Home > Disability Services > Eligibility & Requirements > Eligibility Requirements for Disability Services

Eligibility Requirements for Disability Services


Purpose - To specify disability documentation requirements that will qualify Southwestern students for reasonable and appropriate accommodations through Disability Services for Students (DSS).

Sources

  • The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 United States Code, 701-796
  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990( ADA ), 42 United States Code, 12101 et seq.
  • Disability Services for Students, Southwestern Oregon Community College

Policy - Students who feel they have a current and essential need for disability accommodations are responsible for requesting accommodations and providing qualifying documentation to the Disability Services for Students (DSS) office. DSS will make every effort to accommodate qualified students with disabilities.

General Eligibility Requirements

DSS students must be admitted or enrolled Southwestern students, and they must provide DSS with qualifying disability documentation verifying the nature and extent of the disability prior to receiving any accommodations. The Disability Coordinator will be responsible for evaluating disability documentation and determining disability accommodations.

All documentation of disability must be provided to DSS on professional letterhead and contain the date of assessment, signature, title and license/certification numbers of the diagnosing professionals. Diagnoses of disabilities that do not contain the required information may not be used for determining eligibility for academic accommodations. DSS reserves the right to request reassessment when questions arise regarding previous assessment or previous service provision.

Specific Eligibility Requirements

Physical Disabilities -Required Documentation - DSS will accept current diagnoses of physical disabilities that are based on appropriate diagnostic evaluations administered by trained and qualified (i.e., certified and/or licensed) professionals (e.g., medical doctors, ophthalmologists, psychologists, neurologists, neuropsychologists, audiologists). Disability diagnosis categories include:

  • Orthopedic disability
  • Blind or visually impaired
  • Deaf or hard of hearing
  • Acquired brain injury
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Communication Disorders
  • Other health related/systemic disabilities

The diagnostic report must include:

  • Primary disability diagnosis, including a clinical history that establishes the age of the student at the initial date of diagnosis, last contact with the student, and if a secondary conditions that might be present.
  • Assessment used to diagnose the disability.
  • Description of any medical and/or behavioral symptoms associated with the disability. That could impact learning
  • Discussion of medication, if applicable, dosage, frequency, and any adverse side effects attributable to their use.
  • Clear statement specifying functional manifestations (i.e., substantial limitations to one or more major life activities, such as learning, and degree of severity) due to disability and/or medications for which the student may require accommodations.
  • Recommendations for accommodations, including rationale. If the accommodation recommendation is specific to a learning disorder (e.g., reading, mathematics, written expression), then appropriate psycho-educational or neuropsychological evaluation must be administered to document that can diagnosis the disorder.

Specific Learning Disabilities -Required Documentation - DSS will accept diagnoses of specific learning disabilities that are based on comprehensive age-appropriate educational evaluations that are no more than three years old. The assessment must be administered by a trained and qualified (i.e., certified and/or licensed) professional (e.g., psychologist, school psychologist, neuropsychologist, educational diagnostician) who has had direct experience with adolescents and adults with learning disabilities.

An appropriate educational evaluation must include comprehensive measurement in each of the following areas:

  • Learning (the evaluation must contain a complete intellectual assessment, with subtests and scores reported).
  • Academic achievement (the evaluation must contain a comprehensive achievement battery with all subtests and scores reported). The test battery should include current levels of functioning in the relevant areas, such as reading (decoding and comprehensive), mathematics, and oral and written expression.
  • Informational processing (the evaluation should assess specific information processing areas such as short and long term memory, sequential processing, numerical reasoning, verbal knowledge, auditory and visual perception/processing, processing speed, executive function, and fine motor ability).

Examples of Measures

Aptitude - Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale 3 rd. edition

  • Stanford-Binet, Fourth Edition
  • Woodcock-Johnson III – Test of Cognitive Ability
  • Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test

Achievement

  • Wechsler Individual Achievement test II (WIAT II)
  • Woodcock-Johnson III – test of Achievement
  • Stanford Test of Academic Skills ( TASK)
  • Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults ( SATA)
  • Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement II (KTEA II)

Note: Screening tools such as the Wide Range Achievement Test ( WRAT) are not considered comprehensive measures of achievement and must be accompanied by a comprehensive measure such as one of those listed above. All instruments selected to measure these areas must be age appropriate.

