Redefining the Classroom

Disability Documentation

Students may need to provide written documentation that supports that a disability currently exists and substantially limits one or more life's basic activities. 

Disability documentation should:

  • Provide evidence of current impairment as well as a historical record of impairment when appropriate. This information may be gleaned from the student academic record, formal and informal assessment tools appropriate to measurement of student performance and disability, teacher and parent input. A special education director or school psychologist may either provide current psychological evaluation information or a written letter stating there was no change and state the current accommodations provided by k-12.
  • Adequately verify the nature and extent of the disability in accordance with current professional standards and techniques.                                
  • Be prepared by an appropriately licensed clinical or educational professional familiar with the history and functional implications of the impairment. Reports should be on letterhead, typed, dated and signed.
  • Clearly link the functional limitation to the individual student's specific accommodation request. The report should explain and document via formal and informal assessment how the requested accommodation mitigates the impact of the individual’s disability on the specific task or activity (e.g., how extended time on an exam accommodates the impact of attention deficit disorder; how a learning disability interferes with note-taking skills such that a classroom note-taker is needed.) Additionally, and to the extent possible, the report should consider the impact of the disability and the need for the requested accommodation in a post secondary educational setting.
  • Associate the evidence from the student’s assessment to each specific accommodation need. Because accommodations are individually determined, a generic list of accommodations that may or may not be appropriate for the individual student should be avoided.
  • When a student has multiple disorders, sufficient information confirming the presence of each disorder is needed as well as any relevant information regarding how the disorders types may interact to warrant the requested accommodation.

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