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 documentation 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.
- 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.
- Documentation must be on letterhead, and include the name and title of the practitioner, signature and date.
- 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
17 High Street
Plymouth, NH 03264
Fax: (603) 535-2277
*Reviewed by USNH Counsel 3/02.