Disability Documentation Guidelines
To help students with learning disabilities (LD) overcome the effect of disability on their academic performance, MSU-Bozeman makes reasonable accommodations on the basis of individual need.
To enable determination of eligibility for academic accommodations under MSU guidelines and identification of specific accommodations a student will need in order to experience academic success, MSU requires full documentation of a learning disability and its effect on academic achievement.
Please forward this handout to the professional whose diagnostic report will be sent to MSU.
A learning disabilities assessment which reflects the current impact of identified impairments on academic performance must be done by a licensed professional who is qualified to administer and interpret intelligence and achievement tests, and a diagnostic report based upon that assessment must be submitted to:
Office of Disability Services
PO Box 173960
Bozeman, MT 59717-3960
Phone: (406)994-2824, Fax: (406)994-3943
The report must be on letterhead. It must be typed, signed, dated and it must include the diagnostician's area of professional licensure/certification and license/certificate number. See the Learning Disability Documentation Guidelines for more information on what must be included in the diagnostic report provided.
Since an assessment constitutes the basis for determining reasonable accommodations, it is in a student's best interest to provide recent and appropriate documentation. In most cases, this means within the past three to five years and that testing reflects an adult-based evaluation. This assessment serves as the basis for decision-making about a student's needs for accommodations in a college environment.
LD ASSESSMENT-The learning disability assessment must include the following:
- a comprehensive diagnostic interview and a review of relevant records to investigate current and past symptoms and educational, medical, and family history;
- an individually administered comprehensive intelligence test (this office strongly encourages an adult-based evaluation);
- comprehensive individually administered achievement tests measuring current achievement in basic reading skills, reading comprehension, math reasoning, and math calculation; and a functional assessment or standardized test of written expression (The Wide Range Achievement Test-3 is not a comprehensive measure of achievement and, therefore, is not useful if used as the sole measure of achievement.);
- assessment of specific areas of information processing (e.g., short and long term memory, sequential memory, auditory and visual perception/processing, processing speed). Information from subtests on the WAIS-III, the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability or other instruments relevant to the presenting learning problem(s) may be used to address these areas.
LD DIAGNOSTIC REPORT-The written diagnostic report must include the following:
- a written summary of the student's relevant educational, medical, and family histories;
- the names of the tests administered and age-based standard and/or percentile scores (standard scores are preferred) for all normed measures (all subtests scores must be reported);
- an analysis/interpretation of test performance, including a discussion of information processing strengths and weaknesses that contribute to the substantial limitation to a learning disability. The diagnosis should be based on a comprehensive assessment battery which does not rely solely on any one subtest or tests;
- a clear statement identifying a specific learning disability: Individual "learning styles" and "learning differences" do not constitute a learning disability. The diagnosis should be based on a comprehensive assessment battery which does not rely solely on any one subtest or tests;
- a history of past accommodations and the effectiveness of those accommodations;