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Documentation Guidelines

Students requesting services from the Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) at TCNJ are required to submit documentation to determine eligibility in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended. The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that documentation is complete and accurate. ARC determines eligibility and appropriate services based on the quality, recency, and completeness of the documentation submitted.  All Documentation is confidential and will remain in ARC.

Once documentation is submitted, ARC collaborates with each student via an interactive interview/process to determine appropriate accommodations and services. Documentation serves as a foundation that legitimizes a student’s request for appropriate accommodations and services. Documentation is the responsibility of the student as higher education institutions are not required to provide evaluations for students with disabilities. However, higher education institutions are required to provide reasonable accommodations once a student provides appropriate disability documentation. Students can upload their documentation to Accommodate once they are affiliated with ARC.

 

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder:

  1. Documentation must be on professional letterhead, typed, signed and dated by the specialist providing the information. The specialist must have their title, credentials and affiliation indicated on the document. Documentation submitted on prescription pads are not considered sufficient and will not be accepted. A neuropsychological or psychoeducational evaluation must be performed by a professional who is qualified to render a diagnosis of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and who is a practitioner trained in the assessment of AD/HD, such as a developmental pediatrician, neurologist, psychiatrist, licensed clinical or educational psychologist, or a combination of such professionals. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual with no relationship to the family.
  2. The evaluation(s) must be conducted within the past three (3) years.
  3. Documentation must provide a clear statement that the evaluative results indicate the student meets the requirements of a diagnosis of AD/HD based on the DSM-V. If another diagnosis is applicable, it should be stated.
  4. Documentation must provide a summary of assessment procedures and evaluative instruments used to make the diagnosis.
  5. Documentation must provide a narrative summary, including all scores, which supports the diagnosis.
  6. Qualitative information regarding a description of past and current symptoms, severity and stability (fluctuate) must be provided.
  7. 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 higher education environment.
  8. A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activities and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which the accommodations are being requested.
  9. Provide recommendations for reasonable accommodations based upon the evaluative results

A further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing AD/HD and other disabling conditions are indicated.

Autism Spectrum Disorder:

  1. Documentation must be on professional letterhead, typed, signed and dated by the specialist providing the information. The specialist must have their title, credentials and affiliation indicated on the document. Documentation submitted on prescription pads are not considered sufficient and will not be accepted. A neuropsychological or psychoeducational evaluation must be performed by a professional who is qualified to render a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and who is a practitioner trained in the assessment of ASD, such as a developmental pediatrician, neurologist, psychiatrist, licensed clinical or educational psychologist, or a combination of such professionals. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual with no relationship to the family.
  2. The evaluation(s) must be conducted within the past three (3) years.
  3. Documentation must provide a clear statement that the evaluative results indicate the student meets the requirements of a diagnosis of ASD based on the DSM-V. If another diagnosis is applicable, it should be stated.
  4. Documentation must provide a summary of assessment procedures and evaluative instruments used to make the diagnosis.
  5. Documentation must provide a narrative summary, including all scores, which supports the diagnosis.
  6. Qualitative information regarding a description of past and current symptoms, severity and stability (fluctuate) must be provided.
  7. 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 higher education environment.
  8. A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activities and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which the accommodations are being requested.
  9. Provide recommendations for reasonable accommodations based upon the evaluative results

A further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing ASD and other disabling conditions are indicated.

Learning Disabilities:

  1. Documentation must be on professional letterhead, typed, signed and dated by the specialist providing the information. The specialist must have their title, credentials and affiliation indicated on the document. Documentation submitted on prescription pads are not considered sufficient and will not be accepted.
  2. A psychoeducational or neuropsychological evaluation that provides a diagnosis of a specific learning disability must be submitted. A statement indicating the current educational status and impact of a learning disability in an academic setting must be included. If another diagnosis is applicable, it should be stated.
  3. The evaluation must be performed by a professional who is certified and/or licensed in a field related to the diagnosis of specific learning disabilities, such as a psychologist, learning disabilities specialist, educational therapist, or diagnostician in public school or college setting. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual with no relationship to the family.
  4. The evaluation must be conducted within the past three (3) years.
  5. The evaluation must be based on a comprehensive assessment battery, including:
  6. Diagnostic interview
  7. Cognitive/Aptitude-broad cognitive functioning must be demonstrated on an individually administered intelligence test such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-III, WAIS-IV). Test results must be accompanied by a narrative report and subtest scores. Scales/subtest scores should be provided
  8. Academic Achievement-comprehensive academic achievement battery, such as Woodcock-Johnson Revised or WIAT must document achievement deficits relative to potential. The battery should include current levels of academic functioning in relevant areas, such as reading (reading decoding/recognition and reading comprehension), oral and written language and mathematics. Standard scores, grade levels and percentages for subtests administered should be provided.
  9. Information Processing-specific areas of information processing (e.g. short and long term memory, auditory and visual perception and executive functioning) should be assessed.
  10. Social-Emotional-as appropriate this assessment should rule out a primary emotional basis for learning difficulties and provide information needed to establish appropriate services. This assessment could be a formal assessment tool and/or a clinical interview.
  11. A narrative summary must present a diagnosis of a specific learning disability, provide impressions of the testing scores, interpret the testing data, and indicate how patterns in cognitive ability, achievement and information processing reflect the specific learning disability.
  12. Provide recommendations for reasonable accommodations based on the disability-related deficits and include factors contributing to academic difficulties.

