Professionals conducting assessment and rendering diagnoses of specific learning disabilities (SLD) must be qualified. A qualified professional needs to hold a degree in a field related to the diagnosis of SLD and have at least one year of diagnostic experience with adults and late adolescents. Recommended practitioners may include: certified and/or licensed psychologists, learning disabilities specialists and educational therapists with the above characteristics. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.
The following documentation requirements will assist the service provider in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations. Documentation serves as a foundation that supports a student's request for appropriate accommodations. Recommended documentation includes all of the following:
- Testing that is comprehensive, including a measure of Aptitude, Information Processing and Achievement in the areas of reading, mathematics and written language;
- A narrative summary, including all standardized scores (subtest as well as overall scores), which supports the diagnosis;
- Documentation for eligibility must be current, within the last three years, and reflect the current impact the learning disability has on the student's functioning, (the age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the current status of the student and the student's specific request for accommodations);
- A clear statement that a learning disability is present along with the rationale for this diagnosis. (Note: individual "learning deficits," "learning styles," and "learning differences," do not, in or of themselves, constitute a learning disability);
- A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.
- Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing AD/HD or other disabling conditions is indicated. The student and the Disability Specialist at the University of Colorado Denver will collaborate regarding accommodations with the final decision made by the disability specialist.