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Criteria for Disability Documentation

Guidelines from the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of l973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 state that qualified students with disabilities who meet the admission and academic standards of Alabama A&M University are entitled to reasonable accommodations. Under these laws, a disability is defined as any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. Having a history of impairment, or being perceived as having impairment may also qualify one as an individual with a disability. It is the student’s responsibility to disclose his/her needs and provide appropriate documentation to the Director of Disability Services. Appropriate documentation is defined as follows: 

 

Health Condition, Mobility, Hearing, Speech, or Visual Impairment

A letter or report from the treating physician, orthopedic specialist, audiologist, otologist, speech pathologist, ophthalmologist, optometrist (as appropriate) which includes:

1. Clearly stated diagnosis

2. Defined levels of current functioning and any limitations

3. Current treatment and medication

4. Current letter/report (within 1 year), dated and signed

5. Necessary accommodations

 

Psychological Disorder

A letter or report from a mental health professional who is impartial and not related to the student (psychiatrist, psychologist, neuropsychologist, licensed professional counselor, or clinical social worker) which includes:

1. Clearly stated diagnosis based upon current DSM criteria

2. Defined levels of current functioning and any limitations

3. Assessment and evaluation instruments used, observations, history, etc.

4. Current treatment and medication

5. Current letter/report (within 1 year), dated and signed

6. Necessary accommodations

 

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

A comprehensive evaluation by a physician, neurologist, licensed clinical, rehabilitation or school psychologist, neuropsychologist, or psychiatrist which includes:

1. A clear statement of head injury or traumatic brain injury

2. Current impact on student’s functioning and limitations

3. Cognitive and achievement measures used and evaluation results

4. Current residual symptoms and a statement regarding the student’s ability to meet the demands of a postsecondary academic

5. Current treatment and medication

6. Current letter/report (post-rehab within 1 year), dated and signed

7. Necessary accommodations

 

Learning Disabilities (LD)

A comprehensive evaluation report written in narrative form by an impartial individual not related to the student( licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, learning disabilities specialist, licensed professional counselor, educational therapist or diagnostician) which includes:

1. Clearly stated diagnosis of a SPECIFIC learning disability in reading, math, or written language based upon current DSM criteria.

2. Educational history documenting the impact of the learning disability

3. Alternative explanations and diagnoses are ruled out

4. Relevant test data with standard scores provided to support conclusions of the measures of intellectual/cognitive/information processing abilities by at least one of the following instruments: (a) WAIS-II or III (b) Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery-Revised (c) Stanford-Binet IV (d) Peabody Individual Achievement Test (e) Stanford Test of Academic Skills

5. Statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability

6. Current report (within 3 years), dated and signed

7. Necessary accommodations

 

Note: High School IEP, 504 Plan, and/or letter from a physician or other professional will not be sufficient to document a learning disability. The evaluation must be comprehensive.

 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

A comprehensive evaluation report written in narrative form by an impartial individual not related to the student (a developmental pediatrician, psychiatrist, neurologist, licensed clinical or educational psychologist) which includes:

1. Clearly stated diagnosis of ADHD based upon current DSM criteria

2. Evidence of early and current impairment in at least two different environments including past and present symptoms

3. Alternative explanations and diagnoses are ruled out

4. Relevant test data with standard scores provided to support conclusions including at least one of the following instruments: (a) WAIS-II or III (b) Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery-Revised (including Written Language) (c) Behavioral Assessment Instruments and Checklists normed on adults

5. Statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disorder and the degree to which it impacts the individual

6. Medications prescribed and how they will impact the student’s ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary academic.

7. Current report (within 3 years of enrollment date), dated and signed

8. Necessary accommodations

 

Note: High School IEP, 504 Plan and /or letter from a physician or other professional will not be sufficient to document ADHD. Prescription medication cannot be used to imply a diagnosis.