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Office of Student Disability Services Accommodations

Rationale for Documentation

Individuals with disabilities who attend or plan to attend a postsecondary institution in South Carolina may need reasonable accommodations or auxiliary aids in order to have equal access to the programs and services offered.  There are two laws that require postsecondary institutions to provide these services to otherwise qualified students, Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).  Students who need accommodations are responsible for requesting these services from and for meeting with the Coordinator of the Office of Student Disability Servicesat their institution for the following reasons

  1. To provide documentation that supports the request for services;
  2. To discuss the request, the nature of their disabilities, and past  experiences.

These documentation guidelines have been provided to assist students in obtaining appropriate documentation from qualified professionals.  Appropriate documentation of a disability is only one part of determining necessary accommodations.  The provision of appropriate documentation to an institution helps students educate appropriate staff and faculty about the impact of their disabilities on their current functioning, and the probable need for accommodations. Institutions may request documentation for the following reasons:

  1. To verify the existence of a disability;
  2. To assist in the collaborative determination of individual needs and eligibility for auxiliary aids and services to minimize the impact of the disability;
  3. To personalize student’s rights to equal access to their institution’s resources.

 

In addition to notifying and documenting the need for accommodation(s), students with disabilities also have rights and responsibilities.  A hard copy of the rights and responsibilities are available upon request from the Office of Student Disability Services.


The Office of Student Disability Servicesis South Carolina State University’s designated office for determining a student’s eligibility for disability services.  The Office of Student Disability Services has developed documentation guidelines for determining disability eligibility. 


To determine eligibility, send the documentation to the following address:


Office of Student Disability Services
South Carolina State University
300 College Street, Northeast
Orangeburg, South Carolina 29117


If you have questions and/or need to verify eligibility, call (803) 536-7245.


A hard copy of documentation guidelines for the following disabilities is available upon request from the Office of Student Disability Services.


 

Blind/Low Vision

Ophthalmologists are the primary professionals involved in diagnosis and medical treatment of individuals who are blind or experience low vision. Optometrists provide information regarding the measurement of visual acuity as well as tracking and fusion difficulties. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.


The following guidelines are provided to assist the service provider in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations. Documentation serves as the foundation that legitimizes a student’s request for appropriate accommodations. Recommended documentation include:

  • 1. 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, (the age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the student’s request for accommodations, and the current status of the student);
  • 2. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis and a narrative summary of evaluation results including standardized scores;
  • 3. Present symptoms that meet the criteria for diagnosis;
  • 4. Medical information relating to the student’s needs, and the status of the individual’s vision (static or changing), and its impact on the demands of the academic program;
  • 5. A narrative descriptive text providing both quantitative and qualitative information about the student’s abilities which might be helpful in understanding the student’s profile including the use of corrective lenses and ongoing visual therapy (if appropriate);
  • 6. A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.

Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Coordinator of then Office of Student Disability Services at South Carolina State University collaboratively determine appropriate accommodations.


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Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Physicians, including otorhinolaryngologists and otologists are qualified to provide diagnosis and treatment of hearing disorders. Audiologists may also provide current audiograms. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.


The following guidelines are provided to assist the service provider in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations. Documentation serves as the foundation that legitimizes a student’s request for appropriate accommodations. Recommended documentation include:

  • 1. A clear statement of Deafness or hearing loss, with an audiogram that reflects the current impact the Deafness or hearing loss has on the student’s functioning, (the age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the student’s request for accommodations, and the current status of the student);
  • 2. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis and a narrative summary of evaluation results, if appropriate;
  • 3. Medical information relating to the student’s needs, and the status of the individual’s hearing (static or changing), and its impact on the demands of the academic program;
  • 4. A statement regarding the use of hearing aids (if appropriate);
  • 5. A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.

Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Coordinator of the Office of Student Disabilities Services at South Carolina State University collaboratively determine appropriate accommodations.


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Physical Disabilities and Systemic Illnesses

(Includes but is not limited to: Mobility Impairments, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Chemical Sensitivities, Spinal Cord Injury, Cancer, AIDS, Muscular Dystrophy, Spina Bifida)


Any physical disability and systemic illness are considered to be in the medical domain and require the expertise of a physician, including a neurologist, psychiatrist or other medical specialist with experience and expertise in the area for which accommodations are being requested. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.


