Required Medical Documentation

Colleges differ from high schools regarding the first step of providing academic accommodations. When a person with a disability needs an academic accommodation in high school, a team of people is assigned to discuss that student's classroom instructional accommodations. This is not the case with colleges and universities. The legislation states that in order to receive services from a university, a person with a disability must first disclose their disability to the institution. In most cases, the person would disclose this Disability Services on campus.

The person must bring the appropriate documentation regarding their disability. The name, title, the professional credentials of the evaluator (including license or certification as well as the area of specialization), place of employment, and state in which the individual practices, should clearly be stated on the documentation for all disabilities.

A student seeking accommodations is required to provide medical documentation that will substantiate the claim of a disability.

  • Documentation must be provided on letterhead stationery by a licensed medical professional qualified in the area of the disability.
  • Documentation must have been completed no more than three years prior to the date that the student submits a request for special services.
  • In cases involving adjustment disorders or Attention/Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD or ADHD), the documentation must have been completed no more than three years prior to the request.
  • The documentation should address the recommended accommodations and should describe the specific disability in behavioral terms in relation to the specific accommodations sought.
  • The documentation should also address the specific diagnosis; the test used in making the diagnosis, and scores when appropriate.

Disability Specific Documentation Requirements

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Documentation for students with ADD or ADHD must:

  • be comprehensive and must discuss current problems associated with the diagnosis
  • be within three years prior to the student's request for accommodation(s)
  • be from a licensed professional (e.g., Physician, licensed psychologist, licensed professional counselor, neurophysiologist, or other qualified mental health professional)
  • documentation must include a comprehensive social history as well as an educational and psychological assessment to include the following:
    • evidence of early impairment
    • family
    • academic
    • medical
    • psychosocial
    • employment
  • an actual diagnosis of an impairment according to DSM-IV –TR
  • discuss functional limitations in an academic environment that would impede academic progress
  • recommend accommodations that should be made to compensate for the student's functional limitations
  • list current medication(s), dosages, and existing side effects of the medication

Hearing Impairments
Persons who are hearing impaired may have different communication preferences and rely on residual hearing, lip reading, captioning, or perhaps English based American Sign Language. These services are designed to provide accommodations to hearing impaired students attending the college.

Documentation for students with hearing impairments must:

  • be from a licensed professional audiologist
  • an actual diagnosis of an impairment
  • discuss functional limitations in an academic environment that would impede learning
  • describe accommodations for the hearing impairment and limitations

BPCC has contracted with the Deaf Action Center to provide interpreters and services to our students. Once the hearing impaired student has registered with Disability Services, medical documentation has been provided, and the student has enrolled in classes, the Deaf Action Center will be notified and will contact the student to set up interpreter services.

Learning Disabilities
Documentation for a learning disability consists of a full psychoeducational evaluation. The evaluation must be comprehensive and current. An evaluation performed before age 18 must have been performed within three years prior to the student's request for accommodation(s). An evaluation performed during or after age 18 must be no more than five years old. It is not acceptable for an evaluation to consist of only one test for the purpose of diagnosis. All assessment instruments used in the evaluation must have age appropriate norms for high school seniors, college freshmen, and older students. All standardized measures must be represented by standardized scores or percentile ranks based on published norms (grade equivalents are not useful without standardized scores.)

Documentation for students with a specific learning disability must:

  • be from a professional (e.g.; licensed psychologist: clinical, educational, school, neuropsychologist, or from a learning disability specialist)
  • documentation must include all of the following:
    • diagnostic interview
    • assessment of aptitude-testing must include at least one of the following:
      • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised
      • Woodcock-Johnson Psycho educational Battery-Revised: Test of Cognitive Ability
      • Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence
      • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (4th ed.)
    • academic achievement-testing must include at least one of the following:
      • Scholastic Abilities for Adult
      • Stanford Test of Academic Skills
      • Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery-Revised; Test of Achievement
      • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test
    • information processing
    • DSM-IV-TR diagnosis
    • clinical summary containing suggestions for academic accommodations
    • testing should be current within the last three years
  • address current limitations in an academic environment
  • recommend reasonable accommodations that reflect the diagnosis and compensate for academic limitation

Physical Disabilities
Students with disabilities that are clearly visible by outward manifestations of the disability shall be afforded accommodations(s) that are clearly justified by the nature of their disability (e.g., a reader for a student who is blind). The College reserves the right to request documentation when a requested accommodation cannot be easily justified and determined by the outward effects of the student's disabling condition. When disability related documentation is requested, the student shall follow the documentation guidelines for students with disabilities that are not clearly visible.

Students with disabilities that are not clearly visible by outward manifestations of the disability (chronic health disorders, and, with the exception of learning disabilities, AD/HD and psychological disorders) must provide documentation that meets the following criteria:

  • be comprehensive and current (within three years prior to the student's request for accommodation(s) dependent upon the disorder and accommodation(s) requested)
  • be from a licensed/qualified professional (e.g.; physician, licensed physical therapist)
  • identify an unequivocal diagnosis of a specific disability
  • discuss functional limitations in an academic environment
  • recommend accommodations based upon the disability to enhance the student's ability to learn
  • list current medication, dosages and existing (not possible) side effects

Psychological Disabilities
Documentation for students with psychological disabilities must:

  • be comprehensive and must discuss current problems associated with the diagnosis
  • be within three years prior to the student's request for accommodations
  • be from a qualified/licensed professional (e.g.; psychiatrist, licensed psychologist, licensed professional counselor, board certified social worker)
  • include an actual diagnosis according to the DSM IV–TR
  • discuss functional limitations caused by the disability in an academic environment
  • recommend accommodations to compensate for the identified functional limitations
  • list current medication, dosages and existing (not possible) side effects

Visual Impairments
Documentation for students with visual disabilities must:

  • be from a medical professional (optometrist, ophthalmologist)
  • discuss functional limitations in an academic environment
  • recommend accommodations for the visually impaired