Student Services Index:
is Eligible for Services?
attending the Howard University with a documented disabilities are eligible
and encouraged to register for services.
Do You Apply for Services?
as you are admitted to the University, you must submit a Self-Disclosure
of a Disability form to the Office of Special Students Services along
- A copy
of the documentation of your specific disability must be provided at
the time of intake
regarding your academic history (transcripts, IEP, etc.)
- A copy
of the class schedule (if applicable).
Is It Determined Who Gets What Accommodations?
are determined as a result of a comprehensive individualized assessment,
including a review of medical reports, psychological reports, academic
background and an interview with the student.
If Accommodations Are Not Provided?
strives to provide reasonable accommodations, and works to facilitate
an agreeable working relationship between you and the University. If you
feel that you are not being treated fairly because of your disability,
you are encouraged to contact our office and make an appointment to discuss
If I Disagree With A Decision, How Do I File A Grievance?
may contact the Dean of ODSSS to request a grievance form
and instructions and timelines regarding filing a grievance
will be provided to you.
of the Office of the Dean for Special Student Services
appropriate accommodations (academic, auxiliary aids, etc.)
accommodations plan and complete faculty notification forms with student
with faculty to insure delivery of accommodations (arranging testing,
use of auxiliary aids in classrooms, classroom modification, etc.)
detailed confidential records that document the plan for the provision
of selected accommodations
in course registration each semester
students in development of self-advocacy
and revise policies/guidelines for accommodating students with disabilities.
with ADA Coordinators from each school.
of the Student
with ODSSS and provide appropriate documentation in a timely manner.
It is recommended that students provide documentation at least eight
weeks prior to the start of the semester for which they are requesting
services. Students should schedule an appointment with ODSSS during
the first few weeks of classes so that accommodations can be finalized.
proper forms requesting services (Braille, interpreters, etc.)
faculty notification forms to faculty as soon as possible.
guidelines regarding use of accommodations/ODSSS services.
with the ODSS, within five business days regarding any problems encountered
during the semester.
with ODSSS Advisor at least twice a semester.
of the Faculty
teaching practices and evaluation methods which promote equal access.
with the ODSSS and ADA Coordinator for your school to provide accommodations.
your ADA Coordinator for your school or the ODSSS with any questions
all matters related to students with disabilities in a confidential
with the ADA Coordinator of your school or the ODSSS if a disagreement
between a student and faculty member regarding an accommodation is
request a written agreement before allowing the student to tape record
not provide academic adjustments under the guise of a disability
unless a faculty notification form has been processed by ODSSS.
compliance with the law (Section 504, Rehabilitation Act and the American
with Disabilities Act, "ADA"), Howard University is committed
to providing its disabled students with reasonable accommodations. There
are specific guidelines for the acquisition of accommodations and services
under ADA. This brochure explains in detail of the information you will
need to request and to receive them. Please read this information carefully
and share it with the professional who will be conducting your testing
and evaluation or providing you will the results of prior evaluations.
for Documenting Medical Disabilities
clinician appears to be qualified to make the diagnosis in the area
of specialization and is not a member of the student's family.
evaluation is written on professional letterhead, is current and contains
the date of the last appointment with the student.
clinician clearly indicates a claimed disability that is covered under
clearly supports the claimed disability with relevant medical and
evaluation contains a description of current medications, treatments
and assistive devices and technologies with estimated effectiveness
in ameliorating the impact of the disability, i.e., extent of effectiveness
of corrective lenses, use of crutches, etc.; and history of medication
side effects known to have affected the student.
a description of the functional limitations resulting from the disability,
which specifically addresses a postsecondary residential and educational
documentation clearly supports the direct link to and need for the
there are any questions, you may call the Office of the Dean for Special
Student Services at 202-238-2420 or fax us at 202-588-9755.
