Documentation of Disability

Documentation of Disability/Condition

A student requesting accommodations or services to reduce or remove barriers of their disability/condition in the Kishwaukee College educational environment should be prepared to provide documentation of the condition and be able to discuss the significant impact the condition has on the learning environment. Students should be able to also address the various accommodations or services they have used and how those may help them in the college learning environment. All determination of reasonable accommodations by the Disability Services staff is done on a case-by-case basis through interactive dialogue with the student and may include information / discussion from the faculty/chair/dean or administrator regarding the structure and nature of the course, program, or degree.

Additionally, some programs and degrees require completion of a national or state licensing or credentialing examination in order to complete the degree. These national and state agencies/organizations set their own documentation requirements that may require different/more recent/or updated information from what Kishwaukee College Disability Services requires. The Disability Services staff is happy to discuss a student’s concern about documentation needed for Kishwaukee College to determine the reasonable and appropriate accommodations for classes in which the student is enrolled and can also refer the student to the agency/organization requirements for information on what documentation might be needed in the future for those credentialing exams managed and run by the non-Kishwaukee College associated organizations. 

Qualified Evaluator Information

Generally, the documentation will need to be completed by a qualified evaluator.  The person who is considered a qualified evaluator may differ based on the disability.  Some disabilities or conditions (such as those that have visually observable limitations for which the requested accommodations are reasonable and appropriate) may need minimal documentation; whereas some of the invisible conditions where the significant impact on activities of daily living is not readily apparent,  or for requests of uncommon accommodations or accommodations that are not often associated with a specific disability’s limitations may require more information contained in documentation provided by a qualified evaluator.

List of Qualified Evaluator Examples

  • Learning Disabilities – clinical psychologist or licensed psychologist
  • Visual Impairments – optometrist, ophthalmologist; low vision specialist
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing – licensed audiologist; doctor of audiology
  • ADD/ADHD – psychiatrist; psychologist; medical doctor
  • Psychiatric conditions – psychiatrist; psychologist; (may possibly include LCPC or LMSW, depending on qualifications)
  • Physical conditions or chronic medical conditions – medical doctor; orthopedic surgeon
  • Traumatic Brain Injury or other neurological conditions – medical doctor; neurosurgeon; neurologist; psychiatrist; psychologist
  • Speech Impairments – Speech Language Pathologist
  • Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome – psychologist; psychiatrist

Basic Expectations of All Documentation

Documentation generally should include the following pieces of information:

  • Be written on the evaluator’s letterhead and signed by the evaluator (including evaluator’s qualifications and license number – i.e. John Smith, MD (IL644342)
  • Diagnosis of the condition/disability
  • Functional limitations (impact) of the disability on the learning environment and the activities of learning
  • Names of evaluations or tests used in determining diagnosis
  • Scores of any evaluations or tests used (usually this is for learning disabilities)

The documentation can include possible recommendations on accommodations in the learning environment, but the college or university will determine if those accommodations would be reasonable and appropriate for the student in that program/class/degree, etc.

The Individualized Education Plan (IEP)/ 504 Plan from high school may include some or all of the necessary information; however, it may not be entirely sufficient, so please check with the Disability Services staff at Kishwaukee College. 

How to Talk About Your Disability

In order to assist the Disability Services Office staff in providing the reasonable and appropriate accommodations to reduce or remove the barriers created by the impact of your disability in the learning environment, you should be able to discuss the following with the staff:

Information to Share in the Interactive Discussion to Determine Possible Accommodations/Services

  • Diagnosis of the disability/condition.
  • How your disability / condition affects you in the learning/college environment.
    • Include discussion about the impact on:
      • Reading
      • Writing
      • Math
      • Learning
      • Processing new information
      • Memory and cognition
      • Timed assessments (tests/quizzes)
      • Producing in-class work
      • Homework
      • Campus environment (getting to your classes independently, etc.)
      • Taking notes in class
      • Participating in class discussions / activities or doing class presentations
      • Manipulating course materials (lab materials, etc.)
      • Anything else that you think the Disability Services staff needs to know
  • The accommodations you have used previously:
    • What were the accommodations? What were the settings in which you used them?
    • How did they work for you? What worked? What didn’t work?
    • How did the accommodation reduce or eliminate barriers to learning for you?
    • What accommodations do you think you will need in college? Why?
  • Ask questions of the Disability Services staff about the types of accommodations that others might have used in a particular class or program at Kishwaukee College.
  • Ask the Disability Services staff how the typical teacher at the college teaches (is it lecture, discussion, activity based) and what you might expect for a typical workload for a student (do the teachers assign 2 chapters each class period for each course- 2 chapters X 4 courses = 8 chapters to be read between the Monday class and the Wednesday class, etc.) or do the teachers assign more group projects and hands-on work.
  • Identify which mode of instruction may be of concern for you because of your disability (for example):
    • If reading is a barrier because of a print-disability, then you will want to talk about ways the Disability Service office might be able to help through alternative text materials (books on tape) so you can listen and read at the same time.
    • If group work or presentations are a concern, discuss how the Disability Services staff can work with you and the instructor to reduce the impact of the disability while allowing you to complete the course requirements.
    • If fine dexterity/motor skills may create a barrier for you in handling laboratory materials, you will want to talk with the Disability Services office staff about possible ways that you can participate in the labs and complete the assignments but without the impact of not being able to lift and pour materials.

Most importantly, ask questions, get information, and let the Disability Services staff know your concerns and also what works for you to provide equal and equitable access in the learning environment.

Please contact the Disability Services staff to discuss you disability, documentation, accommodations, or get more information about Kishwaukee College and access to the courses, programs, and degrees.