific test results and/or clinical observation. Reports should establish the rationale for any accommodation that is recommended.

    Information on the Evaluator(s)
    Must include names, titles, professional credentials (e.g., licensed psychologist), as well as dates of testing. The report must be typed on official letterhead.

    Lebanon Valley College has a foreign language requirement that all students are expected to fulfill as part of the general education program. The College allows substitution of foreign studies courses toward the fulfillment of this requirement from students who present documentation of a functional auditory processing deficit or language processing deficit that significantly interferes with language acquisition. Documentation should include the results of tests of auditory discrimination, soundblending, auditory closure, auditory attention, and auditory sequential memory. Licensed speech-language pathologists or audiologists are trained in the administration and interpretation of such tests.

    Important Related Information
    Prior history of any particular accommodation does not, in and of itself, warrant its continued provision. An Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 Plan is not sufficient documentation of a disability. Submission of documentation does not constitute a request for services or accommodations. Such requests must be initiated by the student by contacting the Office of Disability Services (ODS). The ODS is ultimately responsible for determining appropriate accommodations. All documentation is confidential and will be assessed according to these requirements.

    Submit documentation to:
    Office of Disability Services
    Lebanon Valley College
    (717) 867-6028