Disability Services

Documentation Guidelines

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DISABILITY DOCUMENTATION SERVES TWO PURPOSES:
 
1. To establish that a student meets the definition of a person with a disability, and
2. To describe current functional limitations supporting the need for specific accommodations.

All documentation is reviewed in light of these two purposes.
A student requesting accommodations must provide current, comprehensive documentation of a disability by a licensed professional who is qualified to diagnose the student’s particular disability.

DISABILITY TYPES:
 
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD/ADD)
  • Autism Spectrum (ASD) or Pervasive Developmental Disorders
  • Chronic Medical Illnesses
  • Hearing Impairments or Deafness
  • Mental/Psychological/Psychiatric Disorders
  • Mobility or Physical Impairments
  • Neurological Disorders (Traumatic Brain Injury or Acquired Brain Impairment)
  • Specific Learning Disabilities
  • Speech or Communication Disorders
  • Vision Impairments or Blindness

Temporary Injury/Medical Crisis:
  • An injury or acute medical crisis does not usually qualify as a disability under the ADA. However, such conditions (e.g. broken bone, sudden onset illness requiring hospitalization, pregnancy-related impairment) may present short-term barriers that negatively impact a student’s learning.
    • In such cases severity and duration will be considered and every effort will be made to provide temporary accommodations where possible.

DISABILITY DOCUMENTATION: 
 
  • Should be typed on letterhead stationery or be in a report format (prescription pad note is not acceptable) and must include:
    • a clearly stated diagnosis of the disability;
    • the date of the most current evaluation or determination of the diagnosis;
    • current symptoms and treatment plan, including relevant prescribed medications and possible side effects;
    • description of the diagnostic methodology used
      • applicable primarily to assessment instruments used in identifying learning disabilities, cognitive impairments, or intellectual disabilities;
    • description of the student's current functional limitations in an academic environment;
    • description of the expected progression or stability of the disability; and
    • signature, printed name, title, professional credentials, and contact information of the evaluator or medical professional

IMPORTANT POINTS:
 
  • Information regarding a student's disability is not obtained through the SCC admissions process.
    • Disability related information and records are maintained separately from academic records. 
    • Disability documentation should be given or sent directly to the SDS coordinator.
  • Provision of accommodations and related services is based on the current impact of the disability. 
    • Documentation should be current within three-five years.
    • Each case is evaluated on an individual basis and exceptions may be made depending upon circumstances and disability type.
    • Assessments done in childhood may not be sufficient documentation for an adult college student.
  • SDS does not provide nor pay for testing and/or diagnosis for learning disabilities.
    • We do assist students in identifying local resources where such assessments can be provided.
  • Documentation should address the student’s current ability to function in an academic environment and may include recommendations for accommodations.
    • SDS is not obligated to provide specific accommodations as recommended by evaluators or medical providers.
    • All accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis in collaboration with the student and in consideration of that student's unique situation.
  • A school plan such as a 504 or an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) does not constitute documentation of disability, but may be a helpful part of a student's overall assessment.
  • Students must meet with the SDS coordinator to complete the process for registering for disability services. 
    • This meeting includes planning services and determining appropriate accommodations.

Janina DeHart, Student Disability Services Coordinator
Balsam Center, Room 115
447 College Drive, Sylva, NC 28779
Phone: 828.339.4326
Fax: 828-339-4651
j_dehart[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu