Guidelines for Disability Services
What is the process?
- Download and fill out the Intake form
- Download and fill out the Release / receipt form
- Identify the documentation requirements for your form of disability and collect the necessary information (see below)
- Make an appointment for an interview with the Disability Services Coordinator.
- Phone number: 334-386-7185
- Fax number: 334-386-7124
- Students not attending the Montgomery campus may also request a computer mediated interview (ex. Skype) or a telephone interview.
- For the interview bring the completed intake form, release/receipt form, and documentation. If you are not attending the Montgomery campus please fax the information to the office.
Qualifications of evaluators
Professionals conducting assessments, rendering diagnoses of specific disabilities and making recommendations for appropriate accommodations must be qualified to do so. Comprehensive training with regard to the specific disability being addressed and direct experience with an adolescent and/or adult population are essential.
The name, title and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license or certification (e.g., licensed psychologist), the area of specialization, employment, and state/province in which the individual practices should be clearly stated in the documentation. It is of utmost importance that evaluators are sensitive and respectful of cultural and linguistic differences during the assessment process. It is not considered appropriate for professionals to evaluate members of their own families.
Requirements for evaluators of various disabilities
ADHD, Learning Disabilities and Mental Health or Psychiatric disabilities
Professionals must have training in differential diagnosis and pertinent psychiatric disorders. Examples of qualified professionals are psychologists, neuropsychologists, psychiatrists, and other relevantly trained individuals.
Specialist in field that covers particular illness or health condition. Examples of qualified professionals include gastroenterologist, rheumatologist, endocrinologist, internal medicine, or other physician knowledgeable to condition.
Developmental Disability (i.e. Autism Spectrum Disorder)
Professionals conducting assessments and rendering diagnoses of Developmental Disabilities must have training in differential diagnosis and pertinent psychiatric disorders. Examples of qualified professionals include neurologist, psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, and neurodevelopmental physician.
Head injury / Traumatic Brain Injury
Professionals conducting assessments and rendering diagnoses of Traumatic Brain Injury must have post-doctoral training in identification and treatment of TBI. Examples of qualified professionals include neuropsychologists, educational psychologists with postgraduate concentration in cognitive strategy development and remediation, and relevantly trained clinical psychologists.
Mobility / Physical
Specialist in field that covers mobility / physical conditions. Examples of qualified professionals include physical therapist, orthopedic surgeon, and physician knowledgeable to condition.
Speech and Communication Conditions
Specialist in field that covers the various speech and communication disorders such as a speech language clinician.
Documentation should meet all seven (7) criteria listed below:
- Licensed or credentialed evaluator: this individual has specific training or expertise related to the condition being diagnosed, and who is not related to the individual.
- Clear diagnostic statement, including diagnostic sub-types where relevant: this describes how the condition was diagnosed and provides information on the functional impact of the condition. A full clinical description will convey this information, as will diagnostic codes from the DSM-V.
- Description of the diagnostic methodology used: to include diagnostic criteria, evaluation methods, tests and dates of administration, clinical narrative, observations, and results. Diagnostic methods must be congruent with the particular disability and with current professional practices in the field.
- Description of the current functional limitations: the disabling condition helps establish the possible disability and identify possible accommodations. A combination of the individual’s self-report, results of formal evaluation procedures and clinical narrative are recommended. Quality documentation will demonstrate how a major life activity is significantly, amply, or substantially limited by providing evidence of frequency and pervasiveness of the condition(s).
- Description of the progression or stability of the disability: provide a) over time and b) in context.
- Description of current and past accommodations, services or medications: please include items that have worked and items that have not worked. For example, a medication has that has side effects thus interfering with a student accessing the educational environment may require a reasonable accommodation from our office.
- Recommendation: in this section the professional provides recommendations for accommodations, assistive devices, assistive services, compensatory strategies, and/or collateral support services that correlate with the educational need of the student.
Recommendation for consideration of current documentation:
- Learning Disability documentation should be no more than 5 years old
- ADHD documentation should be no more than 3 years old.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other conditions that are frequent to change or subject to medication or other treatments should be renewed once a year.
Situations where flexibility in documentation will occur:
- Previous assessment is applicable to the current or anticipated setting
- Student was an adult at the time of testing
- Student has a long-standing history of receiving accommodations or services in school or in another postsecondary institution
- Original testing used measures that were normed on adult populations