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Learning Disability

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Documentation Required to Verify a Learning Disability

All DeSales University students must provide appropriate documentation for the diagnosis of a learning disability prior to receiving accommodations based on that disability. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with the Academic Resource Center and to provide appropriate documentation of the disability and related functional limitations for which they are requesting accommodations. This process follows the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973*, and current case law and is designed to ensure that reasonable, appropriate accommodations are provided to all qualified students in a timely manner. A diagnosis of a disorder/condition/syndrome in and of itself does not automatically qualify an individual for accommodations under the ADA.

All diagnostic evaluation reports submitted as documentation of a learning disability must meet the following requirements:

1. The report must be signed, dated and on the official stationary of the evaluator.
2. The professional(s) conducting the evaluation and providing the diagnosis must be qualified and/ or licensed to do so.
3. Testing must utilize adult normed tests such as the WAIS-III.
4. The evaluation report must minimally address: aptitude (IQ), achievement (reading, math, and written language), and processing, such as visual-motor and auditory.
5. All sub-test standard scores must be provided for all tests reported.
6. Screening tests, such as the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT), the Nelson Denny Reading Test, or the Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT), are not acceptable by themselves as tests of achievement.
7. Testing must address the impact of the student's disability on current collegiate functioning or should have been completed within three (3) years of beginning study at DSU.
8. The evaluation report must indicate how the learning disability impacts academic performance and contributes to a "significant impairment" in academic functioning.
9. The report must contain a clear statement of diagnosis of the specific learning disability and utilize Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, (DSM IV-TR), 1994 ICD-10, diagnostic codes. Vague terms such as "may have", "seems to have", or "suggests" are not acceptable as diagnostic.
10. The test report must specify the test scores and equated rationale used to determine the DSM IV diagnosis and/or suggested accommodations.
11. The report should include a history of the learning disability and previously provided accommodations.

[All eleven of the previous criteria must be addressed in the diagnostic report.]

Each student's academic accommodations will be determined on an individual basis and will be based on appropriate documentation. All new, transfer, or graduate students must provide appropriate documentation in order to receive disability-based accommodations.

*In order to meet the adult criteria of "disability" under these federal laws a person must provide documentation of how their significant impairment "substantially limits" their academic functioning.

A "significant impairment" means below average functioning. An IEP or 504 plan from the public school system is not documentation of a disability for the purposes of providing accommodations at the college level.

Please contact the Coordinator of Learning and Disability Services for further information. (610) 282-1100, x. 1453, FAX (610) 282-3241

Documentation should be sent to:
Coordinator of Learning and Disability Services
DeSales University
2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034

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