Guidelines for Documentation of a Learning Disability

Definition of a Learning Disability

The term learning disability has been used to describe a hidden disorder presumed to be of neurological origin (pertaining to the brain) that affects the manner in which individuals with normal to superior intelligence acquire, retain and/or express information. A disability may manifest itself in one or more of the following areas:
spelling, reading comprehension, math computation, short-term memory, organizational skills and/or social skills. Difficulties within these areas may be inconsistent. A learning disability is not a form of mental retardation, emotional disorder or environmental disadvantage.

Guidelines for Documentation of a Learning Disability

To qualify for services, a student must provide current documentation (no older than four years) of disability as determined by a licensed physician and/or certified psychologist or other specialist who is skilled in the diagnosis of such a disability.

  1. The documentation must include the following:
    • A current psycho-educational evaluation and the resulting diagnostic report, which should include a diagnostic interview, assessment of aptitude, academic achievement and information processing, and a diagnosis. A school plan such as an individualized education program (IEP), a 504 plan, or a summary of performance is insufficient documentation, which should not be sent to the PASS office.
    • Statement of impact and limitations on academic performance in a university classroom. Include medical history related to current use of medication and the impact of medication on the student’s ability to meet the demands of the academic program.
    • Recommendations for academic adjustments to compensate for the disability.
  2. Documentation must be on letterhead, and include the name and title of the practitioner, signature and date.
  3. Accommodations are always individually determined. Once the PASS office receives documentation, the student has the responsibility to make an appointment to discuss his/her eligibility to receive accommodations.

All documentation is confidential and should be submitted to:

Plymouth State University
Plymouth Academic Support Services
MSC 9
17 High Street
Plymouth, NH 03264
Fax: (603) 535-2277

*Reviewed by USNH Counsel 3/02.