Certificate in Learning Differences and Neurodiversity​

Course Syllabus
LDN 642—Understanding Disability Documentation, Accommodations, and Legal Compliance

This course is the part of the online professional certificate program in Learning Differences and Neurodiversity (LDN) offered by Landmark College, with specializations in “Executive Function,” “Autism Online and on Campus,” or “Post-Secondary Disability Services”.

This 3-credit course provides a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of disability documentation and the accommodation decision-making process by disability service providers in a higher education setting. Participants will learn about the history and current trends in documentation guidelines, how to read/interpret documentation, and current best practices regarding various types of documentation and their role in the accommodation decision process. This course will also introduce students to commonly utilized test instruments in the LD and ADHD diagnostic process, as well as provide the opportunity to practice basic interpreting of common psychoeducational evaluation tools. Participants will be exposed to realistic accommodation scenarios, and ultimately walk away more confident in both their own practices related to documentation review as well as their accommodation decision making and implementation at the post-secondary level. This course is specifically designed for early career disability resource professionals and/or for professionals with a short-term goal of securing employment in the disability services field; students will be expected to apply covered concepts specifically to a post-secondary educational setting. Please note to earn the three graduate credits, students must achieve a grade of 80% or higher.
Three graduate credits will be awarded per course for students achieving a grade of 80% or greater.

This is an 8-week course, consisting of modules for each week. Each module includes several micro-units. Micro-units are subtopics within the modules. Each micro-unit contains learning activities (various types of independently accessed content) and a variety of activities designed to get you thinking about the topic, activate background knowledge, and opportunities to provide thoughts and insights.

The course also includes online video conference synchronous sessions, scheduled primarily in the evenings (Eastern Time). We will make every attempt to accommodate individual schedules, but opportunities to watch recordings will be available for those not able to attend live.

Week 1
The Changing Landscape of Disability Documentation
• Legal underpinnings of DRO/DSO work
• The meaning of disability in the eyes of a DRO
• The meaning of documentation in the eyes of a DRO
• Primary, secondary, and tertiary documentation
• Recognizing the value of various sources of information in the eventual decision-making process
Week 2
Frameworks and Approaches for Documentation review
• The triangulation approach to accommodation decision-making
• The Big Two: The Interactive Process and Fundamental Alteration
• Helft and Harwell’s 3-Step Accommodation Decision Making Framework
• Adam Meyer’s 3-Linear Step approach to differentiating between “what’s appropriate” and “what’s possible”
Week 3
Documentation Policies on Higher Education Campuses
• Identifying contextual factors of various institutions and how this impacts office approaches to documentation policies and procedures
• The importance of consistency in decision-making processes
• Formulating a personal stance on documentation guidelines
Week 4
The Intake Meeting
• The value of an intake meeting
• Important aspects to incorporate into an intake meeting
• Observations made during intake meetings and student interactions
Week 5
An Introduction to Psychoeducational Evaluation Reports
• What is psychoeducational evaluation?
• The flaws of psychoeducational evaluation
• The anatomy of a psychoeducational evaluation report
• Percentiles versus percentages
• Converting Standard, Scaled, and T scores
• Finding meaning in scores/numbers
Week 6
An Introduction to the Basics of Cognitive and Achievement Batteries
• Common psychoeducational evaluation tool “families” and the tests that make up their batteries
• Assessment goals of cognitive evaluation versus achievement evaluation
• Descriptions of common indices and subtests
• Connecting scores and subtests to one another to help understand potential student impact
Week 7
Accommodation Decisions
• Categorizing accommodation requests
• Collaborating with and/or coordinating accommodation implementation with campus partners
• Applying frameworks to the decision-making process
• Verbiage for approvals and/or deferrals
Week 8
Putting it All Together: Applying Personal Approaches to a Decision-Making Scenario
• Large scale application review with final decisions and identification for next steps, if appropriate

1 SWD – Students with Disabilities

2 Technical specifications include: Edition or most current version of test; when the test was first published; purpose of test , including whether it is diagnostic or screening; age group; what is measured- including any subtests; scoring; reliability and validity (if provided).

Alignment of Weekly Course objectives with AHEAD Professional Competency Standards

The Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) has a set of 9 Professional Competencies that are considered to be essential within the field of disability services. The objectives of this course are aligned to the AHEAD professional competency standards. The following table shows the competencies associated with each course module.

AHEAD Competencies by Weekly Topics Table

Course ObjectiveModule Objective
Describe the role of documentation in the accommodation decision making process
  • Explain the role of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act (ADA AA) in the post-secondary accommodation-making decision process (1)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.1
  • Define the meaning of disability from the lens of the ADA (1)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.1
  • Define what documentation is through the lens of a DRO (1)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.1; 1.2; 1.3; 1.8; 2.3
  • Identify various types of documentation and the value they bring to the accommodation decision-making process (1)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.3; 1.8; 2.3; 3.2
Generalize an accommodation decision making framework to real world scenarios in order to inform next steps in the accommodation review process
  • Describe the triangulation approach to accommodation decision making (2)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.1; 3.2
  • Recall the three aspects of Helft and Harwell’s 3-Step framework in accommodation decision-making (2)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.1; 1.2; 3.2
  • Describe Adam Meyer’s 3-Linear Steps approach to differentiating between “what’s appropriate” and “what’s possible” (2)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.1; 3.2
  • Compare various approaches to documentation guidelines (2)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.1; 1.2; 3.2
  • Identify institutional and contextual factors that may influence documentation policies for DROs (3)
    AHEAD Competencies: 7.2
  • Recognize the importance of consistency in office processes related to accommodation decision making (3)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.1; 1.2
  • Formulate a personal stance on documentation guidelines (3)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.1; 1.2
Analyze various types of documentation in order to make informed decisions regarding accommodation requests.
  • List integral aspects of an intake meeting (4)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.6; 2.4; 3.6
  • Summarize a personal approach to facilitating an effective intake meeting (4)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.3; 1.6; 2.4; 3.6
  • Describe the types of observations that DRO personnel can make in their work with students (4)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.6
  • Practice identifying overt and subtle aspects of student interactions that can help in the accommodation decision-making process (4)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.6
  • Recognize common elements of a psychoeducational evaluation report and the types of information that might be found in each (5)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.6
  • Practice converting common psychoeducational evaluation test scores to percentiles in order to find meaning (5)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.1; 1.3
  • Recognize the difference between percentages and percentiles (5)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.1; 1.3
  • Interpret common psychoeducational evaluation test scores through the utilization of a psychometric conversion table (5)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.1; 1.3
  • Recognize common psychoeducational tool/battery families (6)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.1; 1.3; 1.8
  • Describe the difference between the assessment goals of cognitive, achievement, and social-emotional evaluation tools (6)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.1; 1.3
  • Reference basic information on certain indices and subtests to help understand their assessment goal to better understand student impact (6)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.1; 1.3
  • Predict potential real-world impact of evaluation scores based on a combination of percentile and index/subtest focus (6)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.1; 1.3
Justify accommodation decisions and/or necessary next steps in an accommodation-request scenario
  • Classify the most common “categories” of accommodation requests (7)
  • Identify specific campus partners that may be integral in the implementation of various classifications of accommodations (7)
    AHEAD Competencies: 1.7; 3.7; 7.3; 7.5; 7.6
  • Formulate personal verbiage to be utilized in various scenarios related to requests and situations (7)
    AHEAD Competencies: 5.1
  • Defend decisions around accommodation approvals and/or deferrals as a part of a case study (8)

Have Questions?
Request more information.

slot gacor slot gacor