Documentation of disability

Disability impacts individuals in many different ways. We are here to work through the interactive process.

Frequently asked questions

What if I don’t have any documentation?

Any PCC student who is unsure should meet with us. We can help determine whether or not documentation is needed, and if is needed, we may be able to assist in identifying good options.

Who is responsible for providing documentation of a disability?

Any PCC student requesting accommodations through Disability Services is responsible for providing documentation of a disability, but we are here to work with students through the interactive process.

What is disability documentation?

There are three potential sources of documentation:

  1. The student’s self-report.
  2. Recommendations of qualified professionals familiar with the student.
  3. Documentation from outside sources, such as a professional diagnosis, observations by educators, and documentation noting past use of services (including services provided under and IEP or Section 504 Plan).
When must a student provide disability documentation?

Documentation is necessary to support many accommodations, however there are also options that don’t require documentation. It is through the interactive process that Disability Services informs each student on a case-by case-basis when updated or additional documentation is necessary.

Where is disability documentation kept?

Documentation is kept in a confidential file maintained by Disability services, and is not part of the student’s academic transcript.

Why does PCC need documentation of disability?

Disability Services needs sufficient information to determine eligibility and effective accommodations for each student. The process of verifying eligibility should not be burdensome to students.

How recent must documentation be?

Documentation must allow Disability Services to understand how a student is currently impacted by disability. The documentation should provide substantial, clear and convincing evidence that supports the need for academic accommodations.

If a disability fluctuates or is progressive, updated documentation may be required.

Learning disability evaluations in the Portland Area

Being tested as an adult for a learning disability can be costly in terms of time, effort, and money.  A good report, however, can be invaluable when you want to obtain academic or employment accommodations for a disability.

Obtaining documentation of a learning disability is an important process for students who need to be able to request adjustments to the learning or work environment. Please discuss any concerns you have about documenting a learning disability with Disability Services. We may have ideas or resources to help.

Questions to ask yourself (before interviewing a provider)
  • In what areas do I suspect that I may have a learning disability?
  • What aspects of my behavior or thinking do I have questions or concerns about?
  • What information about me do I have that might be helpful to the professional?
    • strengths and challenges?
    • personality or temperament?
    • academic likes and dislikes?
    • other traits or aspects of my personality?
  • What do I want to learn from the evaluation?
    • Academic skill areas in which my school performance is low relative to my peers?
    • What underlying processing problemssuch as short-term memory problems or persistent anxiety – may be affecting my performance?
    • Other questions?
  • How do I hope to use this information?
Questions to ask a prospective assessment provider

To be sure you get the best information possible out of the time and money you spend, it’s important that you research and question the professionals you might hire to test you. It’s a good idea to interview more than one professional before choosing to make sure you’ll be comfortable working with them, and whether or not their fees, style, availability, insurance coverage, etc. will be a good fit for you.

Make sure that the person you choose is qualified to assess you based upon state licensing guidelines and PCC’s guidelines. Contact Disability Services for information regarding what types of testing needs to be done and what types of credentials assessment providers should have.

  • What are your credentials and training in educational testing?
  • What experience have you had with testing adults and college students?
  • How long have you been doing evaluations?
  • Are you familiar with documentation requirements at area colleges and universities?
  • What information will you want me to provide?
  • What types of tests will you use?
  • Will you evaluate my social, emotional, and psychological status?
  • How should I prepare for the evaluation process?
  • Will your final report integrate all of the individual tests done so that I have an overall picture of my strengths and needs?
  • What is the complete cost of the evaluation and report?
  • How soon can I expect to receive the evaluation results?
  • When will you review the evaluation results with me?
Questions to ask after the assessment or during the review session
  • Questions to ask yourself:
    • Is the report clear?
    • Do I understand what the report says and what the professional is telling me?
    • Does the report answer the questions I hoped it would answer?
    • Do I understand what the professional is recommending for me based on the test results?
    • Has the professional given me guidance on what actions I should now take?
  • If you answer “no” to any of these questions, ask the professional questions during the review session.

