Sources of information used for determining a disability and/or accommodations may include a student's self-report, direct observation and interaction with the student, and/or documentation from qualified evaluators or professionals.
Students should complete the DSS application which provides students an opportunity to describe their disability and accommodations they are hoping to receive. Students may also consider providing an additional letter that further elaborates upon their experiences related to their disability, their strengths and functional limitations, barriers they have encountered, and/or previous accommodations (effective and ineffective).
Documentation from External Sources:
Relevant information from external sources can help to substantiate the presence of a disability and the need for accommodations. This information should provide evidence of the functional limitations of the disability and their impact on the student's life. Criteria for the source, scope, and content of documentation differ by disability type. Documentation may include assessments, reports, and/or letters from qualified health care providers, psychologists, or diagnosticians, and information from a previous school (e.g., 504 plan, IEP, or ARD documents). In order to ensure an objective assessment, the professional completing the evaluation must be an impartial individual who is not related to the student.
Suggested Documentation Elements:
1. Typed on letterhead, dated, and signed by a qualified professional.
2. Diagnostic statement with any related diagnostic methodology (e.g., diagnostic criteria, procedures, assessment instruments, and/or test scores).
3. Functional limitations or symptoms. (Limitations identify which accommodations are appropriate.)
4. Severity and/or expected progression.
5. Current medication(s) and any related side-effects.
6. Any other relevant information and/or additional information regarding the condition.
7. Current and/or past accommodations.
8. Any recommended accommodations.
Specific documentation guidelines are provided to assist students in obtaining appropriate documentation from qualified professionals. The provision of this documentation assists the disability services coordinator in understanding the impact of the disability, the student’s needs, and potential accommodations. Colleges request documentation for the following reasons:
- to verify the existence of a disability;
- to support the request for each specific accommodation;
- to review the nature of the disability and its impact in the postsecondary environment; and
- to assist in the collaborative determination of eligibility for auxiliary aids and services.
The Counseling Center does not administer evaluations/assessments required for documentation of disabilities. The Counseling Center can 'screen' for symptoms relating to ADHD but will refer students elsewhere for formal evaluation for ADHD and LD.
At the beginning of each course, the student must take the initiative within the first three days of the term and notify the instructor of any accommodations needed for the duration of the course by meeting privately with the faculty member and completing the Course Accommodation form together.
The process is premised upon an open and productive dialogue between the faculty member and the student.
The following is not necessary, but should you want to read more about possible specific documentation, here is more information:
Please keep a copy of your documentation. The office of the Coordinator of Academic Support and Advising holds documentation for a limited time period after a student leaves the College; all documentation will be destroyed at the end of this time period or upon the request of the student.
Documentation may be brought in or mailed to:
Coordinator of Academic Support and Advising
600 First Street SW
Mount Vernon, Iowa 52314-1098
Or email@example.com as a PDF document