Each student's situation and relevant documentation is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. In general, for students with learning disabilities, documentation that meets the following standard is helpful:
- Evaluation and diagnosis by a qualified professional (generally done within the last 3 - 5 years).
- Recent data to provide a current "picture" of the individual.
- Assessment information, generally including:
- Diagnostic Interview;
- Intellectual Assessment: Aptitude/Information Processing (using adult norms is preferred);
- Academic Achievement levels;
- Standard scores or percentiles should be reported for all normed measures;
- Specific Diagnosis;
- Clinical Summary indicating substantial limitations to learning or other major life activities;
- Any records of prior accommodations used;
- Recommendations and rationale for accommodations to be used in the classroom.
Each student's situation and relevant documentation is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. In general, for students with ADD, documentation that meets the following standard is helpful:
- Diagnosis by a qualified professional;
- Date when diagnosed;
- Tests and assessments used to make the diagnosis;
- Current medication plan, if any.
For more information, please speak with Disability Services staff.
Each student's situation and relevant documentation is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. In general, for students with the following diagnosed disabilities, documentation that meets the following standard/criteria is helpful but it may not necessarily be sufficient to begin services:
A visual disability requires an ocular report. Relevant medical history should be provided that states functional limitation(s) and need for accommodations.
A hearing disability provides an audiology report. Relevant medical history should be provided that states functional limitation(s) and need for accommodations.
A health disability (Diabetes, Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism, etc.) requires doctor's verification and diagnosis. Relevant medical history should be provided that states functional limitation(s) and need for accommodations.
An orthopedic disability requires doctor's verification and diagnosis. Relevant medical history should be provided that states functional limitation(s) and need for accommodations.
A psychiatric disability requires a qualified mental health professional's verification and diagnosis. Relevant medical history should be provided that states functional limitation(s) and need for accommodations.
For more information on documentation for any of the above-diagnosed disabilities or others, please speak with the Disability Counselor.
The purpose of documentation is to verify that a diagnosed disability does exist and has been recorded as such. Good documentation will also provide enough information to support Disability Services staff in determining fair and reasonable accommodations. A doctor or psychologist may even offer recommended accommodations. However, after reviewing documentation, discussing academic needs with you, and, in some cases, discussing situations with faculty, Disability Services staff will make the final determination as to what accommodations are reasonable for your situation. Recommendations provided by medical personnel to the Disability Services staff can be helpful in determining accommodations, but the recommendations are not binding to the extent that the accommodation will be automatically granted. Disability Services staff will use all collected information to make a decision appropriate to the student, the specific situation, and other guidelines.
For example, some professionals will recommend that a student receive notes from a professor prior to each class. At Saint Louis University, many professors now post PowerPoint presentations to the Internet prior to class. For those professors who do not do so, the stance held by Disability Services is that it is generally not necessary or appropriate to ask faculty to make regular class notes available because Disability Services has alternative note-taking options available to students needing this accommodation, which can be discussed when registering for services.
Another common scenario occurs within housing. Some students provide documentation from a professional that indicates that a student should have single room housing so that the student may have a distraction-free study environment. At Saint Louis University, Disability Services and the Department of Housing and Residence Life do not offer single room living for distraction-free studying purposes. To meet this accommodation request through alternative means, SLU has arranged study areas in the residence halls, through three libraries, and in other buildings across campus. It is the student's responsibility to manage time appropriately so as to utilize these campus-wide resources. While these locations may not be the first choice of the student, these study areas are deemed to be reasonable means of meeting the study needs of students in need of distraction-free studying. Students needing even more silence often bring some type of earplugs or headphones to use in whatever environment they choose.
Because documentation is considered on an individual basis, it is best to speak with Disability Services staff if you have any questions or concerns about the information you currently have available. In many situations, it will be necessary to get additional information. However, in some situations, you may not need anything new.
An IEP or 504 Plan is essentially a contract between the student and the high school where the plan was written. It carries little weight at the college level because the laws that govern high school accommodations differ from the laws that govern higher education accommodations. However, in many situations, Disability Services will accept an out-dated evaluation, an IEP, 504 Plan, or possibly some other type of documentation for one semester provided that you agree to obtain an up-to-date and appropriate evaluation by the end of your first semester of registration through Disability Services. An out-dated evaluation, IEP, or 504 Plan may not be deemed acceptable documentation two semesters in a row. Failure to update your documentation may result in loss of services after the first semester until new documentation is provided.
If you feel you may have a disability that affects your academic performance but you have never been tested for a learning disability, attention deficit disorder, etc., you will need to consider getting a professional evaluation done. To get more information on what is needed, please consider speaking with the Disability Services staff. Without a professional evaluation and diagnosis, you are not eligible for accommodations. Our staff can discuss your options with you as well as refer you to a test evaluation center.