Informational Processing

  • Subtest of the WAIS III
  • Subtests on the Woodcock-Johnson III Test of Cognitive Abilities
  • Wechsler Memory Scale III (WMS III)

Diagnostic Report - The diagnostic report must include the following:

  • Diagnostic interview that addresses relevant historical information including age at initial diagnosis, past and current academic achievement, instructional foundation in area of diagnosis, past performance in area of difficulty, and history and effectiveness of accommodations used in past educational settings.
  • List of all instruments used in test battery.
  • Discussion of test behavior and specific test results.
  • Diagnostic summary with the following information:
    • Clear statement that a learning disorder does or does not exist, including a rule-out of alternative explanations for the learning problems. Terms such as “appears,” “suggest,” or “probable” in the diagnostic summary statement do not support a conclusive diagnosis.
    • Clear statement specifying the substantial limitations to one or more major life activities.
    • Psychometric summary of scores.
    • Recommendations for accommodations, including rationale.

Diagnoses of specific learning disorders that do not contain educational measures may not be used to determine eligibility for academic accommodations. For example, school plans such as an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan are not adequate documentation. However they could be included with the required evaluation report. DSS reserves the right to request reassessment when questions regarding previous assessment or previous service provision arise.

Attention Deficit Disorder with or without Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD), (AD/HD) – Required Documentation

DSS will accept current (no more than three years old) diagnoses of ADD attention deficit disorder or ADHD attention deficit hyperactivity disorder that are based on age-appropriate (upon entrance to Southwestern) diagnostic evaluations administered by trained and certified (i.e., certified and or/licensed) professionals (e.g., physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, general fractioned neuropsychologist or school psychologist)

Note: Reports that are not accompanied by a comprehensive educational evaluation will need to be updated annually.

The diagnostic report must include:

  • Clinical interview, relevant historical information, age at initial diagnosis, duration and severity of the disorder, discussion of medications, review of past and current academic achievement.
  • Procedure used to diagnose the disability (including a list of all instruments used in the assessment to include memory measurement memory scales/behavioral checklists and test scores as applicable).
  • Discussion of the assessment results.
  • DSM-IV diagnosis (all five axes).
  • Diagnostic summary must include the following:
    • Clear statement that ADD/ADHD does or does not exist. Terms such as “appears,” “probable” or “suggests” in the diagnostic summary statement do not support a conclusive diagnosis.
    • Clear statement specifying the substantial limitations to one or more major life activities.
    • Discussion of medications is appropriate, and their impact on academic functioning.
    • Recommendations for essential accommodations relative to the diagnosed disability, and duration for which these accommodations should be provided on the current assessment.

Psychiatric Disorders--Required Documentation - DSS will accept current (no more than one year old) diagnoses of psychiatric disabilities that are based on comprehensive and appropriate diagnostic evaluations completed by trained and qualified (i.e., licensed or certified) professionals (e.g., psychologist, psychiatrist, physician, neuropsychologist, school psychologist, certified professional counselor, licensed social worker).

The diagnostic report must include the following:

  1. Clinical interview, relevant historical information, age at initial diagnosis, duration and severity of the disorder, discussion of medications, review of past and current academic achievement.
  2. Procedure used to diagnose the disability, (include a list of all instruments used in the assessment and test scores as applicable).
  3. Discussion of the assessment results.
  4. DSM-IV diagnostics (include all five axes).
  5. Diagnostic summary that includes the following:
    1. Clear statement that a disability does or does not exist. Terms such as “appears,” “probable” and “suggests” in the diagnostic summary statement do not support a conclusive diagnosis.
    2. Clear statement specifying the substantial limitations to one or more major life activities.
    3. Discussion of medications and their impact on academic functioning.
    4. Recommendations for essential accommodations relative to the diagnosed disability, and duration for which these accommodations should be provided on the current assessment.
    5. Recommendations for essential accommodations relative to the diagnosed disability, including rationale

Note: Due to the changing nature of psychiatric disabilities, an updated narrative specifying diagnosis, medications and current functional limitations is required annually.

Confidentiality - DSS will maintain the confidentially of these diagnostic reports to the extent permitted by law and will not release any documentation without a student’s informed written consent.

Definitions

Major life activity - Walking, sitting, standing, lifting, reading, seeing hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for one’s self, and similar activities.

Reasonable and appropriate accommodation - Change or modification that enable a student with a disability to enjoy equal opportunity and/or access to college facilities, programs, and activities, provided fundamental alteration would not result from the modification.

Reasonable accommodations are required for students with known disabilities. Southwestern is not required to provide “best” or “most desired” accommodation but rather a reasonable accommodation sufficient to meet accessibility needs. Division director or higher administrative staff must prepare a written explanation and consult with the DSS Director before denying a students request for accommodations. 

For more information about services for students with disabilities at Southwestern Oregon Community College call Educational Support Programs at (541) 888-7405.



Top of Page