Documenting a Learning Disability

The following guidelines are for students seeking support services on the basis of a diagnosed disability. This documentation is required under Section 504 and the ADA. The documentation must verify that the student’s learning disability substantially limits a major life activity, such as the learning process.

I. Testing must be comprehensive. The administration of one test is insufficient for making a diagnosis.  Minimally, the domains to be addressed must include, but may not be limited to, the following:

A. Aptitude/Cognitive

  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
  • Woodcock-Johnson Psycho educational Battery: Tests of Cognitive Ability
  • Slosson Intelligence Test
  • Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test
  • Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude
  • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale

B. Achievement/Academic

  • Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement
  • Peabody Individual Achievement Test
  • Woodcock-Johnson Psycho educational Battery: Tests of Achievement
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test
  • Stanford Test of Academic Skills

Or specific achievement tests such as:

  • Test of Written Language
  • Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests
  • Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Tests

II. Testing must be completed within the past three years. It is in a student’s best interest to submit current documentation so that reasonable accommodations can be provided.

III. Documentation must specify the exact nature of the learning disability. Students identified as having unique “learning styles” or “learning differences” are not considered learning disabled.

IV. Diagnostic reports and evaluations must include the names, titles, and professional credentials of the evaluators, as well as the date(s) of testing.

V. A description of any accommodations or services that were received at the secondary level must also be documented.

If you have any questions pertaining to these guidelines, please call the Assistant Director for Disability Services at 401.865.1121.

Documenting Other Disabilities

The following guidelines are for students seeking support services on the basis of a documented disability that is not a learning disability (e.g., ADHD, Physical Disability, Medical Disability, Psychiatric Disability, Visual/Hearing Impairment). This documentation is required under Section 504 and the ADA.

I. ADD/ADHD and Psychiatric Disabilities

A developmental physician, neurologist, psychiatrist, licensed doctoral level clinician, educational psychologist, or other qualified diagnostician must have completed the diagnosis. The documentation must include the following:

  1. Clear statement of the DSM IV-TR or ICD-10 diagnosis
  2. Date of diagnosis
  3. Summary of instruments used to make diagnosis
  4. A summary of evaluation results with standardized scores if available
  5. Statement of impact and limitations on the student’s performance
  6. Recommendations for academic accommodations

II. Physical/Medical/Psychiatric Disabilities & Visual/Hearing Impairments

Documentation specifying the disability and any required accommodations must come from an attending physician or psychiatrist. Additional documentation may be required from other specialists.

III. Temporary Disabilities

Although Providence College is not federally mandated to provide accommodations for students with temporary disabilities, the College will assist these students to the best of its ability. In such cases the College will determine the nature, length, extent, and value of any temporary accommodations. The scope of the services provided cannot be dictated by the students or their representatives. Cost of services may also be charged to students.

Students with specific physical disabilities should also contact Dr. James Campbell, Assistant Vice President for Student Development, in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. Dr. Campbell is the advocate for the non-academic/accessibility needs of Providence College students who have physical and/or medical disabilities. For more information, visit the Student Affairs page.