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Disabililty Documentation and Verification

Disabililty Documentation and Verification

In order to be considered eligible and in need of accommodations at Chestnut Hill College, students must submit appropriate documentation verifying eligibility. The diagnostician must be a properly credentialed professional who is licensed and/or a state-certified school psychologist, licensed psychologist, or licensed physician. In cases of mental health issues, the diagnostician must be a licensed mental health professional. In cases of physical, mobility, and health-related disabilities, the diagnostician must be a licensed health care professional. In no case, should a diagnostician be a family member or serve in a dual relationship with the student. All non-mental health and medical assessments, e.g. Psycho-educational assessments, achievements tests, etc. should be administered within three years of the date of enrollment at Chestnut Hill College and/or normed for adults. Mental and medical assessments must be current and completed within six months of submission to the Center for Accessibility and Learning Services (CALS). Please see the Acceptable Tests and Measurements section.


Assessment for Attention Deficit Disorder should include the information listed below:  

  • Provide evidence that ADHD/ADD-type symptoms arose in childhood or significantly impacted functioning until adult diagnosis. This includes approximate age of onset, date of diagnosis, review of DSM criteria, indicating the symptoms endorsed, evidence of a significant impact on academic functioning, results of Behavior Rating Scales, a list of prior accommodations and treatments; if none, explain why not, and if previously not diagnosed or treated, what factors, if any, allowed for successful compensation.
  • Provide evidence that symptoms currently meet DSM criteria in nature and severity. This includes symptoms evident in current functioning, objective evidence of significant functional impairment, and/or indicate why symptoms cannot be explained by other psychiatric or cognitive factors.
  • Provide an explanation of current, mitigating factors which include accommodations, medications, and/or side effects, etc.
  • Provide the rationale for accommodations being requested. This includes the basis for recommended accommodations, a list and discussion of current or past accommodations utilized, and evidence from client’s history that particular accommodations have been successful. 



The evaluation for a learning disability must include at least one measure from each of the following categories:

  • A measure of Aptitude which includes a measure of Intellectual Ability or Cognitive Functioning that indicates average or above average intelligence as measured by a standardized intelligence test which includes assessment of verbal and non-verbal abilities.
  • A measure of Achievement in reading comprehension, reading rate, written language, writing mechanics, vocabulary, writing, grammar, spelling, and/or mathematics, which reflects a
    cognitive-achievement discrepancy or an intra-cognitive discrepancy.
  • A measure of Cognitive or Sensory processing which demonstrates the presence of a disorder in one or more of the following areas:

Visual and/or auditory processing


Processing speed


Attention and Concentration

Perceptual Motor Skills

Other Cognitive Measures which are related to the disability



Autism Spectrum/Aspergers Syndrome  

  • History should be comprehensive and include approximate age of onset, dates of first and most recent diagnosis, current prognosis, extent, duration, and current functional impact of the disability including impact on academic functioning, and prior accommodations and treatments with an explanation of successes (or not). If accommodations or treatments were not previously employed, explain why, and if not previously diagnosed/treated, what factors allowed for successful compensation.
  • A Comprehensive psycho educational and/or neuropsychological examination that includes a summary of all evaluative procedures as well as diagnostic tests/evaluation results.
  • Academic Testing in Reading, Written Language, and Mathematics and a thorough review of the student’s academic record.
  • Assessment of the student’s social/emotional functioning which includes current level of functioning and recommended compensatory strategies or interventions.


This diagnosis must reflect the student’s present and projected level of functioning in the major life activity affected by the disability and include recommendations for accommodations.
After a thorough review of the documentation, the Chestnut Hill College Disabilities Committee will forward, if applicable, the documentation for further evaluation to the Chestnut Hill College consulting physician. The cost of obtaining professional verification, supplementary documentation, or reassessment, including recommendations for college-appropriate accommodations (in cases where the documentation is incomplete or inadequate), is the responsibility of the student. If the college consulting physician requires a second professional opinion, the College will bear any cost not covered by a third party.
Students seeking accommodations, auxiliary aids, or services on the basis of a temporary disability must follow the guidelines provided above and must include the following additional information: nature and cause of the condition, current functional impact of the condition, onset and verification of the disabling condition (must be within 60 days of request), expected duration of the condition, and prognosis for recovery. 


Documentation includes diagnosis by a licensed mental health professional, including licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and certified addiction counselors (when appropriate). When applicable, the Chestnut Hill College Disabilities Committee may recommend a psychiatric evaluation by the College’s consulting psychiatrist and/or other designated provider. If this is deemed necessary, the student must agree to the recommendation in order to be considered for eligibility and subsequent accommodations.


The report should include:

  • A clear statement of the disability, including current DSM diagnosis and summary of present symptoms.
  • A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis, including evaluation results and standardized scores, if applicable.
  • Medical information including the impact of medication on the student’s ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary environment.
  • A statement of the significant impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which the accommodations are being requested.



The Technical adequacy of instruments including their reliability, validity and standardization on an appropriate normed group will be considered for all documentation provided to the Chestnut Hill College Director of the Disabilities Resource Center. The following list is provided as a helpful resource, but it is not intended to be definitive or exhaustive. All instruments used must be current. Preferred measures are indicated in bold print. Documentation of aptitude, achievement, and information processing must be conducted within 3 years of submission to Chestnut Hill College and/or normed for adults. Psychiatric or medical documentation must be no more than 6 months old.
Aptitude — A measure of intellectual ability or cognitive functioning which includes assessment of verbal and non-verbal abilities.  

  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
  • Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery — Test of Cognitive Ability
  • Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test (KAIT)
  • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale


Note: The Slosson Intelligence Test — Revised, the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test, and the Wechsler Abbreviated Intelligence Scale are primarily screening devices that are not comprehensive enough to provide the information necessary to make accommodation decisions. Therefore the College will not accept their sole findings for consideration of accommodations.
Academic Achievement — A measure of achievement in reading comprehension, written language, mathematics, reading rate, written expression, writing mechanics, vocabulary, writing, grammar or spelling.  

  • Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA)
  • Stanford Test of Academic Skills (TASK)
  • Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery — Tests of Achievement
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT)
  • Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement (KTEA) 


Or specific achievement tests such as:

  • Nelson-Denny Reading Skills Test
  • Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test
  • Test of Written Language (TOWL)
  • Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests


Note: Specific achievement tests are useful instruments when administered under standardized conditions and interpreted within the context of other diagnostic information. The Wide Range Achievement Test is not a comprehensive measure of achievement and therefore not useful if used as the sole measure of achievement.
Information Processing — A measure of information processing in visual and/or auditory processing, memory, processing speed, attention and concentration, perceptual motor skills, or other cognitive measures.

  • Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude (DTLA)
  • Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude — Adult (DTLA-A)
  • Information from subtests on the WAIS
  • Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery — Tests of Cognitive Ability
  • Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS)


Or specific tests such as:

  • Trails A & B
  • Controlled Oral Word Association
  • FAS Test of Writing
  • Thurstone Word Fluency Test
  • Tests of Auditory and Perceptual Memory


Emotional Disturbance, Specific Learning, Attention and/or Mental Health Disorders  

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) — Published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), this manual covers all mental health disorders for children and adults. It also lists known causes of these disorders, statistics in terms of gender, age at onset, and prognosis as well as some research concerning the optimal treatment approaches.


Self Report and Behavioral Rating Scales such as:

  • Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)
  • Manifest Anxiety Scale (MAS)
  • State-Trait Anxiety Scale
  • ADHD Rating Scale
  • Connors Adult ADHD Scale
  • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)
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