Proven Results - Fourth Best Tuition Value

Apply Today Request Information Plan a Visit Giving to NCWC

Disability Documentation Guidelines

In order for a student to be eligible for Disability Accommodations, the student must self identify to the Office of Counseling and Disability Services and submit the proper documentation as outlined in the Disability Services Handbook.  (See below for an overview of the documentation required by disability type.)

Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (ADHD)
Learning Disability
Physical Disability
Psychological Disability

ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER DOCUMENTATION GUIDELINES
According to the DSM-IV, ADHD is a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequent and severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development. While ADHD first exhibits itself in childhood, it does carry over into adulthood. Since ADHD is a clinical disorder, a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, or other relevantly trained medical doctor must provide the documentation. It is imperative that the practitioner has experience in diagnosing adults with ADHD. The documentation must validate the need for academic accommodations based on the individual’s current level of functioning in the educational setting. Therefore, the evaluation must be current, within the past 3 years.  
The comprehensive evaluation and resulting diagnostic report should include a diagnostic interview, a diagnosis, psychological assessment data and interpretive summary. The data should reflect a substantial limitation to learning for which the student is requesting accommodations. 
An interpretive summary must be provided as part of the documentation, which must include:

  • A specific DSM-IV TR diagnosis explaining what criteria the student meets to be diagnosed with the disorder 
  • Medical and treatment history along with the current treatment regimen. If the student is currently taking medication, include possible side effects, especially if the treatment will have an independent effect on areas of functioning relevant to the academic environment
  • Explanation and demonstration of how the disorder causes substantial limitations in areas of functioning applicable to the academic environment
  • Recommendations for academic accommodations with the rationale that associates the recommended accommodations with the functional impact of the disability

The summary must also:

  • Be printed on the provider’s letterhead
  • Be signed by the clinician
  • Show the credentials and/or license number of the professional


**An Individualized Education Plan or 504 plan is NOT sufficient documentation in and of itself, but it can be submitted as supporting information in addition to a comprehensive assessment.**

Regarding accommodations, research results vary as to which accommodations are most helpful. Therefore, each student’s accommodations are considered individually. The most common academic accommodations provided for ADHD are a quiet environment during testing, extended test-taking time, and use of a recording devise in class.

LEARNING DISABILITY DOCUMENTATION GUIDELINES
A learning disability is a diagnosable, clinically significant difference between ability and achievement.  Testing is used to determine the type of deficiency that exists and the severity of the deficiency. A learning disability can be best described as an inability to acquire or relate specific information. It is not a form of mental retardation or intelligence impairment. Learning disabilities can exist in various areas, such as math, reading, or writing. Some of the more common types of learning disabilities are arithmetic deficit, auditory processing, constructional dyspraxia, dsysgraphia, dyslexia, language comprehension, long term memory deficit, reading deficit, short term memory deficit, spatial organization, spelling dyspraxia, traumatic brain injury, visual processing and writing deficit.  Some students may have combinations of these disabilities or have these disabilities in combination with social/emotional adjustment problems.  Accommodation plans try to help compensate for specific deficits.

The documentation should indicate that the learning disability substantially limits one or more major life activities. The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that learning disability documentation is appropriate to verify eligibility and to support requests for accommodations. The documentation must comply with the following four areas.

  1. Qualifications of the Examiner
    The professional conducting the evaluation must be qualified to make the diagnosis of a learning disability and to recommend appropriate academic accommodations. Experience with diagnosing learning disabilities in the age group of the student is essential. Therefore, the documentation must include the name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator. Examples of qualified professionals include licensed school psychologist, licensed psychologist, licensed clinical/counseling psychologist, learning disability specialist, neuro-psychologist, and medical doctor.
  2. Documentation must be current
    The evaluation and documentation provided to the Office of Counseling and Disability Services must be within the past three years. The provision of reasonable accommodations and services is based upon assessment of the impact of the student’s disabilities on his/her academic performance at a given time in the student’s life. Therefore, it is in the student’s best interests that the documentation provides recent, relevant and appropriate reflection of the student’s learning disability.
  3. Assessment
    Documentation should validate the need for academic accommodations based on the individual’s current level of functioning in the educational setting. An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plans is NOT sufficient documentation by itself, but may be submitted as SUPPORTING documentation. The comprehensive evaluation and resulting diagnostic report should indicate a diagnostic interview, a diagnosis (based on criteria in the DSM-IV TR) and a psycho-educational test battery including an assessment of aptitude, academic achievement and information processing. All test scores including subtest scores are required.
  4. Diagnostic Report
    The diagnostic report should include the specific diagnosis based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – Fourth Edition (DSM-IV TR) along with the prognosis of the disability. The report should also describe the impact the diagnosed leaning disability has on a specific major life activity as well as the degree of significance of this impact on the individual. Functional limitations experienced by the student as related to academics should be reported along with specific recommendations for accommodations including a rationale for why each accommodation is recommended. The recommendations should be based on the specific test results or clinical observations. However, the final determination of appropriate accommodations will be made by North Carolina Wesleyan College, Office of Counseling and Disability Services.