with the law (Section 504, Rehabilitation Act and the American with Disabilities
Act, "ADA"), Howard University is committed to providing its
disabled students with reasonable accommodations. There are specific guidelines
for the acquisition of accommodations and services under ADA. This brochure
explains in detail of the information you will need to request and to
receive them. Please read this information carefully and share it with
the professional who will be conducting your testing and evaluation or
providing you will the results of prior evaluations.
for Documenting Learning Disabilities
Qualified Professional Must Conduct the Evaluation
conducting assessments and rendering diagnoses of specific learning
disabilities and making recommendations for appropriate accommodations
must be qualified to do so. For example, the following professionals
would generally be considered qualified to evaluate specific learning
disabilities provided that they have additional training and experience
in evaluating adolescent/adult learning disabilities: clinical or educational
psychologists; school psychologists; neuropsychologists; learning disabilities
specialists; medical doctors with training and experience in the assessment
of learning problems in adolescents and adults. It is not appropriate
for professionals to evaluate members of their own families. All reports
should be on letterhead, typed, dated, signed, and otherwise legible.
Must Be Current
the provision of all reasonable accommodations and services is based
upon assessment of the current impact of the student's disabilities
on his or her academic performance, it is in a student's best interest
to provide recent and appropriate documentation. In most cases, this
means that testing usually has been conducted within the past three
Documentation Necessary to Substantiate the Learning Disability Must
Prior documentation may have been useful in determining appropriate
services in the past. However, documentation must validate the need
for services based on the individual's current level of functioning
in the educational setting. A school plan such as an individualized
educational plan (IEP) or a 504 plan is insufficient documentation in
and of itself but can be included as part of a more comprehensive assessment
battery. A comprehensive assessment battery and the resulting diagnostic
report should include a diagnostic interview, assessment of aptitude,
academic achievement, and information processing.
learning disabilities are commonly manifested during childhood,
though not always formally diagnosed, relevant historical information
regarding the student's academic history and learning processes
in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education must be investigated
and documented. An evaluation report should include the summary
of a comprehensive diagnostic interview by a qualified evaluator.
By using a combination of student self-report, interviews with others,
and historical documentation such as transcripts and standardized
test scores, the diagnostician should provide a summary of the following:
A description of the presenting problem(s);
medical history including the absence of a medical basis for
the present symptoms;
history including results of prior standardized testing; reports
of classroom performance;
family history, including primary language of the home, and
the student's current level of fluency of English;
discussion of dual diagnosis, alternative or co-existing mood,
behavioral, neurological, and/or personality disorders along
with any history of relevant medication and current use which
may impact the individual's learning; and exploration of possible
alternatives which may mimic a learning disability when, in
fact, one is not present.
neuropsychological or psychoeducational evaluation for the diagnosis
of a specific learning disability must provide clear and specific
evidence that a learning disability does or does not exist. Assessment,
and any resulting diagnosis, must consist of and be based on a comprehensive
assessment battery, which does not rely on any one test or subtest.
Cognitive Ability. A complete intellectual assessment with all
subtests and standard scores reported is essential.
Achievement. A comprehensive academic achievement battery is
essential with all subtests and standard scores reported for those
subtests administered. The battery must include current levels
of academic functioning in relevant areas such as reading (decoding
and comprehension), mathematics,
and oral and written language.
Processing. Specific areas of information processing (e.g.,
short- and long-term memory; sequential memory;auditory and
visual perception/ processing; processing speed; executive functioning;
motor ability) should be assessed.
Assessment Measures. Non-standard measures and informal assessment
procedures or observations may be helpful in determining performance
across a variety of domains. Other formal assessment measures
may be integrated with the above instruments to help rule in
or rule out the learning disability to differentiate it from
co-existing neurological and/or psychiatric disorders, i.e.,
to establish a differential diagnosis. The evaluator should
address why these assessments were included in addition to the
standard measures. In addition to standardized tests,
it is also very useful to include informal observations of the
student during the test administration.
