Contact

Disability Resource Services


TRUAX C1434
1701 Wright Street
Madison WI 53704

HOURS
Monday - Tuesday: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Wednesday - Thursday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

HOURS: May 15 – Aug. 1
Monday – Thursday: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

New to DRS
Email
(608) 246-6716

GENERAL INFORMATION
Email
(608) 246-6716

DOWNTOWN D116
(608) 259-2950

Fort Atkinson 120B
(920) 206-8023

Portage 100BC
(608) 524-7753

Reedsburg 172
(608) 524-7753

Watertown 148B
(920) 206-8023

Disability Documentation Guidelines

The student is responsible for providing documentation that supports his/her request for accommodation services. It is important that the documentation clearly establishes that the student has a disability as defined by federal regulations. The following documentation guidelines are provided in the interest of ensuring that documentation demonstrates a significant impact on a major life activity and supports your request for accommodation.

Special Note for adult returning students: Much of this documentation is typically provided by a student’s high school. Madison College recognizes that with “older” student this documentation may be non-existent. Returning adult students are encouraged to call DRS for information regarding how and where to obtain this documentation.

  • ADD/ADHD

    Documentation necessary to substantiate a disability should include:

    1. Discussion of any history of early impairment.
    2. Evidence of current impairment:
      1. Statement of presenting problem: A history of the individual's presenting attentional symptoms should include evidence of ongoing impulsive/hyperactive or inattentive behaviors that significantly impair functioning. - And/Or -
      2. Diagnostic Interview: Information collected should consist of more than a self-report, as information from third party sources is critical in diagnosis. Sources may include, but are not limited to: family history, developmental history, medical history, psycho-social history, academic history, prior psycho-educational reports, and description of current functional limitations pertaining to an educational setting.
    3. Any relevant testing information used to supplement the diagnostic profile.
    4. Documentation must clearly state a specific diagnosis (DSM) and specify which symptoms are present.
    5. Interpretative summary based on a comprehensive evaluative process should include:
      1. Demonstration that alternative explanations have been ruled out;
      2. Indication of patterns of inattentiveness/impulsivity/hyperactivity across life span and settings used to determine presence of ADHD;
      3. Indication and discussion of the substantial limitation of learning;
      4. Rationale as to why specific accommodations are needed. And or evidence that a specific accommodation has been effective in the past.

    A qualified professional must conduct the evaluation:

    AD/HD is considered a medical or clinical diagnosis. Professionals conducting assessment and rendering diagnosis of AD/HD should have appropriate training, such as developmental pediatric psychologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, licensed clinical or educational psychologists or a combination. The name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license or certification should be clearly stated in the documentation. All reports should be on letterhead, dated, signed, and otherwise legible.

    Documentation should be current:

    The provision of accommodations is based upon assessment of the current impact of the student's disabilities on his or her academic performance. Documentation that is outdated or inadequate in scope or content; does not address the student's current level of functioning; or does not address changes in the student's performance since the previous assessment was conducted may not support requested accommodations . When appropriate, additional supportive documentation will be requested.

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders

    This includes pervasive developmental disorders including Autism, Spectrum Disorders, Asperger's Syndrome and others.

    Documentation necessary to substantiate a disability should include:

    A specific diagnosis that conforms to DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4 th Edition). A criteria for Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, or Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified.

    Current functional limitations on major life activities resulting from the Autism spectrum disorder to include, but not be limited to: communication or language skills, social interaction, restricted, repetitive and/or stereotyped patterns of behavior and activities, sensory functioning and sensitivity to environmental conditions, and motor planning. Evidence to support the function limitations this statement may include aptitude testing, standardized tests of language skills, clinical and teacher observations, and standardized scales of symptoms related to autism. Recommendations for accommodations related to function and their rationale should be stated and any other strategies or services that may benefit the individual in a higher education environment.

    A qualified professional must conduct the evaluation:

    An evaluation must be conducted by a qualified professional. Professionals conducting assessment should have appropriate training in diagnosing psychiatric conditions. The name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license or certification should be clearly stated in the documentation. All reports should be on letterhead, dated, signed, and otherwise legible. Qualified Professionals include :Psychologist, Licensed Clinical Psychologists, Neuropsychologists, Psychiatrists and other relevantly trained medical doctors.