A further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if a co-existing learning disability and other disabling conditions are indicated.

Psychiatric Disorders:

  1. Documentation must be on professional letterhead, typed, signed and dated by the specialist providing the information. The specialist must have their title, credentials and affiliation indicated on the document. Documentation submitted on prescription pads are not considered sufficient and will not be accepted.
  2. An evaluation must be performed by a professional who is qualified to render a psychiatric diagnosis and who is a practitioner trained in the assessment of such a diagnosis, such as a psychiatrist, neuropsychologist, licensed clinical psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, or licensed professional counselor. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual with no relationship to the family
  3. A clear statement of the disability, including the DSM-V diagnosis and a summary of symptoms.
  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 a higher education 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 the accommodations are being requested.
  6. Recommendations for reasonable accommodations based upon the student’s functioning.

A further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if a co-existing psychiatric disorder and other disabling conditions are indicated.

Chronic Medical Conditions:

  1. Documentation must be on professional letterhead, typed, signed and dated by the specialist providing the information. The specialist must have their title, credentials and affiliation indicated on the document. Documentation submitted on prescription pads are not considered sufficient and will not be accepted.
  2. The medical diagnosis and evaluation should be conducted and provided by a medical doctor, neurologist or other medical specialist with experience and expertise in the area for which accommodations are being requested. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual with no relationship to the family
  3. Provide a clear statement of the diagnosis/medical condition.
  4. Provide a description of current symptoms which meet the criteria for diagnosis. Disabilities that are sporadic or degenerative may require more frequent evaluation.
  5. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation tools used to make the diagnosis, including evaluation results and standardized scores if applicable.
  6. Medical information relating to the student’s needs to include the impact of medication on the student’s ability to meet the demands of a higher education environment.
  7. 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.
  8. Recommendations for reasonable accommodations based upon the student’s functioning.

A further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if a co-existing chronic medical condition and other disabling conditions are indicated.

Food Allergies:

  1. Documentation must be on professional letterhead, typed, signed and dated by the specialist providing the information. The specialist must have their title, credentials and affiliation indicated on the document. Documentation submitted on prescription pads are not considered sufficient and will not be accepted.
  2. The evaluation must be performed by a professional who is certified and/or licensed in a field related to the diagnosis of food allergies, such as an allergist, immunologist, pulmonologist, or otolaryngologist. The professional must be a qualified practitioner who is not a family member of the student and who is currently treating the student for the condition.
  3. Documentation regarding a student’s food allergies must include the following information:
    1. Statement of diagnosis(es)
    2. Date and/or age of onset of food allergies
    3. Description of the nature, frequency, and severity of the reaction to food allergen exposure
    4. Discussion of any previous reactions which have required immediate treatment (including any hospitalizations)
    5. List of current medication(s) including frequency (including EpiPen and Benadryl)
    6. List of any adverse side effects due to medications if applicable
    7. How the student manages the food allergy in their environment
  4. Recommendations for reasonable accommodations with a rationale for each based on the functional limitations.

A further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if a co-existing food allergies and other disabling conditions are indicated.

Asthma/Environmental Allergies:

  1. Documentation must be on professional letterhead, typed, signed and dated by the specialist providing the information. The specialist must have their title, credentials and affiliation indicated on the document. Documentation submitted on prescription pads are not considered sufficient and will not be accepted.
  2. The evaluation must be performed by a professional who is certified and/or licensed in a field related to the diagnosis of asthma and/or allergies, such as an allergist, immunologist, pulmonologist, or otolaryngologist. The professional must be a qualified practitioner who is not a family member of the student and who is currently treating the student for the condition.
  3. Documentation regarding a student’s food allergies must include the following information:
    1. Statement of diagnosis(es)
    2. Date and/or age of onset of asthma/environmental allergies
    3. Description of the nature, frequency, and severity of the asthma/allergy symptoms
    4. Description of specific known triggers or allergens
    5. Discussion of any previous exacerbations which have required immediate treatment (including any hospitalizations)
    6. Discussion of any previous or current treatments, including frequency (i.e. nebulizer treatments, allergy injections, steroid treatments etc)
    7. List of current medication(s) including frequency (including EpiPen and Benadryl)
    8. List of any adverse side effects due to medications if applicable
  4. Recommendations for reasonable accommodations with a rationale for each based on the functional limitations.

