Guidelines to document a Learning Disability:
- The evaluation must be recent -- within the past four years.
- The evaluation must be conducted by a licensed professional trained to do psychological testing. Typically this is a psychologist; however other professionals may have the qualifications to do psychoeducational testing. We may require an evaluator to provide information verifying their qualifications.
- Testing should include a generally accepted test of intellectual aptitude, such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – IV (WAIS-IV), the Kauffman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test (KAIT), or an equivalent full battery test. Screening tests such as the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI) are insufficient. The tests selected must be appropriate for adults and use adult norms (i.e., adult comparison groups).
- The testing will also need to include a generally accepted test of academic achievement, such as the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-II (WIAT II) or an equivalent battery. Screening tests such as the Wide Range Achievement Test IV (WRAT IV) are insufficient.
[The Woodcock Johnson III NU Tests of Cognitive Abilities and Tests of Achievement can be used for 3 and 4 above, respectively.]
- Evaluators are encouraged to include any other tests that they feel will help support their diagnostic conclusions.
- The results should be written in report form, typed on letterhead and should include a history, a data summary and discussion, conclusions, DSM-IV diagnoses with codes, and recommendations for accommodations. This is a standard psychological report format.
- The report should also specify functional limitations - that is, the challenges the student is facing or is likely to face in college.
- Recommended accommodations should address specific functional limitations and be supported by a brief rationale. An example of an acceptable recommendation would be, "Fifty percent additional time is recommended on in-class examinations to minimize the impact of the student’s slower reading rate.” As you can see, the rationale doesn't need to be long but it should make a connection between the student’s functional limitation and the recommended accommodations.
Note: Currently IEPs are not sufficient to establish disability, however, the evaluations upon which the IEP was based could be. IEPs can be submitted to Disability Services to inform decisions about accommodations.