Documenting a Disability: Specific Learning Disability
Support services and accommodations for students with learning
disabilities are provided through the Office of Disability Resources and
Services for those students who meet eligibility requirements
under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Documentation is required to determine eligibility. Bethel University and Seminary does not provide diagnostic services. The
following guidelines are provided to ensure that diagnostic
criteria are complete and adequate for establishing and providing
appropriate support services and/or accommodations related to a
The assessment and diagnosis of specific learning disabilities
must be conducted by a qualified professional (licensed
psychologist and/or school psychologist trained in learning
disability assessment, learning disabilities
specialist/diagnostician, or educational therapist). Appropriate
public school personnel and/or individuals in private practice
can do this type of evaluation. Some hospitals, universities, and
advocacy organizations also provide this type of evaluation
Diagnostic Evaluation Report Guidelines
The written diagnostic evaluation report ordinarily will include
the following information:
- Diagnosis. A clear statement
of opinion, which identifies the specific learning disability
and grounds for the diagnosis, should be included in the
- Tests Administered and Test Scores.
Names of the tests used in making the diagnosis and
specific test scores from these tests should be included in the
report. Derived scores are helpful in understanding the
rationale behind the diagnosis and in recommending appropriate
- Descriptive Written Report.
Reports should include a written evaluation beyond that
which is provided on a typical I.E.P. and should provide
qualitative information about the student's abilities, which
might be helpful in understanding the overall profile of that
Recommendations ordinarily will include specific
suggestions for reasonable academic-related support services
and/or accommodations appropriate to the post-secondary level.
These recommendations should be based on the diagnostic
evaluation results and should be supported by the diagnosis.
When appropriate, additional recommendations for specific
learning strategies, academic support services, and any other
suggested support procedures should also be included.
- Evaluator/Diagnostician Identifying
Information. Diagnostic reports should include
the name, title, and address and phone number of the evaluator
and the date of testing.
Diagnostic Testing Guidelines
Appropriate diagnostic testing should be:
- Current. Diagnostic assessment and/or reevaluation ordinarily will have been completed within the past three years. This time frame may be different for students over the age of 25.
- Comprehensive. The assessment should include a battery of more than one test and/or subtests within a diagnostic-testing instrument.
- Aptitude/Cognitive Ability Measurement. An assessment of general cognitive ability using a nationally normed instrument with adequate reliability and validity should be included in the report.
- Achievement Measurement. An assessment of the basic skill areas of reading, written language and math using a nationally normed instrument with adequate reliability and validity should be included in the report.
If the learning
specialist/diagnostician finds special facts or circumstances
apply to an individual student that make traditional testing or
evaluation standards inapplicable, they are encouraged to provide
a complete narrative summary or report.