University of Vermont

ACCESS (Disability Services)

Learning Disabilities Document Guidelines for ACCESS

Learning Disabilities

Disability documentation for the purpose of providing accommodations must both establish disability and provide adequate information on the functional impact of the disability so that effective accommodations can be identified.

Some general guidelines include [but are not limited to]:

  • The credentials of the evaluator(s) [who has no personal relationship with the individual being evaluated]
  • A diagnostic statement identifying the disability
  • History of diagnosis
  • A description of the diagnostic methodology used
  • A description of the current functional limitations
  • A description of the expected progression or stability of the disability
  • A description of current and past accommodations, services and/or medications
  • Recommendations for accommodations, adaptive devices, assistive services, compensatory strategies, and/or collateral support services
  • Validate the need for accommodation

The above criteria for documentation can be submitted and supplemented in the following formats:

1. A psychoeducational evaluation of the learning disability/ies must be administered by a qualified professional. It should preferably and generally be within the last three years and use adult measures*. It should report subtest scores, standard scores, and percentile ranks, and include the following:

  • Cognitive testing; examples of instruments include:
    • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (Revised or IV)
    • Woodcock Johnson Psychoeducational Battery Test of Cognitive Ability (Revised or III)
    • A complete neuropsychological battery describing processing strengths and weaknesses

  • Achievement testing; including:
    • test results from individualized achievement measures that describe strengths or difficulties with both basic and higher level skills in reading, math, written expression, and, if relevant, foreign language acquisition

  • A clear diagnosis of disability, with evidence of a substantial impact on learning.


2. A letter from a qualified professional including all of the general guidelines listed above providing substantial evidence of a prior diagnosis, accommodation, or classification, such as eligibility for a special education program.

The following supplemental information is also useful (but not required) in planning for accommodations in coursework and study – these pieces on their own cannot usually be considered complete, comprehensive documentation:

  • An essay on your understanding of your disability, your academic [and other] strengths and weaknesses, and how you have learned to address, advocate and accommodate your disability.
  • A letter from an educational support service provider who's recently worked with you and who can tell about the services and accommodations you may benefit from in college.
  • A summary of performance [SOP]
  • Information about Response to Intervention [RTI]
  • Individualized Education Plan [IEP]
  • Section 504 Accommodation Plan [504]

* These are preferences. If documentation does not meet these preferences, please submit it for review. The information will be used to determine eligibility of reasonable/appropriate accommodations. If documentation is outdated/incomplete, students may be asked to provide an update to their information.

When in doubt, students are encouraged to contact ACCESS for guidance at 802-656-7753 or

Back to Documentation Guidelines

ACCESS created these Guidelines in compliance with and in consideration of the Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA, its amendments, updated regulations, and guidance from the Association for Higher Education and Disability, AHEAD.

Last modified May 15 2015 03:09 PM