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Learning Disabilities

The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that documentation is appropriate to verify eligibility and to support requests for reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids for individuals with Learning Disabilities. 

1. Testing must be comprehensive.  It is not acceptable to administer only one test for the purpose of diagnosis.  Minimally, domains to be addressed must include (but not be limited to):

a. Aptitude.  The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised or WAIS -III with subtest scores is the preferred instrument.  The Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-Revised: Tests of Cognitive Ability, The Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test or the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale: Fourth Edition are acceptable.  The Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT) is NOT a comprehensive measure, and therefore is not suitable.

b. Achievement.  Current levels of functioning in reading, mathematics, and written language are required.  Acceptable instruments include the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-Revised: Tests of Achievement; Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT); Stanford Test of Academic Skills (TASK); Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA); or specific achievement tests such as the Test of Written Language-3 (TOWL-3), Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests-Revised, Nelson-Denny Reading Skills Test or the Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test.  The Wide Range Achievement Test-3 (WRAT-3) and the Mini Battery of Achievement are NOT comprehensive measures of achievement, and therefore are not suitable.

c. Information Processing.  Specific areas of information processing (e.g. short and long term memory; sequential memory; auditory and visual perception/processing; processing speed) must be assessed.  Use of subtests from the WAIS-R, WAIS-III, the Woodcock Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability, the Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude-Adult (DTLA-A) as well as other instruments relevant to the presenting learning problems(s) may be used to address these areas.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list or to restrict assessment in other pertinent and helpful areas such as vocational interests and aptitudes.

2. Testing must be current.  In most cases, this means testing that has been conducted within the past three years to five.  Since the provision of all reasonable accommodations and services is based upon assessment of the current impact of the student's disabilities on his/her academic performance, it is in a student's best interest to provide recent and appropriate documentation.

3. There must be clear and specific evidence and identification of a learning disability.  Individual learning styles and learning differences in and of themselves do not constitute a learning disability.

4. Actual test scores must be provided.  Standard scores are required; percentiles and grade equivalents are not acceptable unless standard scores are also included.  This is important since certain University policies and procedures require actual data to substantiate eligibility.

5.  In addition to actual test scores, interpretation of results is required.  Test protocol sheets or scores alone are not sufficient.

6. Professionals conducting assessment and rendering diagnoses of learning disabilities must be qualified to do so.  Trained, certified and/or licensed school psychologists, neuropsychologists, clinical psychologists, learning disability specialists, and other professionals with training and experience relevant to adults and their evaluation are typically involved in the process of assessment.  Experience working with an adult population is essential.  The diagnostician must be impartial and not a family member of the student.

7. Tests used to document eligibility must be technically sound (i.e. statistically reliable and valid) and standardized for use with an adult population.

8. A written summary of or background information about the student's educational, medical, and family histories that relate to the learning disability must be included.

9. A description of any accommodation and/or auxiliary aid that has been used at the secondary or postsecondary level should be discussed.  Include information about the specific conditions under which the accommodation was used.  (e.g. standardized testing, final exams) and whether or not it benefited the student.

10. Individual Education Programs (IEPs), 504 Plans and Summary of Performance (SOPs)are useful, but are not, in and of themselves, sufficient documentation to establish the rationale for accommodations unless they include full evaluation information outlined above.

  

The Rights of the University and the Campus Access Services Office

The University of New Haven reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of documentation submitted and requests for accommodation(s) on a case-by-case basis, using the professional judgment of the Campus Access Services staff and/or ADA/504 Review Committee. Additional information may be requested to determine eligibility.

Relevant information regarding the student's disability may be shared those who have a legitimate educational interest.

Diagnostic information regarding the student's disability may be shared with the ADA/504 Review Committee.