Documentation Guidelines

It is important for students to provide documentation so that the Office of Disability Resources can establish the status of that person as protected under the law and determine what services or support are necessary to ensure full access. Documentation serves to verify the student’s eligibility for services, provide background information for the Coordinator, and suggest direction for accommodations.

Documentation should be provided from an appropriate source in the specific area of disability. Please see the specific types of documentation guidelines for more information. Insufficient documentation may need to be supplemented.

Documentation should be provided in a timely manner; the sooner submitted before the semester starts, the better. Students who need interpreting services or other in-depth services should make contact early and provide documentation as soon as possible to avoid a delay in the provision of services. Even if the student does not anticipate needing any accommodation at the time, we encourage the student to bring or send in documentation and meet with staff as soon as possible upon enrollment. In this way, requests may be fulfilled more quickly if the need for services arises.


ADD/ADHD

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) is considered a medical or clinical diagnosis. Individuals qualified to render a diagnosis for this disorder are practitioners who have been trained in the assessment of ADD/ADHD and are experienced in assessing the needs of adult learners. Recommended practitioners may include developmental pediatricians, neurologists, psychiatrists, licensed clinical or educational psychologist, family physicians, or a combination of such professionals. The diagnostician should be impartial and not a family member.

The following guidelines are provided to assist the Disability Resources Coordinator 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:

A clear statement of ADD or ADHD with the DSM-IV diagnosis and a description of supporting past and present symptoms;

  1. Documentation for eligibility should be current, preferably within the last three years, (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);
  2. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis;
  3. A narrative summary, including all scores, which supports the diagnosis;
  4. Medical information relating to student’s needs to include the impact of medication on the student’s ability to meet the demands of the post-secondary environment.

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


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 (including but not limited to eye movement disorders, inefficiency using both eyes together, misalignment of the eyes, lazy eye, focusing problems, visual sensory disorders, and motor integration). Fellows of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development may also provide therapy in treating the above optometric conditions. The diagnostician should be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.

The following guidelines are provided to assist the Disability Resources Coordinator 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 vision related disability with supporting numerical description (the age of acceptable documentation is dependant 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 and a summary of evaluation results including standardized scores;
  3. Present symptoms which 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. Narrative or 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 (of appropriate);
  6. Documentation/Certification for a nationally recognized service animal training facility for guide dogs, leader dogs, and seeing-eye dogs must be submitted to the Disability Services Director. The animal’s identification card must also be presented upon request and the animal must wear his/her appropriate identification at all times.

Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Helena College Disability Resources Coordinator collaboratively determine appropriate accommodations.


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 should be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.

The following guidelines are provided to assist the Disability Resources Coordinator 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 Deafness or hearing loss, with a current audiogram (the age of acceptable documentation is dependant upon the 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 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);

Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Helena College Disability Resources Coordinator collaboratively determine appropriate accommodations.


Rehabilitated Drug/Alcohol Addiction

Professionals who are qualified for diagnosing, treating, and providing documentation for individuals who have been rehabilitated for drug addiction or alcoholism include physicians with a specialty in addiction; clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and 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 term "qualified individual with a disability" shall not include any student who is currently engaging in the illegal use of drugs or alcohol.

The following guidelines are provided to assist the Disability Resources Coordinator 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 successful completion of a supervised drug/alcohol rehabilitation program with the DSM-IV diagnosis. A dated statement attesting to the compliance with appropriate post-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 which 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 post-secondary environment.

Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Helena College Disability Resources Coordinator collaboratively determine appropriate accommodations.


Specific Learning Disability

Professional conducting assessment and rendering diagnoses of specific learning disabilities (SLD) must be qualified. A qualified professional should 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 psychologists, learning disabilities specialists, educational therapists, diagnosticians in public schools or colleges and rehabilitation services and private practitioners with the above characteristics. The diagnostician should be an impartial individual who is not a family member.

The following guidelines are provided to assist the Disability Resources Coordinator 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 an age-appropriate measure of both Aptitude and Achievement in the areas of reading, mathematics, and written language;
  2. Documentation of eligibility should be current, preferably within the last three years; (the age of acceptable documentation is dependant 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, and the functional limitations the student has. (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 post-secondary environment.

Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Helena College Disability Resources Coordinator collaboratively determine appropriate accommodations.


Physical Disabilities

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

Any physical disability or systemic illness is considered to be in the medical domain and requires 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 should be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.

The following guidelines are provided to assist the Disability Resources Coordinator 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. A clear statement of the medical diagnosis of the physical disability or systemic illness;
  2. Documentation for eligibility should be current, preferably within the last three years; (the age of acceptable documentation dependant upon the disabling condition, the current status of the student and the student’s request for accommodations);
  3. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis, including evaluation results and standardized scores if applicable;
  4. A description of present symptoms which meet the criteria for diagnosis;
  5. Medical information relating to the student’s needs to include the impact of medication on the students’ ability to meet the demands of the post-secondary environment.

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


Psychological/Psychiatric Disabilities

Includes but is not limited to: Depressive Disorders, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Bipolar Disorders, and Disassociative Disorders

A diagnosis by a licensed mental health professional including licensed clinical social workers (LCSW) licensed professional counselors (LPC), psychologists, psychiatrists, or neurologists is required. The diagnostician should be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.

The following guidelines are provided to assist the Disability Resources Coordinator 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-IV diagnosis and a summary of present symptoms;
  2. Documentation for eligibility should be current, preferably within the last three years; (the age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the current status of the student and the student’s request for accommodations);
  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 relating to the student’s needs to include the impact of medication on the student’s ability to meet the demands of the post-secondary environment.

Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Helena College Disability Resources Coordinator collaboratively determine appropriate accommodations.


Traumatic Brain Injury

Head Injury or Traumatic Brain Injury is considered a medical or clinical diagnosis. Individuals qualified to render a diagnosis for these disorders are practitioners who have been trained in the assessment of Head Injury or Traumatic Brain Injury. Recommended practitioners may include physicians; neurologists; licensed clinical, rehabilitation and school psychologists; neuropsychologists and psychiatrists. The diagnostician should be an impartial individual who is not a family member.

The following guidelines are provided to assist the Disability Resources Coordinator 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. A clear statement of the head injury or traumatic brain injury and the probable site of lesion;
  2. Documentation for eligibility should be current, preferably within the last three years; (the age of acceptable documentation is dependant upon the disabling condition, the current status of the student and the student’s specific request for accommodations);
  3. A summary of cognitive and achievement measures used and evaluation results including standardized scores or percentiles used to make the diagnosis;
  4. A summary of present residual symptoms which meet the criteria for diagnosis;
  5. Medical information relating to student’s needs to include the impact of medication on the student’s ability to meet the demands of the post-secondary environment.

Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Helena College Disability Resources Coordinator collaboratively determine appropriate