It is the policy and practice of the University of Maine at Presque Isle to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and state and local requirements regarding students with disabilities. Under these laws, no qualified individual with a disability shall be denied access to or participation in services, programs and activities of the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Academic accommodations are provided to otherwise qualified students with documented learning disabilities so that these students are viewed according to the abilities, not disabilities.
A learning disability is generally defined as a significant discrepancy between achievement and ability or an intro-cognitive discrepancy not attributable to other handicapping conditions or to environmental deprivation. Documentation for learning disabilities is required for special Student Support Services Program (SSS) admissions consideration as well as any academic adjustments through the Student Support Services office. The student upon enrollment within SSS provides this documentation for academic accommodations.
The following documentation guidelines are used to identify qualified individuals with learning disabilities for special Program admissions consideration and to determine disability-related support services.
Documentation verifying a learning disability should:
- Be prepared by a professional qualified to diagnose a learning disability (e.g. a licensed psychologist, learning disabilities specialist, neuropsychologist.) Collaborating with speech and language clinicians, reading specialists and other educational professionals may be appropriate and necessary for a comprehensive assessment of a student’s needs; however, these professionals are not generally considered qualified to diagnose a learning disability.
- Include background information about the individual and descriptions of the testing procedures followed, instruments used, test results, interpretation, recommendations.
- Include test results in the following areas: IQ, reading, mathematics, spelling, written language and language and cognitive processing skills. Also, social-emotional abilities should be noted.
- Include a clear diagnostic statement based on the test results and personal history. There must be clear and specific evidence and identification of a learning disability. Individual “styles”, “differences” and “difficulties” in and of themselves do not constitute a learning disability.
- Be dated no more than three years prior to admission or request for services by the student.
Test instruments should be statistically valid and reliable and normed on an age appropriate sample. The following instruments are generally accepted as appropriate for the diagnosis of a learning disability: Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale III with subtest scores is the preferred instrument. Woodcock-Johnson Psycheducational Battery-Revised: Tests of Cognitive Ability or the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale: 4th edition are acceptable (The Wide Range Achievement Test-Revised is NOT a comprehensive measurement of achievement and, therefore, is not acceptable).
- Student’s functioning limitations in the educational setting need to be described.
- Recommendations for necessary and appropriate auxiliary aids or services, academic adjustments or other accommodations to equalize the student’s educational opportunities in a college setting need to be provided.