Purpose - To specify disability documentation requirements that will qualify Southwestern students for reasonable and appropriate accommodations through Disability Services for Students (DSS).
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.
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.
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:
The diagnostic report must include:
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:
Aptitude - Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale 3 rd. edition
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.
Diagnostic Report - The diagnostic report must include the following:
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:
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:
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.
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.