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Documentation Guidelines

Students who request accommodations must participate in an interactive process with the Learner Accessibility & Equity (LAE) Advocate. To request accommodations, please read over the rest of this page, then contact the LAE Advocate at accessibility@southwesterncc.edu or 828.339-4326.

Each student requesting accommodations must provide current, comprehensive documentation of a disability by a qualified professional (which may include, depending upon the nature of the disability: a physician, psychologist, audiologist, speech-language pathologist, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, physical therapist, optometrist, or learning disabilities specialist). If a student does not have documentation, it is still worthwhile to speak to the LAE Advocate. Please read the rest of this page, then contact the LAE Advocate.
 
The Federal definition of a person with a disability includes a person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment which limits one or more major life activities; (2) has a record of such impairment; or (3) is regarded as having such impairment. The determination of whether an individual has a disability under ADA is not based on the name or diagnosis of the impairment, but rather on the impact of that impairment on the life/learning of that individual.
 
Information regarding a student’s disability is not obtained through the admissions process. In fact, disability-related information and records are maintained separately from academic records. Therefore, all documentation of disability should be sent directly to the Disability Services Coordinator.

In general, documentation of disability should be typed on letterhead stationary or be in a report format and should include the following:

  • A clearly stated diagnosis of disability;
  • A description of the diagnostic methodology used;
  • A description of the student’s current functional limitations in an academic environment;
  • A description of the expected progression or stability of the disability;
  • The signature, printed name, title, professional credentials, and contact information of the evaluator;
  • The date of the evaluation

Other points to remember:

  • Because provision of accommodations and services is based upon the current impact of the disability on academic performance, it is in your best interest to provide the best, most recent documentation.
  • Documentation should be current within three to five years. However, each case is evaluated on an individual basis and exceptions may be granted depending upon circumstances and the disability.
  • Should students need a current assessment, assistance will be given in identifying community agencies and resources where necessary testing can be provided. (SCC does not provide nor pay for testing and/or diagnosis.)
  • Documentation must address the student’s ability to function in an academic environment and may include recommendations for accommodations; however, the LAE office is not obligated to provide specific accommodations as recommended by evaluators or medical providers.
  • A school plan such as an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) does not constitute documentation of disability but may be included as part of the student’s overall assessment.
  • A physician’s prescription pad note is not acceptable as documentation of a disability.
  • Submission of documentation does not complete the process. The student must meet with the LAE Advocate to discuss and plan services.
  • All accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis in collaboration with the student and in consideration of that student's unique situation.

If a student does not have documentation of their disability, it is still worthwhile to speak to the Learner Accessibility & Equity Advocate. Often there are overlooked sources of documentation and/or legitimate ways of helping students with disabilities who have no documentation.

To get started, contact the Learner Accessibility & Equity Advocate at accessibility@southwesterncc.edu or 828.339.4326.

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