Accommodations for learning disabilities vary from one student to another, because no two learning disabilities are exactly the same. Since the same disability can vary in intensity and degree, it is important to consider each student individually. The most common types of accommodations provided for learning disabilities are a quiet environment, extended test-taking time, and a reader or scribe.


**An Individualized Education Plan or 504 plan is NOT sufficient documentation in and of itself, but it can be submitted as supporting information in addition to a comprehensive assessment.**

PHYSICAL DISABILITY DOCUMENTATION GUIDELINES
Physical disabilities include medical disabilities such as chronic health disorders, sensory impairments (e.g. vision, hearing), and mobility impairments. The documentation should indicate that the physical disability substantially limits one or more major life activity. The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that documentation is appropriate to verify eligibility and to support requests for accommodations. 

Documentation of a physical disability must be received from a qualified medical provider. Your documentation must include a current written report, within the past three years, signed by your qualified medical provider on letterhead, which shows the credentials or license number of your provider. The report must include the following information:

  • A specific diagnosis explaining what criteria the student meets to be diagnosed with the disorder
  • Medical and treatment history along with the current treatment regimen, including possible side effects, especially if the treatment will have an independent effect on areas of functioning relevant to the academic environment
  • Explain and demonstrate how the disorder causes substantial limitations in areas of functioning applicable to the academic environment (This information is vital because having a diagnosed “disorder” is not synonymous with a “disability”) 
  • Include recommendations for academic accommodations with the rationale that associates the recommended accommodations with the functional impact of the condition

Due to the amount of disabilities that fall in the physical disability category, accommodations will vary between students. Accommodations will be established in accordance with his/her specific physical disability. Examples of common accommodations for specific disabilities follow.

Mobility Impairments

  • Classroom relocation to an accessible building
  • Extended test-taking time
  • Note-takers
  • Use of tape recorder in class
  • Scribe/Reader
  • Use of a table instead of a desk
  • Assistant for lab experiments


Visual Impairments

  • Reader/scribe for examinations
  • Taped text
  • Extended test-taking time
  • Use of tape recorder in class
  • Alternative format for tests and handouts
  • Assistant for lab experiments


Hearing Impairments

  • Note-takers
  • Interpreters during class
  • Priority seating in classroom
  • Extended test-taking time

**An Individualized Education Plan or 504 plan is NOT sufficient documentation in and of itself, but it can be submitted as supporting information in addition to a comprehensive assessment.**

PSYCHOLOGICAL DISABILITY DOCUMENTATION GUIDELINES
Due to the changing nature of psychiatric disabilities, it is essential that a student provide recent and appropriate documentation from a qualified professional. Since reasonable accommodations are based on the current impact of the disability, the documentation must address the individual’s current level of functioning and the need for accommodations (e.g., due to observed changes in performance or due to medication changes since previous assessment). If the diagnostic report is more than six months old the student must also submit a letter from a qualified professional that provides an update of the diagnosis, a description of the student’s current level of functioning during the preceding six months, and a rationale for the requested accommodations. 

A qualified professional that is authorized to diagnose and recommend appropriate accommodations must provide the documentation. Examples of acceptable professionals are psychologists, neuro-psychologists and psychiatrists. The documentation must include the name, title, and professional credentials including information about his/her licensure and/or specialization. Additionally, all evaluation reports must be typed on letterhead, signed, dated and legible.

The evaluation must include the following:

  • A specific DSM-IV-TR diagnosis explaining what criteria the student meets to be diagnosed with the disorder
  • Medical and treatment history along with the current treatment regimen. If the student is currently taking medication, include possible side effects, especially if the treatment will have an independent effect on areas of functioning relevant to the academic environment.
  • Explain and demonstrate how the disorder causes substantial limitations in areas of functioning applicable to the academic environment in addition to stating whether the condition is permanent or temporary
  • Include recommendations for academic accommodations with the rationale that associates the recommended accommodations with the functional impact of the condition

Accommodations for psychological disabilities vary from one student to another, because no two psychological disabilities are exactly the same. Since the same disability can vary in intensity and degree, it is important to consider each student individually. The most common types of accommodations provided are extended test taking time, testing in a quiet environment, use of a tape recorder in class and note takers.

**An Individualized Education Plan or 504 plan is NOT sufficient documentation in and of itself, but it can be submitted as supporting information in addition to a comprehensive assessment.**