Learning disabilities

Students with Learning Disabilities who are seeking accommodations from SUNY Oswego on the basis of a diagnosed specific learning disability are to submit documentation to verify eligibility under Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. 

The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that evaluation reports are appropriate to document eligibility for services. 

1. A qualified professional must conduct the evaluation.
Trained and certified and/or licensed psychologist, learning disabilities specialists, and educational therapists are typically involved in the process of assessment.  Experience working with an adult population is essential.  The name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license or certification should be clearly stated in the documentation.  All reports should be on letterhead, typed, dated, signed and otherwise legible. 

2. Testing must be current. In most cases, this means within the past three years. Since assessment constitutes the basis for determining reasonable accommodations, it is in the student’s best interest to provide recent and appropriate documentation to serve as the basis for decision-making about a student’s need for accommodations in a college environment. 

3. Testing must be comprehensive. It is not acceptable to administer only one test for the purpose of diagnosis.  Minimally, domains to be addressed must include (but are not limited to): 

Aptitude: The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R) with subtest scores is the preferred instrument. The Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-Revised: Test of Cognitive Ability or the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale: Fourth Edition are acceptable.

Achievement: Current levels of functioning in reading, mathematics, and written language are required. Acceptable instruments include the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-Revised: Tests of Achievement; Stanford Test of Academic Skills (TASK); Scholastic Ability Test for Adults; or specific achievement tests such as the Test of Written Language-2 (TOWL-2), Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests-Revised, or the Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test. The Wide Range Achievement Test-Revised is NOT a comprehensive measure of achievement, and therefore is not suitable.

Information Processing: Specific areas of information processing (e.g. short and long term memory, sequential memory, auditory and visual perception/processing speed) must be assessed. Use of subtest form the WAIS-R or the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability is acceptable.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list or to restrict assessment in other pertinent and helpful areas such as vocational interests and aptitudes.

4. There must be clear and specific evidence and identification of a learning disability. Individual 'learning styles' and 'learning differences' in and of themselves, do not constitute a learning disability.

5. Test scores/data should be included. This is important since certain University policies and procedures (e.g. petitioning for permission to substitute courses) require actual data to substantiate eligibility.

6. Evaluators should be able to demonstrate that the selection of assessment instruments is based upon their suitability (i.e. reliability and validity) for use with an adult population.

**These guidelines are not meant to be used exclusively or as a replacement for direct communication with the Office of Accessibility Resource Services regarding the individual nature of a disability. While submitted documentation meeting the above guidelines may be acceptable to SUNY Oswego, it is important to be aware that they may/may not meet the documentation guidelines required in other academic or testing organizations (e.g. special certifications, board examinations, standardized test for admission to graduate schools, law schools, etc.)

All documentation is confidential and must be sent to:

Dr. Starr L. Wheeler, Coordinator
Disability Support Services
SUNY Oswego
155 Marano Campus Center
Oswego, NY 13126