    Documentation should be current:

    The provision of accommodations is based upon assessment of the current impact of the student's disabilities. Documentation that is outdated or inadequate in scope or content, does not address the student's current level of functioning, or does not address changes inthe student's performance since the previous assessment was conducted, may not support requested accommodations. When appropriate, additional supportive documentation will be requested. 

  • Learning Disability

    A qualified professional must conduct the evaluation:

    It is important that the evaluator have comprehensive training and direct experience with adolescents and adults with learning disabilities, such as a licensed psychologist, learning disabilities specialist, educational therapist, or neuropsychologist. The name, title and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license or certification and employment should be clearly stated in the documentation. All reports should be on letterhead, dated, signed and otherwise legible.

    Documentation should be current:

    The provision of accommodations is based upon assessment of the current impact of the student’s disabilities on his or her academic performance and learning style. Documentation that is outdated or inadequate in scope of content; does not address the student’s current level of functioning; or does not address changes in the student’s performance since the previous assessment was conducted may not support requested accommodations. When appropriate, additional supportive documentation will be requested.

    Diagnosis of a Learning Disability:

    An IEP or 504 Plan in and of itself may be insufficient documentation, but can be included as part of a comprehensive evaluation. A comprehensive assessment battery and report typically includes:

    Diagnostic Interview

    1. Presenting problems, medical, developmental, psychosocial, etc. and a discussion of dual diagnosis where indicated. And/or
    2. Assessment of Aptitude A complete intellectual assessment with all sub-tests and standard scores reported (i.e., WAIS III, Stanford Binet, Woodcock-Johnson test of Cognitive
    3. Academic Achievement A comprehensive academic achievement battery should include current levels of functioning in relevant areas such as reading (decoding and comprehension), mathematics, and oral and written language (i.e., Woodcock-Johnson Achievement battery).
    4. Information Processing Specific areas of information processing (e.g., short and long term memory, sequential memory, auditory and visual perception/processing, processing speed, executive function, and motor ability) should be evaluated and diagnosed as appropriate (i.e., Wechsler Memory Battery).
    5. Specific diagnosis It is important to rule out alternative explanations for problems in learning such as emotional, attentional or motivational problems that may be interfering with learning but do not constitute a learning disability. The diagnostician is encouraged to use direct language in the diagnosis and documentation of a learning disability, avoiding the use of terms such as “suggests” or “is indicative of” a learning disability.
    6. Test Scores The test findings should document the nature and severity of the learning disability and data should logically reflect a substantial limitation to learning. Standard scores and/or percentiles should be included and are expected to correlate with identified functional limitations and recommendations for accommodation.

    Interpretative summary based on a comprehensive evaluative process should include:

    An interpretative summary should include a demonstration of the evaluator’s having ruled out alternative explanations for academic problems (e.g., poor education, poor motivation, emotional problems, attentional problems and cultural/language differences); indication of patterns in the student’s cognitive ability, achievement, and/or information processing reflecting the presence of a learning disability; indication of the substantial limitation to learning or other major life activity presented by the disability and the degree of impact in the learning context; indication of why specific accommodation or auxiliary aids are needed and specific conditions under which they were used in the past. Medical information, as appropriate, should include the impact of medication on the student’s ability to meet the demands in a post-secondary environment.

    Recommendations for Accommodations:

    • Include specific recommendations and rationale for accommodations.
    • Include a description of the impact of the diagnosed learning disability on specific major life activities.
    • Any recommendations should be supported by specific test results and/or clinical observations and/or evidence that a specific accommodation has been effective in the past.

    Documentation of a Learning Disability should be no more than three years old if testing instruments normed for children were used in the evaluation. Evaluations using adult-normed testing instruments are considered current for ten years. 

  • Physical/Sensory/Other Health Impairments

    This includes deafness, visual disabilities and others.

    Documentation necessary to substantiate a disability should include:

    1. A statement on letterhead, by a qualified health professional
    2. The statement should include a specific diagnosis, and explanation of specific functional limitation, and any recommendations for support
    3. Any summary of assessment procedures and an evaluation of results
    4. When warranted, medical information relating to the student should also include the impact of medication on the student's ability to meet the demands in the post-secondary environment

    A qualified professional must conduct the evaluation:

    1. An evaluation must be conducted by a qualified professional. Professionals conducting an assessment should have appropriate training in diagnosing physical impairments. The name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license or certification should be clearly stated in the documentation. All reports should be on letterhead, dated, signed, and otherwise legible. Qualified Professionals include:
      1. Mobility or other Health Impairment: physician, neurologist, physiatrist.
      2. Vision Impairment: ophthalmologist, optometrist, neurologist.
      3. Hearing Impairment: audiologist; otologist, otorhinolaryngologist.

