Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Requirements for Professional Reports Documenting
Accommodation Needs of Students with AD/HD
Under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008, Student Disability Services (SDS) protects qualified students enrolled at Cornell College from discrimination on the basis of disability and assures provision of reasonable accommodations. To do this, SDS requires documentation that diagnoses a disability and describes how the condition directly and substantially limits a major life function such as learning. The documentation must demonstrate that the condition rises to the level of a disability.
The goal of documentation is to establish that the student is eligible for protection and services on the basis of a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as such. The documentation also supports the student’s request for accommodations. Therefore, while all documentation submitted will be duly considered and a personal interview will additionally support our ability to understand the student's needs, the following items are strongly recommended to be able to accurately assess what accommodations are appropriate.
I. Qualifications of the Evaluator
Professionals conducting assessments and rendering diagnoses of AD/HD and making recommendations for accommodations have comprehensive training and relevant experience with an adult AD/HD population.
Examples of such professionals are Clinical, Counseling, Educational, School Psychologists, Neuropsychologists, and relevantly trained Medical Doctors and Learning Disability Specialists. The professional completing the report be independently licensed or working under the supervision of a licensed professional.
II. Recency of Documentation
Because the provision of all reasonable accommodations and services is based upon our review of the
professional’s assessment of the current impact of the disability on academic performance, it is in a student’s
best interest to provide recent and appropriate documentation. This means that the comprehensive
evaluation has ideally been completed within the past three years.
III. Comprehensive Information that Verifies the Existence of the Condition
A comprehensive evaluation should provide information about the history of the condition and verify the
existence of a current condition. The evaluator’s report includes the following:
1. Evidence of early impairment: The report contains evidence to establish that the
symptoms of the disorder were present in childhood and manifested in more than one setting.
The summary also includes information substantiated in medical and educational records.
It also describes the student’s diagnostic history of AD/HD. Accommodation history should
2. Evidence of current impairment: The report describes the student’s present attentional
symptoms including evidence of ongoing impulsive/hyperactive or inattention behaviors that
significantly impair functioning in two or more settings at the time he or she was referred for the
current evaluation. Documentation includes a current DSM-IV-TR diagnosis including the
criteria by which the diagnosis was determined. A definitive diagnostic statement is made
and stated directly. This statement does not use terms such as “suggests,” “appears
to,” “is consistent with,” “is indicative of” or similar language. Relevant current medical
information must be included. The report indicates whether or not the individual was
evaluated while on medication prescribed for the treatment of AD/HD, and whether or not the
prescribed medication consistently produces a desired response.
3. Alternate causes ruled out: The report demonstrates that the evaluator(s) has investigated
and ruled out alternative psychological, medical, educational, and/or cultural explanations for
inattentiveness, impulsivity, and/or hyperactivity.
4. Relevant testing must be provided to establish average or higher intelligence: The WISCIII
or IV or the WAIS-III or IV has been administered and all scale and subscale information must
be included. Full scale and subscale information must be provided for both the intelligence test
and any other testing used to substantiate a disability related to academic functioning.
5. Achievement testing must be provided to demonstrate academic impairment: The
Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-II (WIAT-II) or the Woodcock Johnson Psychoeducational
Battery-III or similar measures was administered to measure the current impact of the
disorder on an individual’s ability to function in academic related settings. The Wide Range
Achievement Test (WRAT III or IV) is not sufficient in this regard.
6. Additional testing includes at least one objective measure of sustained attention:
Examples include the Conner’s Continuous Performance Test (CCPT), the Test of Variables of
Attention (TOVA), The Intermediate Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test (IVA), the
Ruff 2 and 7, the Brief Test of Attention, the d2 Test of Attention, the Attention Capacity Test
(ACT), or similar measures.
IV. Each recommended accommodation is discussed individually and specific evidence is present
support each accommodation requested in the report.
Accommodations are provided for a condition only when the condition materially restricts an individual’s
academic functioning and when there is a substantial limitation as compared to the general population.
Accommodations are not provided for relative weaknesses, areas needing improvement, or below expectancy performance that is not directly related to a disability.
Each accommodation should be correlated with specific functional limitations that have been documented in the assessment. All data must logically reflect the substantial limitation(s) to learning for which the individual is requesting accommodations. For example, a recommendation for extended time for exams may be related to the individual’s processing speed sub-score on the WAIS-III, or to differences between “standard” and “extended time” administration scores on the Nelson-Denny Reading Test. “Laundry lists” of accommodations that are not individually supported are insufficient for this section.
Please feel free to attach any additional documentation to the report.