Documentation Guidelines

Students who are interested in benefiting from reasonable accommodations must complete the self-identification process in order to receive services from the Office of ADAptive Services. Current supporting documentation must be uploaded within the form in PDF format.

Sufficient Documentation

All documentation submitted must be current, within three years, and from a licensed professional who is an expert in the field of the disability. However, documentation of a permanent condition may be older than three years. The documentation must be in the form of:

  • a comprehensive evaluation
  • a letter on letterhead, not prescription pad note

    • name of professional
    • license number and title must be discernible
    • contact information
    • signature
    • date
  • The professional documentation must address the following:

    1. Diagnosis

      1. For Specific Disability Documentation Requirements (PDF Document)
    2. The disability’s effects on the students’ learning and/or academic endeavors
    3. Recommendations for accommodations

Learning Disabilities

Documentation must be a complete psychoeducational battery of tests. The assessment should include a relevant diagnosis and recommendations for academic accommodation. The date of testing must have been within the past three years if it was completed prior to the student’s eighteenth birthday. Testing completed after the student’s eighteenth birthday may be considered valid for five years. The testing must have been completed by a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, neuro-psychiatrist, school psychologist, or psychometrist working under a licensed psychologist.

Common Tests that may be administered include:

  • Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R)
  • Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery-Revised (WJ-R)
  • Tests of Academic Skills (TASK)
  • Weschler Individual Achievement Test II
  • Wide Range Achievement Test, Fourth Edition (WRAT – 4)

Individual Education Plans (IEPs) ARE NOT acceptable forms of primary documentation. IEPs are plans which were structured and agreed to with that particular school at the time they were written. They are not binding agreements with Florida SouthWestern State College. On the other hand, IEPs may be helpful in determining the level of support and types of accommodations which were provided to a student in the past, and they may provide insight regarding successful support.

Psychiatric Disabilities

Documentation must include a diagnosis, a statement as to the effect of the disability upon the student’s academic performance or barrier presented by the disability, and recommendations for accommodation. Documentation must be from a physician or specialist with the ability to assess the conditions. If the documentation is not from a psychiatrist, the current documentation must include a statement that the original diagnosis was made by a psychiatrist or be accompanied by such documentation. The physician’s statement may include current necessary medications and any side effects that should be taken into account.

Please note that Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.) / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (A.D.H.D.) is considered a psychiatric disorder. Still, psychoeducational testing may be accepted in lieu of documentation from a physician for A.D.D./A.D.H.D. for the purposes of academic accommodations.

Documentation must be current, within the past three years. A list of medications and prescriptions do not serve as documentation of disability. This office cannot and will not derive a diagnosis from medication information.

Sensory Disabilities

Documentation must be from a health care specialist who has authority to diagnose the condition (i.e. physician, audiologist, etc.). Recommendations for accommodation may be provided from a rehabilitative specialist working in the related field. Documentation should be current; however, documentation of a permanent condition may certainly be older than five years.

Physical Disabilities

Documentation of physical disabilities must be from a physician specialist who can document the extent of the disability and the ramifications of having such a disability. Documentation must be current, no less than three years old; however, documentation of permanent conditions may certainly be older than five years. In many cases, it may be difficult for a layman to differentiate between a permanent and non-permanent condition, in which case current documentation will be required. For some physical disabilities, the office may determine that there is a perceived disability to such an extent that any reasonable person would judge the student to be disabled; these decisions would be made by the Office of ADAptive Services staff and would require that they complete a written statement to that effect and place it in the student’s file.

Insufficient Documentation

The following documentation is insufficient, but will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis:

  • Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and 504 plans, unless the individual is a dual enrolled high school student (will need additional documentation once they graduate high school).

    • IEPs are contracts which were structured and agreed to with that particular school at the time they were written. They are not binding agreements with Florida SouthWestern State College.
    • IEPs/504s may be helpful in determining the level of support and types of accommodations which were provided to a student in the past which may give insight regarding successful support in the post-secondary educational setting.
  • Letters of Accommodation from other institutions of higher learning may be accepted for transient students for the period of one semester, but these letters do not serve as documentation beyond that time.
  • Statements from the Social Security Administration. Their determination of disability differs in purpose and scope, and it does not provide information specific to the disability in an academic setting.

Updated Documentation

A student may be asked to update documentation that exceeds five years of age or the staff suspects may no longer be representative of the student’s current functioning or status. A one semester grace period within which to update previously accepted documentation may be granted, at the discretion of the college.

If a student requests accommodations that are not reflected in the current documentation, or the student expresses that the current documentation does not reflect the extent of the disability, the college may request updated documentation to substantiate need.