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Learning Disabilities – Proof of disability

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All students must provide proof of their disability and the need for accommodations before services can be provided. A current‚ comprehensive psycho–educational report or other psychological or medical assessment using adult measures and including complete results‚ with full tables of subtests and standard scores‚ is required. Professionals conducting assessments of learning disabilities must be credentialed or licensed psychologists or related professionals and have experience in the assessment of learning disabilities in adolescents and adults. We require this information to be current – not more than three years old.

Documentation of a disability is not provided by:

  • Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)
  • 504 Plans
  • Transition Plans

These documents‚ however‚ are useful for documenting a history of accommodation and effective interventions for an individual with a disability.

Providing this information and having a history of the disability in elementary or secondary school does not automatically guarantee that one will receive the requested services. The information is evaluated for validity by qualified University personnel with current expertise in LD evaluations and professionally accepted criteria for diagnosing the disability. If one does not have current documentation‚ a testing service is available on campus for a fee. Professionals in the community also provide testing services.

Current documentation should validate the need for services based on the individual’s current level of functioning in the educational setting. A comprehensive assessment battery and the resulting diagnostic report should include a diagnostic interview‚ assessment of aptitude‚ academic achievement‚ information processing‚ and a diagnosis. The psychological and educational assessment report should include a complete profile of test results‚ including subtest scores‚ reported in standard scores.

Assessment‚ and any resulting diagnosis‚ should consist of and be based on a comprehensive assessment battery which does not rely on any one test or subtest. Minimally‚ the domains to be addressed must include the following:

  1. Aptitude

    A complete intellectual assessment with all subtests and standard scores reported. Acceptable adult measures include:
    • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
    • Woodcock–Johnson Psychoeducational Battery: Tests of Cognitive Ability
    • Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test
    • Standford–Binet Intelligence Scale
    Note: Screening devices, such as the Slosson Intelligence Test and the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test‚ are not comprehensive enough to provide the kinds of information necessary to make accommodation decisions.
     
  2. Academic Achievement

    A comprehensive academic achievement battery with all subtests and standard scores reported for those subtests administered. The battery should include current levels of academic functioning in relevant areas such as reading (decoding and comprehension)‚ mathematics‚ and oral and written language. Acceptable adult measures include:
    • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test
    • Woodcock–Johnson Psychoeducational Battery: Tests of Achievement
    • Stanford Test of Academic Skills
    • Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults

    and/or specific achievement tests such as:
    • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test
    • Test of Written Language
    • Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test
    • Nelson–Denny Reading Skills Test
    Note: Specific achievement tests are useful instruments when administered under standardized conditions and interpreted within the context of other diagnostic information. The Wide Range Achievement Test is not a comprehensive measure of achievement and therefore is not useful if used as the sole measure of achievement.
     
  3. Information Processing

    Specific areas of information processing (e.g.‚ short– and long–term memory‚ sequential memory‚ auditory and visual perception/processing‚ processing speed‚ executive functioning‚ and motor ability) should be assessed. Acceptable instruments include:
    • Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude
    • Information from subtests on Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
    • Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test
    • Information from subtests on Woodcock–Johnson Psychoeducational Battery: Tests of Cognitive Ability

Adapted from LD Guidelines‚ July 1997‚ The Association on Higher Education and Disability‚ Columbus‚ Ohio.

disability resource center . university of kentucky . 2 alumni gym . lexington‚ ky . 40506–0029 . V/TDD (859) 257–2754 . fax (859) 257–1980

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