The following guidelines are provided to assist the service provider in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations. Documentation serves as the foundation that legitimizes a student’s request for appropriate accommodations. Recommended documentation include:

  • 1. A clear statement of the medical diagnosis of the physical disability or systemic illness;
  • 2. Documentation for eligibility must reflect the current impact the physical disability or systemic illness has on the student’s functioning, (the age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the student’s request for accommodations, and the current status of the student. Therefore, disabilities that are sporadic or degenerative may require more frequent evaluation);
  • 3. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis and a summary of evaluation results, including results and standardized scores if applicable;
  • 4. A description of present symptoms which meet the criteria for diagnosis;
  • 5. Medical information related to the student’s needs to include the impact of medication on the student’s ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary environment;
  • 6. A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.

Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Coordinator of the Office of Student Disability Services at South Carolina State University collaboratively determine appropriate accommodations.


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Psychiatric/Psychological Disabilities

(Include but is not limited to: Depressive Disorders, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders, Bipolar Disorders, and Disassociative Disorders)


A diagnosis by a licensed mental health professional including licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), licensed professional counselor (LPC), psychologist, psychiatrists, or neurologists is required and must include the license number. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.


The following guidelines are provided to assist the service provider in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations. Documentation serves as the foundation that legitimizes a student’s request for appropriate accommodations. Recommended documentation include:

  • 1. A clear statement of the disability, including the DSM-V diagnosis and a summary of present symptoms;
  • 2. Documentation for eligibility must reflect the current impact the psychiatric/psychological disability has on the student’s functioning, (the age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the current status of the student and the student’s request for accommodation);
  • 3. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis and a summary of evaluation results, including standardized or percentile scores;
  • 4. Medical information related to the student’s needs to include the impact of medication on the student’s ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary environment;
  • 5. A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.

Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Coordinator of the Office of Student Disability Services at South Carolina State University collaboratively determine appropriate accommodations.


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Rehabilitated Drug Addiction

Professionals who are qualified to diagnose, treat and provide documentation for individuals who have been rehabilitated for drug addiction include physicians with a specialty in addiction, clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, licensed mental health professionals, or State Health Department certified addiction counselors who are supervised by psychologists or psychiatrists. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.


The following guidelines are provided to assist the service provider in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations. Documentation serves as the foundation that legitimizes a student’s request for appropriate accommodations. Recommended documentation include:

  • 1. A clear statement of successful completion of a supervised drug rehabilitation program with the DSM-V diagnosis. A dated statement attesting to the compliance with appropriate pos-rehabilitation treatment (the age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the current status of the student and the student’s request for accommodations);
  • 2. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis;
  • 3. A summary of qualitative and quantitative information that supports the diagnosis;
  • 4. Medical information related to the student’s needs to include the impact of medication on the student’s ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary environment;
  • 5. A statement of the current functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.

Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Office of Student Disability Services collaboratively determine appropriate accommodations.


South Carolina State University prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of drugs, alcohol, and other controlled substances by all members of the University community (students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests). Individuals who violate this policy shall be subject to discipline, termination, dismissal, debarment, arrest, or citation as applicable. Additionally, employees or student who violate this policy may be required to participate satisfactorily in drug abuse education, counseling, or rehabilitation programs approved by the University.


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Alcoholism

Professional s who are qualified to diagnose, treat and provide documentation for individuals with alcoholism include physicians with a specialty in addition, clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, licensed mental health professionals, or State Health Department certified addiction counselors who are supervised by psychologists or psychiatrists. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.


The following guidelines are provided to assist the service provider in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations. Documentation serves as the foundation that legitimizes a student’s request for appropriate accommodations. Recommended documentation includes:

  • 1. A clear statement of the disability, including the DSM-V diagnosis and a summary of present symptoms;
  • 2. Documentation for eligibility must reflect the current impact the alcoholism has on the student’s functioning, (the age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the current status of the student and the student’s request for accommodation);
  • 3. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis;
  • 4. A summary of qualitative and quantitative information which supports the diagnosis;
  • 5. Medical information related to the student’s needs to include the impact of medication on the student’s ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary environment;
  • 6. A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.

Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Coordinator of the Office of Student Disability Services at South Carolina State University collaboratively determine appropriate accommodations.


South Carolina State University prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of drugs, alcohol, and other controlled substances by all members of the University community (students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests). Individuals who violate this policy shall be subject to discipline, termination, dismissal, debarment, arrest, or citation as applicable. Additionally, employees or student who violate this policy may be required to participate satisfactorily in drug abuse education, counseling, or rehabilitation programs approved by the University.


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HIV/AIDS

An individual with Human Immodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is considered as having a systemic disability.  The Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protect individuals who are HIV positive, have AIDS, or AIDS-related conditions.


