Documentation Guidelines

Students requesting disability services should be prepared to present documentation that establishes eligibility for services and supports requests for specific accommodations as soon as possible. Records supporting the use of services in high schools or other institutions are helpful, although reports such as IEPs, SOPs and letters from disability service providers at other colleges are not, in themselves, considered sufficient to meet this documentation request. Learning Support Services reserves the right to request additional information to determine appropriate services or eligibility, if necessary.

Documentation is maintained in a secure file at LSS. Requests to share information with persons acting in roles external to the University will be considered only with prior written approval by the student. Files are usually maintained for six years beyond a student’s last registration, after which they are destroyed.

Specific Learning Disability

Students with learning disabilities who are requesting support services from Villanova University’s Learning Support Services Office should submit documentation to verify eligibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The following guidelines are provided to ensure that the documentation is complete and appropriate.

  • The documentation should include a diagnosis of Learning Disability and the rationale of this diagnosis.
  • The diagnosis should be made by a licensed or certified professional and/or someone trained in psycho educational assessment.
  • The evaluation information should be current and relevant to the setting.
  • The assessment battery should include a cognitive evaluation (WAIS-III or WJ-R) and achievement battery and the following information:
    • The names of the assessment instruments used
    • The quantitative and qualitative information that supports the diagnosis
    • The severity of the condition
    • The areas of educational impact
    • Additional observations that would assist in meeting the individual needs of the student
    • The names, titles, addresses, telephone and fax numbers of the evaluators as well as the date(s) of testing

In addition, specific recommendations for accommodations (with explanation of how the need is substantiated through testing) will be helpful in assigning accommodations for the student.

Possible Tests for Assessing Adolescents and Adults

Educational Testing Service (ETS) offers a list of possible tests to be used in an evaluation.  This is offered as a resource and is not meant as a complete list of available tests.

http://www.ets.org/disabilities/documentation/documenting_learning_disabilities#appendb

Attention Deficit Disorder

Students with ADD/ADHD who are requesting academic accommodations from Villanova University’s Learning Support Services Office should submit documentation to verify eligibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  The following guidelines are provided to ensure that the documentation is complete and appropriate.

  • The documentation should include a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD and the rationale for the diagnosis.
  • The diagnosis should be a medical diagnosis.
  • The evaluation should be current and relevant to the setting.
  • The documentation should include the following information:
    • the name(s) of the assessment instrument(s) used (typically aptitude, achievement, information processing and behavioral checklists, e.g. Connors)
    • quantitative and qualitative information that supports the diagnosis
    • the severity of the condition
    • the areas of educational impact
    • recommendations for prescriptive treatments, environmental management and reasonable accommodations
    • additional observations or recommendations that would assist in meeting the individual needs of the student
    • the names, titles, addresses, telephone and fax numbers of the evaluators as well as the date(s) of testing

 

 

Psychiatric Disability

1.   A Qualified Professional Must Conduct the Evaluation

Qualified evaluators may include psychologists, neuropsychologists, psychiatrists, neuropsychiatrists, other relevantly trained medical doctors, clinical social workers, licensed counselors, and psychiatric nurse practitioners.

The name, title, and credentials of the qualified professional writing the report should be included. Information about license or certification should also be clearly stated in the documentation. All reports should be in English, typed or printed.

2.  Documentation Must Be Current and Address the Individual's Current Level of Functioning.

3.  Documentation Necessary to Support the Diagnosis Must Be Comprehensive

  • a specific diagnosis
  • a description of current functional limitations in the academic environment as well as across other settings
  • relevant information regarding medications expected to be in use
  • relevant information regarding current treatment 

4.  Historical Information, Diagnostic Interview, and/or Psychological Assessment

  • duration and severity of the disorder
  • relevant, developmental, historical, and familial data, relevant medical history, including the individual's current medication regimen compliance, side effects (if relevant), and response to medication
  • a description of current functional limitations
  • if relevant, a description of the expected progression or stability of the impact of the condition over time
  • if relevant, information regarding kind of treatment and duration

Documentation Must Include a Specific Diagnosis based on the DSM-IV-TR or ICD-10 diagnostic criteria.

Alternative Diagnoses or Explanations Should Be Ruled Out and Rationale for Requested Accommodations Must Be Provided

The evaluator must describe the degree of impact of the diagnosed psychiatric disorder on a specific major life activity, as well as the degree of impact on the individual.

The ETS guidelines for documentation of psychiatric disabilities as well as policy statements pertaining to LD and ADHD can be found at http://www.ets.org/disabilities/documentation/documenting_psychiatric_disabilities/

Villanova University Learning Support Services  7/10

Certification Forms

In some instances, a certification form completed by a qualified medical professional will be appropriate as documentation of a disability.

Contact Information

LSS logo

Office of Learning Support Services:
Villanova University
Learning Commons in Falvey
Suite 212
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610.519.5176
Fax: 610.519.8015
Email: learning.support.services@villanova.edu

Hours of Operation:
Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Meet Our Staff

Directions to campus and Campus Map (PDF)

Guidelines for a Specific Learning Disability

Guidelines for Attention Deficit Disorder

Guidelines for a Psychiatric Disability