Guidelines for Documentation of Specific Learning Disability
To qualify for services, a student must provide documentation of a diagnosed learning
disability. The guidelines that follow are provided to assure that evaluation reports
are appropriate to determine eligibility and to support requests for reasonable accommodations.
Practitioners Who Can Provide a Diagnosis
Certified School Psychologists, Licensed Psychologists, Licensed Clinical Psychologists,
and other relevantly trained professionals.
Recency of Documentation
Evaluative information regarding academic achievement and information processing skills
needs to be current (typically no more than 3 years old) in order to assess the current
impact of the disability on academic functioning and to establish appropriate academic
accommodations at the postsecondary level.
Contents of Documentation
A diagnosis of Specific Learning Disability that conforms or reflects the elements
to the current DSM criteria.
Current functional limitations resulting from the Specific Learning Disability. These
may include but are not limited to:
Academic skill development
Information processing skills
Receptive or Expressive language skills
Evidence to support the functional limitations statements made in #2. This may include
but is not limited to:
Aptitude/ Cognitive ability: Assessed using a standardized test such as the Wechsler
Adult Intelligence Scale - Fourth Edition or similar instrument.
Academic Achievement: Tests of reading, writing and math skills measured by standardized
and comprehensive individual achievement tests such as the Woodcock-Johnson Third
Edition, the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test - II or other similar tests
Information Processing. Specific areas of information processing (e.g., short and
long term memory; sequential memory; auditory and visual perception/processing; processing
speed) must be assessed. Information from subtests on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence
Scale , or the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability, as well as other instruments
relevant to the presenting learning problem(s) may be used to address these areas.
Standardized tests of expressive and receptive language skills
Recommended Accommodations. All accommodations should be directly related to functional
limitations listed in #2. The rationale for each recommendation should be contained
in #3 above.
Recommendations for other supports, strategies or services that may benefit the individual
in a higher education environment, including suggestions about how specific effects
of the disability may be accommodated through the use of assistive technology.
Other pertinent diagnoses or recommendations for other evaluations that may be needed.
This is not intended to be an exhaustive list or to restrict assessment in other pertinent
areas. Acceptable alternative evaluations may be determined by the Center for Academic
Students seeking qualified professionals for assessments may find referral sources
from disability services staff at a college or university, or from a physician.
All documentation is confidential and should be sent to:
Student Accessibility Services Center for Academic Excellence Franklin Pierce University 40 University Drive Rindge, NH 03461 Phone: 603-899-4107 Fax: 603-899-4395 Email: