Documentation Guidelines

Students requesting accommodations or services from LMU because of a learning or physical disability are required to submit documentation to determine eligibility for those accommodations or services in accordance with Section 504 and the ADA. A diagnosis of a disability does not necessarily qualify a student for academic accommodations under the law. To establish that a student is covered under Section 504 or the ADA, the documentation must indicate that the disability substantially limits some major life activity, including learning.

The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that documentation of a learning disability is complete and supports the student’s request for accommodations. LMU will determine eligibility and appropriate services, case by case, based on the quality, recency and completeness of the documentation submitted. The following requirements provide students, schools, and professional diagnosticians with a common understanding of the components of documentation that are necessary to validate the existence of a disability, the impact on the individual’s educational performance, and the need for academic accommodations for the purpose of the ADA or Section 504. (10/05)

A Qualified Professional Must Conduct the Evaluation

The assessment must be administered by a trained and qualified (i.e., certified and/or licensed) professional (e.g., psychologist, school psychologist, neurophysiologist, or education diagnostician) who has had direct experience with adolescents and adults with disabilities.

Documentation Must be Current

Reasonable accommodations are based on the current impact of the disability on academic performance. In most cases this means that a diagnostic evaluation should be age appropriate and relevant to the student’s learning environment, and show the students current level of functioning. If documentation does not address the individual’s current level of functioning a reevaluation may be required. Students must submit their evaluation and supporting documents thirty-days prior to matriculation. Documentation should not be older than two years at the time of submission to LMU-DCOM.

Documentation Must Include a Specific Diagnosis

The report must include a clear and direct statement that a disability does or does not exist including a rule out of alternative explanations of learning problems. Terms such as “learning difficulty,” “appears,” “suggests,” or “probable” do not support a conclusive diagnosis.

Documentation Must be Comprehensive

The documentation must include a summary containing relevant historical information, instructional interventions, related services, and age of initial diagnosis. The documentation must also include objective data regarding aptitude, achievement and information processing. Test scores (standard scores, percentiles, and grade equivalents) must also be included in the documentation.

Recommendations for Accommodations

A diagnostic report may include specific recommendations for accommodation(s). A prior history of an accommodation, without a demonstration of a current need, does not in and of itself warrant the provision of that accommodation. Each accommodation recommended by an evaluator should include a rationale. The evaluation should support the recommendations with specific test results or clinical observations. If an accommodation is not clearly identified in the diagnostic report, LMU will seek clarification and/or additional information either from the student’s evaluator or from another trained professional chosen by LMU. LMU will make the final determination as to whether appropriate and reasonable accommodations are warranted and can be provided. LMU reserves the right to request reassessment of the student’s disability when questions arise regarding previous assessment or provision of services or accommodations or when the student requests additional services or accommodations above and beyond what has been previously provided to the student.

If a problem arises concerning the reasonable accommodations, the student should contact the LMU-DCOM Learning Specialist.