Guidelines for Documentation of a Specific Learning Disability
Tidewater Community College students seeking academic accommodations
for Specific Learning Disability are required to submit documentation verifying
eligibility under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
All documentation is confidential and is not considered a part of the academic
transcript. The following guidelines are provided in the interest of identifying
evaluation reports appropriate to document eligibility.
Testing must be comprehensive
and contain at least the following domains:
- The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale - 4th Edition; or
- the Wechsler Intelligence
Scale for Children - 4th Edition; or the most current scale, with unprorated subtest scores; or
- the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery 3, Tests of Cognitive Abilities.
Current levels of achievement in reading, mathematics and written language are required.
Preferred instruments are:
- the Woodcock-Johnson 3 Test of Achievement;
- the Scholastic
Abilities Test for Adults;
- the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test; the Kaufman
Test of Educational Achievement, 2nd Edition;
or a compendium of instruments including the
- Test of Written Language 4 [TOWL-4],
- the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test - Revised,
- the Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test.
- The Wide Range Achievement Test 4 should be supplemented.
In addition, an evaluation of the student's current record of academic
achievement and standardized testing may be applicable.
Specific areas of information processing such as short and long-term memory,
sequential memory, processing speed, auditory and visual perception must be assessed.
The following subtests are acceptable:
- the WAIS-4 or
- the Woodcock-Johnson Test of Cognitive Ability:
Standard and Supplemental Cognitive Subtests
Testing must be current, which typically means within the last
three years for older adolescents and young adults.
documentation for an evaluation completed after high school graduation
or the eighteenth birthday, which is not more than ten years old, is
considered acceptable for immediate reasonable accommodation. Disabilities
Services is responsible to advise students that other institutions
may require more stringent and timely documentation.
the basis for determining reasonable accommodations, so it is in the
best interest of the student to provide recent and comprehensive documentation.
Clear and specific evidence and identification of a learning disability
must be stated on the basis of the following attributes:
- Average to above average or superior intellectual ability. To best
serve the adult community college population, definition of average
shall be one standard deviation below and above the mean. For most
assessment instruments this range is between the standard scores of
85 and 115.
- Statistically significant intra-cognitive processing deficits,
- Statistically significant aptitude achievement discrepancy[ies].
- Measured achievement in an instructional or employment setting
and statement of appropriate adaptive behaviors.
- Statements such as individual "learning styles" and "learning differences"
in and of themselves do not constitute a learning disability.
- Professionals conducting and rendering diagnoses of specific learning
disability must be qualified to do so. Trained and licensed psychologist,
neuropsychologists, learning disabilities specialists, and educational
therapists are typically involved in assessment. Experience in working
with an adult population is essential.
- Evaluators should be able to demonstrate that the selection of
assessment instruments is based upon suitability, as to reliability
and validity, for use with an adult population.
- Reports must include: the names and titles of evaluators; names of
all tests administered; test scores and related data in standard
score format, including subtest scores; and date of evaluation.
- Reports must contain recommendations for reasonable accommodations
suitable to a postsecondary academic setting.
- Presentation of proof of accommodation from another postsecondary
institution, accompanied by documentation, is acceptable for immediate
accommodation at Tidewater Community College.