Qualified Persons with HIV Infection:

Although HIV/AIDS is considered to be a protected disability, affected persons also must meet the legal requirements for a “qualified individual with disabilities” to be eligible for protections and rights available.  For purposes of receiving services, education or training, a qualified individual with disabilities is a person who meets normal and essential eligibility requirements of the University.


To Receive Disability Services:

To receive services from the Office of Student Disability Services, medical documentation must be provided.  See the Documentation Guidelines for Physical Disabilities and Systemic Illnesses.  Because symptoms of HIV/AIDS are dynamic, current documentation is required.  As accommodation needs change, the Office of Student Disability Services may also required updated medical information.  As with all disabilities, the individual must request accommodations.


Possible Issues and Disability Accommodations:
Some possible issues associated with HIV/AIDS that may affect the academic/work setting are listed.  The issues are then matched with appropriate accommodations:


Fatigue and/or HIV/AIDS Related Illnesses/Physical Symptoms:

  • Reduced course load (may be eligible for part-time financial aid)
  • Health related parking permits
  • Limited transportation (academic purposes only)
  • Extended course/program deadlines
  • Flexibility with class attendance when student’s disability exacerbated, or when she/he is receiving specialized medical treatment
  • Communication with professors and the Office of Student Disability Services is critical
  • Volunteer note takers and/or taping lectures
  • Special seating
  • Ability to leave the class to take care of medical needs
  • Test accommodations: extended time, use of a reader, and a quiet environment
  • Housing accommodation: quiet roommate, single room, quiet floor in the Residence Hall, quiet Residence Hall

 

Medicine regimes/doctor appointments may restrict class time:

  • Early registration for choice appropriate classes and times to maximize attendance.

 

Emotional and Social Issues:

  • Counseling Center Referral
  • Accommodations are based on an individual and reasonable basis.

CONFIDENTIALITY: Even though the Office of Student Disability Services requires medical documentation, the student does not need to disclose the specific diagnosis with the campus community (i.e., faculty, administrators, and staff), only the impact the disability has on the individual.


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Specific Learning Disability

Professionals conducting assessment and rendering diagnoses of specific learning disabilities (SLD) must be qualified. A qualified professional needs to hold a degree in a field related to diagnosis of SLD and have at least one year of diagnostic experience with adults and late adolescents. Recommended practitioners may include: certified and/or licensed psychologist, learning disabilities specialists, educational therapists, diagnosticians, in public schools or colleges and rehabilitation services and private practitioners with the above characteristics are typically considered qualified. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.


The following guidelines are provided to assist the services provider in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations. Documentation serves as a foundation that legitimizes a student’s request for appropriate accommodations. Recommended documentation includes:

  • 1. Testing that is comprehensive, including a measure of both Aptitude and Achievement in the areas of reading, mathematics, and written language;
  • 2. Documentation for eligibility must reflect the current impact the learning disability has on the student’s functioning, (the age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the current status of the student and the student’s specific request for accommodations);
  • 3. A clear statement that a learning disability is present along with the rationale for this diagnosis. (Note: individual “learning deficits”, “learning styles.” And “learning differences,” do not, in or of themselves, constitute a learning disability);
  • 4. A narrative summary, including all scores, which supports the diagnosis;
  • 5. A statement of strengths and needs that will impact the student’s ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary environment;
  • 6. A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.

Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing AD/HD or other disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Coordinator of the Office of Student Disability Services at South Carolina State University collaboratively determine appropriate accommodations.


Testing for Assessing Adolescents and Adults

When selecting a battery of tests, it is critical to consider the technical adequacy of instruments including their reliability, validity, and standardization on an appropriate norm group.  The professional judgment of an evaluator in choosing tests is important.


The following list is provided as a helpful resource but it is not intended to be definitive or exhaustive.


Intelligence/Aptitude

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV)
Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-educational Battery – Third Edition (WJ-III) Tests of Cognitive Ability
Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test
Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (4th Ed.)
The Slosson Intelligence Test – Revised and the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test are primarily screening devices, which are not comprehensive enough to provide the kinds of information necessary to make accommodation decisions.
Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA)
Stanford Test of Academic Skills
Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT)


Or specific achievement tests such as:

Nelson-Denny Reading Skills Test
Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test
Test of Written Language – (TOWL-3)
Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests


Specific achievement tests are useful instruments when administering under standardized conditions and interpreted within the context of other diagnostic information.  The Wide Range Achievement Test – 3 (WRAT-3) is not a comprehensive measure of achievement and therefore is not useful if used as the sole measure of achievement.


Information Processing
Acceptable instruments include the Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude – 3 (DTLA-3), the Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery- Revised: Tests of Cognitive Ability, as well as other relevant instruments.


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