Learning Disabilities

Walla Walla University
Disability Support Services:
Guidelines for Documentation of Learning Disabilities

Students who are seeking support from Walla Walla University on the basis of a diagnosed specific learning disability are required to submit documentation to verify eligibility. Documentation of a learning disability consists of the provision of professional testing and evaluation including a written report, which reflects the individuals present level of information processing as well as achievement level. The cost and responsibility for providing this professional evaluation shall be borne by the student.

The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that the evaluation and report are appropriate for documenting eligibility. All requests for accommodations will be considered, but the University will make the final determination on whether the requested accommodations are reasonable under state and federal guidelines for private universities. Information obtained will remain in a private confidential file in the Disability Support Service office. The DSS Coordinator is available to consult with diagnosticians regarding any of these guidelines. The documentation must:

  1. Be prepared by a professional qualified to diagnose learning disabilities, which would include but not be limited to: a licensed neuro-psychologist or psychologist, learning disability specialist, or other appropriate professional certified to administer and interpret class C psychological tests. Experience in working with the evaluation of adults with learning disabilities is important.
  2. Be comprehensive. One test is not acceptable for the purpose of diagnosis. Minimally, area to be addressed must include but not be limited to:
    1. Aptitude. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV (or newer) with subtest scores is preferred. The Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-Revised: Test of Cognitive Ability is acceptable.
    2. Achievement. Current levels of functioning in reading, mathematics and written language are required. Acceptable instruments include the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-Revised: Test of Achievement; Stanford Test of Academic Skills (TASK); or specific achievement tests such as the Test of Written Language-2 (TOWL-2), Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests-Revised, or the Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test. (The Wide Range Achievement Test Revised is NOT a comprehensive measure of achievement and therefore is not suitable.)
    3. Information Processing. Specific areas of information processing (e.g., short and long term memory; sequential memory; auditory and visual perception/processing; processing speed) must be assessed. Use of subtests from the WAIS-IV or the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability is acceptable. (This is not intended to be an exhaustive list or to restrict assessment in other pertinent and helpful areas such as vocational interest and aptitudes.)
  3. Be current. In most cases, this means within the past three years. Since assessment constitutes the basis for determining reasonable accommodations, it is in a student's best interest to provide recent and appropriate documentation to serve as the basis for decision-making about a student's needs for accommodations in an academically competitive environment.  As exhibited above, testing should be on adult level norms.
  4. Present clear and specific evidence, which identifies specific learning disabilities and reflects the individuals present level of functioning in processing and intelligence, as well as achievement in written expression, writing mechanics, vocabulary, grammar and spelling, reading comprehension, fluency and rate. (Individual "learning styles" and learning differences" in and of themselves do not specify learning disabilities.)
  5. Include in the report, the exact instruments used and procedures followed to assess the learning disabilities, test score data, a written interpretation of the results by the professional doing the evaluation, the name of the evaluator and date(s) of testing.
  6. Recommendations for academic accommodations which are based on the functional limitations supported by data from the assessment test(s). Requests which are not supported by documentation may not be approved without adequate verification.
  7. Once documentation is received and accepted as meeting the University's criteria, accommodations will need to be arranged with the DSS Coordinator. Accommodations are made to Walla Walla University students with disabilities in order to assure equal access to all programs and activities but are not a guarantee of success. Requests made to campus personnel other than to the Disability Support Services Coordinator do not constitute an official notification of disability or request for accommodations.
  8. Documentation should be provided six weeks prior to the beginning of the quarter for adequate arrangement of accommodations.

Documentation should be submitted to:

Sue Huett,M.Ed., DSS Coordinator
Teaching Learning Center
Walla Walla University
204 S. College Ave.
College Place, WA  99324
Phone:  509-527-2366
FAX:     509-527-2090
Email:    sue.huett@wallawalla.edu
Page maintained by Sue Huett
Last update on August 9, 2011