General Guidelines for Documentation of a Disability

A student with a disability is eligible to receive reasonable accommodations if the documented disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities. Major life activities include: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

CCBC requires proper documentation of the disability, including an evaluation by an appropriate professional that describes the impact of the disability as it relates to the college environment. It is the student’s responsibility to provide this documentation to a Disability Support Services office.

For individuals who have recently received services from a public school system, necessary information would most likely be contained in the most recent psychological and educational evaluations.

While documentation may meet CCBC’s requirements to support accommodations, the student should be prepared to provide additional and/or more current documentation when transferring to a 4 year institution or when requesting accommodations for any standardized tests required for professional or career certifications such as the TEAS, NCLEX, PRAXIS, CDL, etc.

CCBC recognizes that the specific elements and format of the evaluations will vary. These guidelines are intended to assist students and professionals as they provide information that supports appropriate and reasonable accommodations. Any questions regarding these guidelines may be directed to the appropriate office noted above.

*Documentation must reflect the current (within the past year) array of symptoms/features and level of functioning; if the documentation does not, students may be required to submit updated information and/or documentation.

Specific documentation guidelines as appropriate for the disability


Learning Disability

A psycho-educational or neuropsychological evaluation that provides a diagnosis of a specific learning disability must be submitted. A statement indicating the current status and impact of the learning disability in an academic setting should be included. If appropriate, please include past accommodations related to the disability. If another diagnosis is applicable (e.g., ADD/HD, mood disorder), it should be stated.

The evaluation should be based on a comprehensive assessment battery:
  • Aptitude: Average broad cognitive functioning must be demonstrated on an individually administered intelligence test based on adult norms, such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-R or WAIS-IV), Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC—R or WISC-IV), or Woodcock Johnson (WJ-R) Cognitive Battery. Subscales/subtests scores should be listed.
  • Academic Achievement: A comprehensive academic achievement battery, such as WJ-R, must document achievement deficits relative to potential. The battery should include current levels of academic functioning in relevant areas, such as reading (comprehension, decoding), oral and written language, and mathematics. Standard scores, grade levels, and percentages for subtests administered should be stated.
  • Information Processing: Specific areas of information processing (e.g., short- and long term memory, auditory, and visual perception/processing, executive functioning) should be assessed.
  • Social-Emotional Assessment: To rule-out a primary emotional basis for learning difficulties and provide information needed to establish appropriate services, a social-emotional assessment, using formal assessment instruments and/or clinical interview, should be conducted.
  • Clinical Summary: A diagnostic summary should present a diagnosis of a specific learning disability; provide impressions of the testing situation; interpret the testing data; indicate how patterns in cognitive ability, achievement, and information processing reflect the specific learning disability; recommend specific accommodations based on disability-related deficits; and rule out alternative explanations for and include factors contributing to academic difficulties.

Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD)

Documentation must include a medical or clinical diagnosis of ADD/HD based on DSM-IV criteria and a rationale for the diagnosis.

The evaluation must be performed by an appropriate professional, a medical doctor or a clinical psychologist, who is knowledgeable regarding ADD/HD. The evaluator name, title, and professional credentials and affiliation should be provided.

The documentation should include the following:
  • Quantitative and qualitative information that supports the diagnosis;
  • Summary and interpretation of assessment instruments (formal assessment instruments and/or clinical interview) based on adult norms;
  • Information regarding the specific academic functions affected by and the severity of the disability (e.g., ability to sustain attention, distraction index);
  • Recommendations for and compliance to prescriptive treatment, including medication;
  • Recommendations for academic accommodations based on specific features/symptoms of disability;
  • Investigation/evaluation of dual and/or confounding diagnosis (e.g., mood, behavioral, neurological, learning, personality disorders).

Psychological Disability

Documentation must include a medical or clinical diagnosis of a psychological disability based on DSM-IV criteria and a rationale for the diagnosis.

