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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Criteria for Disability Documentation

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 provide that qualified students with disabilities who meet the technical and academic standards may be entitled to reasonable accommodations. Under these laws a disability is defined as any physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity. The program for students with disabilities at Everglades University does not provide disability documentation for students. It is a student’s responsibility to provide appropriate documentation to this office and to request adjustments/accommodations. Appropriate documentation is defined as that which meets the following criteria:

Health Condition, Mobility, Hearing, Speech, or Visual Impairment

An evaluation report from a licensed treating medical doctor, orthopedic specialist, audiologist, speech pathologist, ophthalmologist, or other licensed professional as appropriate, which must include:

  1. Clearly stated diagnosis, ruling out alternative explanations and diagnoses;
  2. Defined levels of functioning and any limitations on the student’s academic performance caused by the disability;
  3. Current treatment and medication; and
  4. Current official letter (on letterhead from professional; signed and dated) stating specific recommendations.

The evaluation report must be within 1 year of request date, dated and signed, unless the disability/impairment is permanent and unchanging (in a wheelchair, blind, deaf, etc.), the evaluation report used to document the disability does not need to be within 1 year of the request date.

Psychological Disorder

An evaluation report from a licensed mental health professional (psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist, licensed professional counselor, or licensed clinical social worker), which must include:

  1. Clearly stated diagnosis (DSM-IV-TR criteria), ruling out alternative explanations and diagnoses;
  2. Defined levels of functioning and any limitations on the student’s academic performance caused by the disability;
  3. Supporting documentation (i.e., test data, history, observations, etc.);
  4. Current treatment and medication; and
  5. Current official letter (on letterhead from professional; signed and dated) stating specific recommendations.

The evaluation report must be within 1 year of the request date, dated and signed.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

An evaluation report by a licensed rehabilitation counselor, speech-language pathologist, orthopedic specialist, and/or neuropsychologist (or other licensed specialists as appropriate), which must include:

  1. Assessment of cognitive abilities, including processing speed and memory;
  2. Analysis of educational achievement skills and limitations on the student’s academic performance caused by the disability;
  3. Defined levels of functioning and limitations in all affected areas (communication, vision, hearing, mobility, psychological, seizures, etc.);
  4. Current treatment and medication; and
  5.  Current official letter (on letterhead from professional; signed and dated) stating specific recommendations.

The evaluation report must be within 1 year of the request date, dated and signed.

Learning Disabilities (LD)

An evaluation report from a licensed clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, neuropsychologist, school psychologist, learning disability specialist, or diagnostician, which must include:

  1. Clear statement of presenting problem; diagnostic interview;
  2. Educational history documenting the impact of the learning disability;
  3. Alternative explanations and diagnoses ruled out;
  4. Relevant test data with standard scores provided to support conclusions, such as:
    1. WAIS-R or WAIS III,
    2. Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery-Revised, including Written Language (and Spelling), Reading Comprehension, and Math (Calculation and Reasoning), and
    3. Woodcock-Johnson Cognitive Processing Battery to substantiate any processing problems;
  5. Clearly stated diagnosis of a learning disability based upon DSM-IV-TR criteria and supported by more than one subtest score;
  6. Defined levels of functioning and any limitations on the student’s academic performance caused by the disability, supported by evaluation data; and
  7. Current official letter (on letterhead from professional; signed and dated) stating specific recommendations.

The evaluation report must be within 3 years of the request date, dated and signed.

Note: High School IEP, 504 Plan, and/or a letter from a physician or other professional will not be sufficient to document a learning disability.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

An evaluation report from a licensed psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, school psychologist, neurologist, or neuropsychologist, which must include:

  1. Clear statement of presenting problem; diagnostic interview;
  2. Evidence of early and current impairment in at least two different environments;
  3. Alternative explanations and diagnoses ruled out;
  4. Relevant test data with standard scores provided to support conclusions, such as:
    1. WAIS-R or WAIS III,
    2. Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery-Revised, including Written Language (and Spelling), Reading Comprehension, and Math (Calculation and Reasoning), and
    3. Behavioral Assessment Instruments for ADD/ADHD normed on adults;
  5. Clearly stated diagnosis of ADD or ADHD based upon DSM-IV-TR criteria and supported by more than one score;
  6. Defined levels of functioning and any limitations on the student’s academic performance caused by the disability, supported by evaluation data; and
  7. Current official letter (on letterhead from professional; signed and dated) stating specific recommendations.

The evaluation report must be within 3 years of the request date, dated and signed.

Note: High School IEP, 504 Plan, and/or a letter from a physician or other professional will not be sufficient to document ADD/ADHD. Medication cannot be used to imply a diagnosis.