You may present current evidence of a disability to Lancaster Bible College's Disability Services Office. Acceptable documentation must come from physicians, psychologists, or other licensed professionals knowledgeable about the condition.
Documentation must include certain elements:
- Diagnosis (DSM IV, medical or other)
- Statement of severity
- Statement that identifies how the condition creates a "substantial impairment" - and in which life activities
- List of accommodations that will be needed by the student in order to benefit from the program or service
Generally, acceptable documentation would include current medical reports or a recent IEP or 504 plan in combination with a Comprehensive Evaluation Report. The documentation you provide may require further support and/or additional evaluations for determination of eligibility. Any costs incurred for additional evaluations are your responsibility. A prescription pad diagnosis is not acceptable since the documentation must also address severity, impairment, and accommodation necessary.
Your documentation will be reviewed, and if adequate for determining eligibility, a plan of accommodation will be worked out with you. Disability Services staff will help you identify the accommodations needed in various classes, and campus services and programs. They will also assist you in communicating your needs to instructors and campus personnel as needed.
Specific Documentation Guidelines
The Disability Services Office has adopted the Association on Higher Education and Disabilities (AHEAD) "best practices" guidelines for the review of documentation and the determination of accommodations. If you are seeking accommodations under the ADA (as amended) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 documentation, please include the following information:
- The credentials of the evaluator(s)
Documentation is provided by a licensed or otherwise properly credentialed professional who has undergone appropriate and comprehensive training, has relevant experience in the field of diagnoses, and has no personal relationship with you (e.g., an orthopedic limitation might be documented by a physician, but not a licensed psychologist).
- A diagnostic statement identifying the disability
Documentation includes a clear diagnostic statement that describes how the condition was diagnosed, provides information on the functional impact, and details the typical progression or prognosis of the condition. Diagnostic Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM) codes are helpful in providing this information, as is a full clinical description conveying this information.
A description of the diagnostic methodology used
Documentation includes a description of the diagnostic criteria, evaluation methods, procedures, tests, and dates of administration, as well as a clinical narrative, observation, and specific results. Where appropriate to the nature of the disability, it is helpful to include both summary data and specific test scores (with the norming population identified) within the report.
Diagnostic methods may include formal instruments, medical examinations, structured interview protocols, performance observations, and unstructured interviews. Results reported from informal, non-standardized - or less common methods of evaluation - should include an explanation of their role and significance in the diagnostic process.
A description of the current functional limitations
How the disabling condition(s) currently impacts you provides useful information for both establishing a disability and identifying possible accommodations. Formal evaluation procedures, clinical narrative, and your self-report provide a comprehensive approach to fully documenting current impact. Therefore, the documentation should indicate whether and how a major life activity is substantially limited by providing a clear sense of the severity, frequency, and pervasiveness of the condition(s).
Documentation should be recent, generally within the last three (3) years. However, older documentation of a non-varying condition that is permanent is appropriate. Likewise, your growth and development may warrant more frequent updates in order to present an accurate appraisal of the current impact. In other words, the need for recent or updated documentation depends on the facts and circumstances of your condition.
- A description of the expected progression or stability of the disability
Documentation that provides information on expected changes in the functional impact of the disability over time and in what context is important. For example, the cyclical or episodic nature of the disability and known or suspected environmental triggers to episodes help us plan for varying functional impacts. If the condition is not stable, interventions (including your own strategies) for exacerbations and recommended timelines for re-evaluation are appropriate.
- A description of current and past accommodations, services and/or medications
Documentation which provides a description of both current and past medications, auxiliary aids, assistive devices, support services, and accommodations, including their effectiveness in ameliorating functional impacts of the disability is important. A summary of significant side effects from current medications or services that may impact physical, perceptual, behavioral, or cognitive performance is helpful.
Recommendations for accommodations, adaptive devices, assistive services, compensatory strategies, and/or collateral support services
It is appropriate to recommend accommodations and strategies that are logically related to functional limitations; if connections are not obvious, a clear explanation of their relationship will be useful for the decision-making process.
While post-secondary institutions are not obligated to provide or adopt recommendations made by outside entities, it is important for us to have adequate information to make the most appropriate decision for you. Additionally, accommodations currently provided in another college setting are not binding, but may provide insight in making accurate decisions for LBC's academic setting.
Adapted from AHEAD Best Practices Disability Documentation in Higher Education, 2006 www.ahead.org
- Assistive Technology
- Screen Reader
- Speech-to-text program
- Writing software program
- E-text, Books on CD or Daisy Player
- Distraction-reduced environment
- Extended time
- Oral exams
- Enlarged/enhanced print
Services are determined for each student according to documentation submitted. Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis, based on documentation submitted by the student.
Accommodations vary widely, but are always designed to respond to the unique needs of each student based on their documentation. The list of accommodations (provided each semester) is sent to the student's professors, verifying the necessity of the accommodation. Disability-specific details are not revealed except as authorized by the student.
Access to Medical or Therapeutic Services
Excellent medical and health-support services are located within a few miles of the college campus. If you require ongoing access to physical therapy or other medically related services, you must arrange your own off-campus appointments and transportation. An on-site physician is available periodically for consultation, and a nurse is either on duty or on-call at all times during the academic year.
Post-secondary institutions do not pay for diagnostic services to determine whether an individual is eligible for accommodations; however, the LBC Disability Services Office maintains a list of local professionals that students can contact for evaluations. If you think you may have an undiagnosed disability affecting your performance and success at Lancaster Bible College, we encourage you to request an interview/screening with the Director of DS to determine whether an outside referral is appropriate.
Note: It is your prerogative to provide the LBC Disability Services Office with the evaluation documentation from the referral agency. No communication between the DS Office and the outside agency can occur unless you provide the evaluator with written permission to forward the results of the evaluation. There can be no determination of eligibility for accommodations unless the documentation is submitted to the LBC DS Office.