The evaluation must be performed by an appropriate professional: a psychiatrist, a clinical psychologist, a clinical social worker or counselor. The medical letter should include the evaluator name, title, and professional credentials and affiliation should be provided on letterhead paper.

The documentation should include the following:
  • Information regarding the severity of the disability and the specific academic functions affected by the disability and/or medication (e.g., ability to concentrate, ability to attend class regularly, ability to interact in small/large groups);
  • Recommendations for and compliance to prescriptive treatment, including medication;
  • Recommendations for academic accommodations based on specific features/symptoms of disability.

Hard of hearing / deaf

The diagnosis and evaluation should be made by a medical doctor or appropriate specialist, such as an audiologist, licensed in the specific field of disability. The evaluator name, title, and professional credentials and affiliations should be provided.

The recency of the documentation is dependent on the nature/stability of the disability. Documentation must reflect the current array of symptoms/features and level of functioning; if the documentation does not, students may be required to submit updated information and/or documentation.

The documentation should include the following:
  • The stability of the disability (Is the disability stable, progressive, fluctuating?);
  • Information regarding the specific academic functions affected by and the severity of the disability (e.g., ability to concentrate, ability to attend class regularly);
  • Recommendations for academic accommodations based on specific features/symptoms of the disability (e.g., adaptive technology/equipment).

Low vision / blind

Documentation, such as a vision test, must include a medical diagnosis.

The diagnosis and evaluation should be made by a medical doctor or appropriate specialist, such as an optometrist or ophthalmologist, licensed in the specific field of disability. The evaluator name, title, and professional credentials and affiliations should be provided on letterhead paper.

The recency of the documentation is dependent on the nature/stability of the disability. Documentation must reflect the current array of symptoms/features and level of functioning; if the documentation does not, students may be required to submit updated information and/or documentation.

The documentation should include the following:
  • The stability of the disability (Is the disability stable, progressive, fluctuating?);
  • Information regarding the specific academic functions affected by and the severity of the disability (e.g., ability to concentrate, ability to attend class regularly);
  • Recommendations for academic accommodations based on specific features/symptoms of the disability (e.g., adaptive technology/equipment).

Other hearing impairment

Documentation must include a medical diagnosis.

The diagnosis and evaluation should be made by a medical doctor or appropriate specialist licensed in the specific field of disability. The evaluator name, title, and professional credentials and affiliations should be provided on letterhead paper.

The recency of the documentation is dependent on the nature/stability of the disability. Documentation must reflect the current array of symptoms/features and level of functioning; if the documentation does not, students may be required to submit updated information and/or documentation.

The documentation should include the following:
  • The stability of the disability (Is the disability stable, progressive, fluctuating?);
  • Information regarding the specific academic functions affected by and the severity of the disability (e.g., ability to concentrate, ability to attend class regularly);
  • Recommendations for academic accommodations based on specific features/symptoms of the disability (e.g., adaptive technology/equipment).

Mobility or Orthopedic Disability

The diagnosis and evaluation should be made by a medical doctor or appropriate specialist licensed in the specific field of disability. The evaluator’s name, title, and professional credentials and affiliations should be provided on letterhead paper.

The recency of the documentation is dependent on the nature/stability of the disability. Documentation must reflect the current array of symptoms/features and level of functioning; if the documentation does not, students may be required to submit updated information and/or documentation.

The documentation should include the following:
  • The stability of the disability (Is the disability stable, progressive, fluctuating?);
  • Information regarding the specific academic functions affected by and the severity of the disability (e.g., ability to concentrate, ability to attend class regularly);
  • Recommendations for academic accommodations based on specific features/symptoms of the disability (e.g., adaptive technology/equipment).

Autism Spectrum Disorder

A psycho-educational evaluation that provides a diagnosis of a cognitive disability must be submitted. A statement indicating the current status and impact of the disability in an academic setting should be included. If another diagnosis is applicable (e.g., ADD/HD), mood disorder), it should be stated.

