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Guidelines for Documentation: Documentation for Academic Accomodations

Students who are seeking support services from Washtenaw Community College on the basis of a disability are required to submit documentation to verify eligibility under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Protection under these civil rights statutes is determined on a case-by-case basis and is based upon documentation of a disability that currently substantially limits a major life activity including learning. Accommodations are individualized and are intended to provide equal access to programs and courses for students who are otherwise qualified.

The process of reviewing documentation for accommodations requires comprehensive diagnostic information. High school IEP's are helpful but generally do not provide sufficient information for accommodations. Accommodations provided may differ from those provided in high school or elementary school. They are renewed semester by semester based on student need. Accommodations may include but are not limited to: readers, note takers, access to adaptive computer technology, extension of time limitations prescribed by minimum academic progress requirements and testing accommodations.

Federal law and the policies of Washtenaw Community College (WCC) do not require the provision of personal-care attendants, individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or other devices or services of a personal nature.

Accommodation needs can change over time and are not always identified through the initial diagnostic process. Also, a prior history of accommodation does not, in and of itself, warrant the provision of a similar accommodation. If the initial verification is inadequate or incomplete to determine the present extent of the disability and/or appropriate accommodations, LSS may request supplementary documentation or an assessment of the disability. The cost of the supplementary documentation or assessment is the student's responsibility. See Learning Disability Assessment.

Students with disabilities should expect to adhere to all institutional policies and to be graded according to the same standards as other students at WCC. Accommodations and support services are not intended to remediate but are to provide students equal access by minimizing the impact of the disability. Accommodations cannot eliminate a student's responsibilities in such areas as conduct, class attendance nor can they alter the technical standards, fundamental elements or basic expectations of the class or course of study.

Student Responsibilities
  1. Contact Learning Support Services (LSS) at the beginning of each semester so that appropriate accommodations can be made in a timely manner. This includes providing the information required on the intake form which indicates the student's need. While accommodations may be done anytime during the semester, not contacting LSS early in the semester may delay or compromise the availability of accommodations.

  2. Provide timely, appropriate documentation (written medical or psychological reports) indicating the disability and establishing the necessity for accommodations. Documentation is required prior to implementation of any accommodations. Please see other descriptions for appropriate documentation for specific conditions. Sample forms are available.

  3. Provide instructors with letters listing approved accommodations from LSS and make arrangements with instructors for getting tests (including special instructions) to LSS in a timely manner.

  4. Any questions or concerns related to the accommodation(s) should be discussed with a Program Specialist. Most concerns are resolved when we know there is a potential issue.

LSS Responsibilities
  1. Determine eligibility for services and arrange accommodations after review of appropriate documentation and consultation with the student. The evaluation of accommodation requests includes a review of the basic goals and standards of the program or course to be taken.

  2. Consult with faculty/instructors as necessary regarding course requirements or faculty concerns related to the accommodations.

General Documentation Requirements
Accessing accommodations requires complete documentation including the following:
  • Official letterhead from a licensed medical, diagnostic or psychological professional which clearly states the diagnosis and level of functioning including limitations.

  • The documentation should establish a clear link between the effects of the disability and the accommodation(s) being requested.

  • Information regarding current treatment, medication or assistive devices (if any) being used should be included in the documentation if it affects educational functioning.

  • Information should be current (last 12 months for psychiatric disabilities, last 5 years for a learning disability and last 3 years for other disabilities except physical or sensory disabilities of a permanent or unchanging nature).

  • If the evaluator or physician is listing specific recommendations for accommodations, he/she should provide a detailed explanation as to why each accommodation is recommended, and, they should be correlated with specific functional limitations determined through interview, observation, and/or testing. If accommodations are not clearly identified in a diagnostic report, LSS will seek clarification and, if necessary, more information. The final determination for providing appropriate and reasonable accommodations rests with LSS.




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