A further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if a co-existing asthma/environmental allergies and other disabling conditions are indicated.

Blind/Low Vision:

  1. Documentation must be on professional letterhead, typed, signed and dated by the specialist providing the information. The specialist must have their title, credentials and affiliation indicated on the document. Documentation submitted on prescription pads are not considered sufficient and will not be accepted.
  2. An evaluation must be performed by a professional who qualified to render a diagnosis of blindness or low vision and is practitioner trained in the assessment of such a diagnosis, such as an ophthalmologist or optometrist. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual with no relationship to the family.
  3. 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.
  4. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation tools used to make the diagnosis and a summary of evaluation results including standardized scores.
  5. Present symptoms which meet the criteria for diagnosis.
  6. Medical information relating to the student’s needs and the status of the student’s vision (static or changing) and its impact on the demands of the academic program.
  7. Qualitative and quantitative 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.
  8. A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activities and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.
  9. Recommendations for reasonable accommodations based upon the student’s functioning.

A further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if a co-existing Blind/low vision and other disabling conditions are indicated.

Deaf/Hard of Hearing:

  1. Documentation must be on professional letterhead, typed, signed and dated by the specialist providing the information. The specialist must have their title, credentials and affiliation indicated on the document. Documentation submitted on prescription pads are not considered sufficient and will not be accepted.
  2. An evaluation must be performed by a professional who is qualified to render a diagnosis of a hearing impairment and who is a practitioner trained in the assessment of hearing, such as an otorhinolaryngologist, otologist, or audiologist. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual with no relationship to the family
  3. A clear statement of deafness or hearing loss, with an audiogram that reflects the current impact of deafness or hearing loss has on the student’s functioning.
  4. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation tools used to make the diagnosis and a narrative summary of evaluation results, if appropriate.
  5. Medical information relating to the student’s needs and the status of the student’s hearing (static or changing) and its impact on the demands of the academic program.
  6. A statement regarding the use of hearing aids or cochlear implants, if appropriate.
  7. A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activities and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.
  8. Recommendations for reasonable accommodations based upon the student’s functioning.

A further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if a co-existing deaf/hard of hearing and other disabling conditions are indicated.

Emotional Support Animal:

  1. Documentation must be on professional letterhead, typed, signed and dated by the specialist providing the information. The specialist must have their title, credentials and affiliation indicated on the document. Documentation submitted on prescription pads are not considered sufficient and will not be accepted.
  2. The document must be issued by a licensed mental health professional such as a therapist, psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed clinical social worker.
  3. The letter must be dated and should be current (typically not older than one year).
  4. A clear statement of the disability, including the DSM-V diagnosis and a summary of symptoms.
  5. Detailed information on how the symptoms of the student’s diagnosis impact their ability to function in daily life. This should include specific references to how these symptoms present barriers to living in a dormitory setting.
  6. Provide an Explanation of how the ESA helps mitigate these symptoms and a statement indicating the mental health professional’s judgment that the presence of the ESA is necessary for the student’s
    mental health and well-being.

If an ESA is approved, please be aware that a renewal will be needed every year. Students will be required to sign a contract regarding the personal care of the animal. In addition, the following information will be
needed:

  1. The type, breed, age, weight, and name of the ESA.
  2. Behavior and Training: Any relevant information about the animal’s behavior and any training it has undergone, especially as it pertains to living in a dormitory environment.
  3. Vaccinations
  4. Spayed/Neutered

Temporary Medical Conditions:

  1. Documentation must be on professional letterhead, typed, signed and dated by the specialist providing the information. The specialist must have their title, credentials and affiliation indicated on the document. Documentation submitted on prescription pads are not considered sufficient and will not be accepted.
  2. The medical diagnosis and evaluation should be conducted and provided by a medical doctor, neurologist or other medical specialist with experience and expertise in the area for which accommodations are being requested. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual with no relationship to the family
  3. Provide a clear statement of the diagnosis of the temporary medical condition.
  4. Provide a description of current symptoms which meet the criteria for diagnosis. Disabilities that are sporadic or degenerative may require more frequent evaluation.
  5. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation tools used to make the diagnosis, including evaluation results and standardized scores if applicable.
  6. Medical information relating to the student’s needs to include the impact of medication on the student’s ability to meet the demands of a higher education environment.
  7. 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.
  8. Recommendations for reasonable accommodations based upon the student’s functioning.

A further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if a co-existing temporary medical condition and other disabling conditions are indicated.

Contact

Accessibility Resource Center (ARC)
Roscoe West Hall, Suite 202
The College of New Jersey
P.O. Box 7718
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628

609.771.3199

609.637.5082 FAX
arc@tcnj.edu

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