If you think of questions later, follow up by telephone or in person to get information that you need and can understand.

Protect your investment

The assessment report you receive is a valuable piece of information. The professional who did the evaluation is only obligated to retain a copy for a few years, so keep your original copy safe. Make sure if a college or employer wants a copy for their records that you retain the original.

Disability specific documentation guidelines

Disability Services asks each student to provide substantial, clear, and convincing evidence that supports the need for academic accommodations. If a disability fluctuates or is progressive, updated information may be requested.

Disability Services evaluates documentation based on the guidance provided by the Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD). Additional documentation for specific disabilities may include the following, by type of disability:

Attention Deficit Disorder

Written diagnostic report from a licensed clinical professional that includes client history, DSM diagnosis, level of severity, symptoms, functional limitations, diagnostic procedures, and recommendations.

When applicable, include information regarding cognitive or academic testing, and any prescribed medications.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Written diagnostic report from a licensed clinical professional that includes client history, DSM diagnosis, level of severity, symptoms, functional limitations, diagnostic procedures, and recommendations.

When applicable, include information regarding cognitive or academic testing, and any prescribed medications.

Head injury or traumatic brain injury

Written diagnostic report from a licensed clinical professional that includes etiology, location, and severity of the injury, residual symptoms, functional limitations, and recommendations.

When applicable, include a summary of cognitive and achievement testing used, and evaluation results including sub-test standard/scaled scores and percentiles.

Hearing impairment

Copy of audiogram.

Diagnostic statement from a licensed clinical professional that includes etiology, type and severity of the hearing loss, functional limitations, and recommendations.

When applicable, include information regarding speech recognition threshold and use of amplification devices.

Speech or language impairment

Written diagnostic report from a licensed clinical professional that includes etiology, diagnosis, assessment procedures/instruments, functional limitations and recommendations.

When applicable, include a summary of cognitive and achievement testing used and evaluation results including sub-test standard/scaled scores and percentiles.

Physical disabilities with other health impairments

Diagnostic statement from a licensed clinical professional that includes diagnosis, level of severity, symptoms, functional limitations, and recommendations.

When applicable, include information regarding cognitive or academic testing, and any prescribed medications.

Psychological disorder

Written diagnostic report from a licensed clinical professional that includes client history, DSM diagnosis, level of severity, symptoms, functional limitations, diagnostic procedures, and recommendations.

When applicable, include information regarding cognitive or academic testing, and any prescribed medications.

Visual impairment

Evaluation report from a licensed clinical professional including all measurements, data, visual fields, and visual acuity for each eye, with or without correction, if worn.

Diagnostic statement including etiology, diagnosis, symptoms, prognosis, and treatment.

When applicable, include phorias, fusional ranges, depth perception, and visual accommodation measurements.

Learning disabilities
  • Comprehensive cognitive and achievement assessments that include the complete battery of standard scores
    • Minimum cognitive standard score of 85.
    • Cognitive assessments should include full scale scores, verbal, performance and index scores. Sub-test scores preferred.
    • Achievement assessments should include sub-test and broad scores.
  • Written diagnostic report that includes:
    • the credentials of the evaluator;
    • a clear diagnostic statement;
    • the diagnostic methodology;
    • current functional limitations;
    • expected progression or stability of the disability,
    • current/past accommodations, services and/or medication(s);
    • recommendations. (AHEAD Guidelines)

Please noteIEP and 504 usually do not include updated or recent evaluation reports.

Accepted cognitive (IQ) assessment*
  • Woodcock Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery – Revised, Standard and Supplemental Batteries (WJPEB-III)
  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – Revised or 3rd Edition (WAIS III)
  • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (4th Edition)
  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – Revised (WISC-R or WISC III or IV)

Brief measurements of cognitive ability such as the WASI will be accepted when accompanied by a history of previous WISC-III or WAIS-III cognitive test scores. Scores must meet reliability standards.

Accepted achievement assessment
  • Woodcock Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery – Tests of Achievement, Standard Battery
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Tests (WIAT)
  • Stanford Test of Academic Skills (STAS)
  • Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA)