Documentation Guidelines

To determine eligibility for accommodations and services, you may be required to submit verifying documentation. The purpose of disability documentation is to provide SDS staff with historical information to inform accommodation planning and determine a student’s eligibility for accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act.

All Disabilities (except Learning Disabilities — including AD(H)D)

The specific reporting format is left to the professional, but the requested information must be clearly presented, easily discernable, and mirror the information captured on the Student Disability Services Disability Verification Form. Quality documentation should adhere to the following:

  1. A qualified professional must conduct the evaluation. The name, title and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license or certification as well as the area of specialization, employment and state/province in which the individual practices should be clearly stated in the documentation. It is not considered appropriate for professionals to evaluate members of their own family.

  2. The documentation must include a clear diagnostic statement that describes how the condition was diagnosed, provide information on the functional impact, and detail the typical progression or prognosis of the condition.

  3. The documentation must include a description of the diagnostic criteria, evaluation methods, procedures, tests and dates of administration, as well as a clinical narrative, observation, and specific results. When appropriate to the nature of the disability, having both summary data and specific test scores within the report is essential (ex. for learning disabilities).

  4. The documentation must be recent (within past 5 years) and age-appropriate so as to determine the need for accommodations and/or services based on the individual’s current level of functioning in the educational setting. The diagnostic report should include specific recommendations for accommodations and/or academic adjustments as well as an explanation as to why each accommodation/adjustment is recommended. The evaluators should describe the impact the diagnosed disability has on a specific major life activity as well as the degree of significance of this impact on the individual. The evaluator should support recommendations with specific test results or clinical observations.

It is the responsibility of the student to obtain their documentation and to upload documentation into the SDS online portal SAM: Students Accessing MIami. If assistance is needed, please contact the SDS office on your campus. Any correspondence regarding the adequacy of the submitted documentation will be sent to the student’s Miami email account. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain additional information or clarification if requested.

Learning Disabilities

This policy specifies the procedures to be followed and the information that should be contained in documentation of a student’s Learning Disability (LD). Learning disability documentation (e.g., psychoeducational report) should adhere to the criteria established by the university for full consideration:

  1. Psychological assessment (minimally, an individual intelligence test such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale [WAIS], Woodcock Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities, or Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales) with subtest and composite standard scores included.

  2. Educational assessment (minimally, a test such as the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement or the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test [WIAT]) with subtest results for reading, writing and math, regardless of student background.)

  3. If the student also has a dual diagnosis with AD(H)D, additional behavioral measures may be helpful to support the diagnosis.

  4. The report should include the professional’s credentials and contact information, standard scores, composite scores and a summary of the results which supports the clearly stated diagnosis, description of functional limitations impacting learning for each recommended accommodation.

  5. Please note: Screening instruments such as the WASI (Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence) or WRAT (Wide Range Achievement Test) and child-normed tests such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children (WISC) may not be sufficient for full approval, but if available, may assist in providing provisional accommodations. A copy of an IEP or 504 Plan alone may not be not sufficient to establish full eligibility unless it includes items 1-4 above. A copy of an IEP or 504 Plan alone may not be not sufficient to establish full eligibility unless it includes items 1-4 above. An ETR or SOP may include the educational assessment with subtest results necessary for full approval.

The SDS office does not provide psychoeducational testing services. Please see our list of providers in the local area.