Specific Documentation Requirements

These documentation guidelines have been provided to assist you in obtaining appropriate documentation from qualified professionals. Northampton reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of submitted documentation and requests for accommodation on a case-by-case basis, using the professional judgment of the Disability Services staff.

Because the nature of disabilities varies widely, we have a range of documentation requirements. Select from the conditions below to determine your documentation needs:

Autism Spectrum Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Blind/Low Vision
Head Injury/Traumatic Brain Injury
Hearing Impaired/Deaf
Learning Disability
Physical And Systemic Disorders
Psychiatric/Psychological Disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorder
Documentation related to the need for cognitively based accommodations (e.g. testing modifications, note takers) must be completed by a qualified professional including: licensed psychologist or neuropsychologists, psychiatrists or other relevantly trained medical doctors, and must include:

  • diagnosis and DSM code: A specific diagnosis that conforms to DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder or Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).
  • history of and current functional limitations on major life activities resulting from the 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.
  • reports of psychological or neuropsychological testing in the form of either:
    • a complete neuropsychological report or
    • a comprehensive standardized adult IQ test (we recommend the WAIS) and a comprehensive test of achievement (we recommend the Woodcock-Johnson or the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test). The results and interpretation of all sub-tests must be included.
  • recommendations of accommodations to be considered
  • insight related to behavioral, social, or emotional issues, and associated needs.

Students with a co-existing diagnosis of ADHD must also provide the results of a comprehensive attentional assessment. – Refer to ADHD documentation

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Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

An evaluation by a psychiatrist, neurologist, licensed psychologist or qualified professional that includes:

  • a clearly stated diagnosis of ADHD, date of diagnosis, and the last contact with the student
  • a statement that the ADHD is a substantial limitation to learning
  • a description of the symptoms which meet the criteria for the diagnosis, including evidence of ongoing behavior that has significantly impaired academic functioning over time
  • clinical instruments and procedures used to determine the diagnosis, including results from cognitive and achievement assessments
  • current medications, dosages, and frequencies
  • recommendations for reasonable accommodations and support services based upon limitations within the college environment

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Blind/Low Vision

An evaluation/report from an ophthalmologist or optometrist regarding the measurement of visual acuity that includes:

  • a clear statement of vision-related disability with supporting numerical description that reflects the current impact the blindness or vision loss has on the student's functioning
  • present symptoms and assessment procedures
  • medical and educational information relating to the student's needs, vision status and impact on the demands in a postsecondary environment
  • information regarding student's functional limitations, use of corrective lenses and related supports
  • recommendations for reasonable accommodations as applied to an academic environment

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Head Injury/Traumatic Brain Injury

Medical reports and assessment reports from a recommended practitioner, including physicians, neurologists, rehabilitation specialists and psychiatrists to include:

  • a clear statement of the head injury or traumatic brain injury
  • current impact the head injury has on the student's functioning
  • results of cognitive and achievement measures used to assess level of functioning and the impact of such in the academic environment
  • recommendations for reasonable accommodations in an academic setting

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Hearing Impaired/Deaf

Diagnosis of the disability and current audiograms from physicians (including otologists and audiologists) should include:

  • a clear statement of deafness or hearing loss, with a current audiogram that reflects the impact the deafness or hearing loss has on the student's functioning
  • medical information relating to the student's needs and its impact on the demands of the academic program
  • a statement regarding the use of hearing aids, sign language interpreters and other recommendations for accommodations

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Learning Disability

Students with learning disabilities requesting support services are required to submit a psycho-educational evaluation by a recognized authority or an Evaluation Report (ER) by a school district within three years of enrollment date. This evaluation must be comprehensive and must include:

  • a clearly stated diagnosis of a learning disability
  • a statement that the learning disability is a substantial limitation to learning
  • a cognitive evaluation of intellectual functioning as measured by an individually administered intelligence test such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) or the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery: Test of Cognitive Ability, to include all test and subtest scores
  • achievement levels in reading, mathematics and written language as measured by individually administered achievement tests such as the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery: Tests of Achievement, Kaufman Test of Achievement, etc. to include all test and subtest scores and analysis.
  • a description of strengths and weaknesses (functional limitations)
  • recommendations for accommodations appropriate for the postsecondary environment

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Physical and Systemic Disorders

Any physical disability or systemic illness is considered to be in the medical domain and requires the diagnosis of a physician, including a neurologist, physiatrist or other medical specialist. Documentation should include:

  • a clear statement of the medical diagnosis of the orthopedic/mobility/physical disability or systemic illness
  • information assessing the current impact the disability has on the student's functioning in an academic environment
  • a description of present symptoms and information regarding the impact of medication on student's ability to meet academic demands
  • recommendations for reasonable accommodations in the postsecondary environment

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Psychiatric/Psychological Disorders

A diagnosis by a mental health professional including licensed clinical social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists and neurologists, is required and should include:

  • a clear statement of the disability, including the DSM-IV diagnosis and a summary of present symptoms
  • the impact the disability has on the student's current level of functioning
    clinical instruments and procedures used to determine the diagnosis, including results from cognitive and achievement assessments
  • medical information relating to the student's needs, including the impact of medication on the student's ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary environment
  • a statement of functional limitation of the disability on learning and recommendations for reasonable accommodations in the college environment

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