The recency of the documentation is dependent on the nature/stability of the disability. Documentation must reflect the current array of symptoms/features and level of functioning; if the documentation does not, students may be required to submit up-dated information and/or documentation.

The evaluation must be performed by a certified/licensed professional. The evaluator name, title, and professional credentials and affiliation should be provided.

The evaluation should be based on a comprehensive assessment battery:
  • Aptitude: Average broad cognitive functioning must be demonstrated on an individually administered intelligence test based on adult norms, such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-R or WAIS-IV), Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC—R or WISC-IV), or Woodcock Johnson (WJ-R) Cognitive Battery. Subscales/subtests scores should be listed.
  • Academic Achievement: A comprehensive academic achievement battery, such as WJ-R, must document achievement deficits relative to potential. The battery should include current levels of academic functioning in relevant areas, such as reading (comprehension, decoding), oral and written language, and mathematics. Standard scores, grade levels, and percentages for subtests administered should be stated.
  • Information Processing: Specific areas of information processing (e.g., short- and long-term memory, abstract reasoning) should be assessed.
  • Social-Emotional Assessment: To provide information needed to establish appropriate services, a social-emotional assessment, using formal assessment instruments and/or clinical interview, should be conducted.
  • Clinical Summary: A diagnostic summary should present a diagnosis of a cognitive disability; provide impressions of the testing situation; interpret the testing data; indicate how patterns in cognitive ability, achievement, and information processing reflect the disability; and recommend specific accommodations based on disability-related deficits.
A supporting letter may be submitted by a certified / licensed professional or practitioner in addition to the assessment to support reasonable accommodations.

Cognitive Disability

A psycho-educational evaluation that provides a diagnosis of a cognitive disability must be submitted. A statement indicating the current status and impact of the disability in an academic setting should be included. If appropriate, please include past accommodations related to the disability. If another diagnosis is applicable (e.g., ADD/HD), mood disorder), it should be stated.

The recency of the documentation is dependent on the nature/stability of the disability. Documentation must reflect the current array of symptoms/features and level of functioning; if the documentation does not, students may be required to submit up-dated information and/or documentation.

The evaluation must be performed by a certified/licensed professional. The evaluator name, title, and professional credentials and affiliation should be provided.

The evaluation should be based on a comprehensive assessment battery:
  • Aptitude: Average broad cognitive functioning must be demonstrated on an individually administered intelligence test based on adult norms, such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-R or WAIS-IV), Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC—R or WISC-IV), or Woodcock Johnson (WJ-R) Cognitive Battery. Subscales/subtests scores should be listed.
  • Academic Achievement: A comprehensive academic achievement battery, such as WJ-R, must document achievement deficits relative to potential. The battery should include current levels of academic functioning in relevant areas, such as reading (comprehension, decoding), oral and written language, and mathematics. Standard scores, grade levels, and percentages for subtests administered should be stated.
  • Information Processing: Specific areas of information processing (e.g., short- and long-term memory, abstract reasoning) should be assessed.
  • Social-Emotional Assessment: To provide information needed to establish appropriate services, a social-emotional assessment, using formal assessment instruments and/or clinical interview, should be conducted.
  • Clinical Summary: A diagnostic summary should present a diagnosis of a cognitive disability; provide impressions of the testing situation; interpret the testing data; indicate how patterns in cognitive ability, achievement, and information processing reflect the disability; and recommend specific accommodations based on disability-related deficits.
A supporting letter may be submitted by a certified / licensed professional or practitioner in addition to the assessment to support reasonable accommodations.



The following guidelines are provided so that CCBC, through the disability support office on each campus can respond appropriately to the individual needs of the student. Each office will determine eligibility for reasonable accommodations based on the content of the documentation submitted by the student. The disability support office reserves the right to request additional documentation, and/or an update of documentation previously submitted and may request the written consent of the student to contact his/her health professional to discuss information contained in the documentation.