    Documentation should be current:

    The provision of accommodations is based upon assessment of the current impact of the student's disabilities. Documentation that is outdated or inadequate in scope or content; does not address the student's current level of functioning; or does not address changes in the student's performance since the previous assessment was conducted may not support requested accommodations. When appropriate, additional supportive documentation will be requested.

  • Psychiatric/Psychological

    Documentation necessary to substantiate a disability should include:

    1. A statement on letterhead by a qualified health professional, such as a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist

    2. A summary of assessment procedures, evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis, and a summary of evaluation results

    3. The statement should include a specific diagnosis, the nature of the disability, functional limitations, current status of the student, and any recommendations for support. If specific accommodations are recommended they must be supported by the assessment with specific rationale for the accommodations and/or evidence that the accommodation has been effective in the past.

    4. When warranted, medical information relating to the student should also include the impact of medication on the student's ability to meet the demands in the postsecondary environment. 

    A qualified professional must conduct the evaluation:

    An evaluation must be conducted by a qualified professional. Professionals conducting assessments and rendering diagnoses should have appropriate training in diagnosing psychological/psychiatric disorders. The name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license or certification should be clearly stated in the documentation. All reports should be on letterhead, dated signed, and otherwise legible.

    Documentation should be current:

    The provision of accommodations is based on assessment of the current impact of the student's disabilities on his or her academic performance. Documentation that is outdated or inadequate in scope or content, does not address the student's current level of functioning, or does not address changes in the student's performance since the previous assessment was conducted, may not support requested accommodations. When appropriate, additional supportive documentation will be requested.

  • Traumatic Brain Injury

    Documentation necessary to substantiate a disability should include:

    1. Diagnostic interview with report describing presenting problems, medical, psychosocial, or dual diagnosis where indicated;
    2. Assessment of aptitude post injury with all sub-tests and standard scores reported;
    3. Achievement measures since injury with all sub-tests and standard scores reported;
    4. A summary of present residual symptoms, which meet the criteria for diagnosis;
    5. Medical information relating to student's needs should include the impact of medication on the student's ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary environment;
    6. A statement of the functional impact or limitation of the disability on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which the accommodations are being recommended;
    7. Information processing style with test scores and r ecommendations in the learning environment.

    Interpretative Summary based on comprehensive evaluative process:

    An interpretative summary should include a demonstration of the evaluator's having ruled out alternative explanations for academic problems (e.g. poor education, poor motivation, emotional problems, attentional problems and cultural/language differences); indication of patterns in the student's cognitive ability, achievement, and/or information processing reflecting the presence of a learning disability; indication of the substantial limitation to learning or other major life activity presented by the disability and the degree of impact in the learning context; indication of why specific accommodation or auxiliary aids are needed and specific conditions under which they were used in the past. Medical information, as appropriate, should include the impact of medication on the student's ability to meet the demands in a post-secondary environment.

    Recommendations for Accommodations:

    1. Include specific recommendations and rationale for accommodations;
    2. Include a description of the impact of the diagnosed TBI on specific major life activities;
    3. Recommendations should be supported by specific test results and/or clinical observations that the accommodation has been effective.

    A Qualified Professional must conduct the evaluation:

    It is important that the evaluator have comprehensive training and direct experience with adolescents and adults with traumatic brain injury, such as a licensed psychologist , or neuropsychologist or rehabilitation specialist in brain injury. The name, title and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license or certification and employment should be clearly stated in the documentation. All reports should be on letterhead, dated, signed and otherwise legible.

    Documentation should be current:

    The provision of accommodations is based upon assessment of the current impact of the student's disabilities on his or her academic performance and learning style. Documentation that is outdated or inadequate in scope of content; does not address the student's current level of functioning; does not address changes in the student's performance since the previous assessment was conducted; or was done before the student was one year post injury may be inadequate to support requeste d accommodations. When appropriate, additional supportive documentation will be requested.