Documentation Must Include a Specific Diagnosis
diagnoses, such as individual "learning styles," "learning
differences," "academic problems," "computer
phobias," "slow reader," and "test difficulty
or anxiety," in and of themselves do not constitute a learning
disability. It is important to rule out alternative explanations
for problems in learning, such as emotional, attentional, or motivational
problems, that may be interfering with learning but do not constitute
a learning disability. The diagnostician must use direct language
in the diagnosis and documentation of a learning disability, avoiding
the use of such terms as "could possibly" "suggests"
or "is indicative of." If the data indicates that a learning
disability is not present, the evaluator must state that conclusion
in the report.
Actual Test Scores from Standardized Instruments Must be Provided
scores and/or percentiles must be provided for all normed measures.
Reports of grade equivalents must be accompanied by standard scores
and/or percentiles. The data must logically reflect a substantial
limitation to teach which the student is requesting the accommodation.
The particular profile of the student's strengths and weaknesses
must be shown to relate to functional limitations that may necessitate
The tests used should be reliable, valid, and standardized for use
with an adolescent/adult population. The test findings must document
both the nature and severity of the learning disability. Informal
inventories, surveys, and direct observation by a qualified professional
may be used in tandem with formal tests in order to further develop
a clinical hypothesis.
Accommodation Recommended by the Evaluator Must Include a Rationale
is important to recognize that accommodation needs can change over
time and are not always identified through the initial diagnostic
process. Conversely, a prior history of accommodation, without demonstration
of a current need, does not in and of itself warrant the provision
of a like accommodation. The diagnostic report must include specific
recommendations for accommodation(s) as well as a detailed explanation
of why each accommodation is recommended. The evaluator(s) must
describe the specific impact the diagnosed learning disability has
on a specific major life activity as well as the degree of significance
of this impact on the individual's academic abilities. The evaluator(s)
should support recommendations with specific test results or clinical
observations. If no prior accommodation(s) has been provided, the
qualified professional and/or the student should include a detailed
explanation of why no accommodation(s) was used in the past and
why an accommodation(s) is needed at this time. If an accommodation(s)
is not clearly identified in the diagnostic report, ODSSS will seek
clarification, and, if necessary, more information. ODSSS will make
the determination as to whether appropriate and reasonable accommodations
are warranted and can be provided to the individual.
Clinically Interpretive Summary Must be Provided
and clearly stated diagnostic summary based on a comprehensive evaluative
process is a necessary component of the report. Assessment instruments
and the data they provide do not diagnose; rather, they provide important
elements that must be integrated with background information, observations
of the client during the testing situation, and the current context.
It is essential, therefore, that professional judgment be used in the
development of a clinical summary. The clinical summary must include:
that the evaluator ruled out alternative explanations for academic
problems such as poor education, poor motivation and/or study skills,
emotional problems, environmental issues, attentional problems,
and cultural/language differences;
of how patterns in cognitive ability, achievement, and information
processing are used to determine the presence of a learning disability;
of the substantial limitation to learning presented by the learning
disability and the degree to which it effects the individual in
the learning context for which accommodations being requested; and,
of why specific accommodation(s) are needed and how the effects
of the specific disability are mediated by the recommended accommodation(s).
are any questions, you may call the Office of the Dean for Special Student
Services at 202-238-2420 or fax us at 202-588-9755.
student's eligibility has been determined, ODSS prepares letters to professors,
which verifies the existence of the student's disability and documents the
need for accommodations and academic adjustments. The student is responsible
for delivering the letters to the professors and formally requesting accommodations.
technology is housed in the I Lab. A computer is available with speech,
text enlargement, voice recognition, and scanning capability. Kurzweil
3000 (scan and read), Text Help and Inspiration software packages have
been installed to assist students.
provides sign language and oral interpreting services by freelance interpreters
for classes and special events by written request.
conducts screening interviews of students referred to assess the possibility
of a learning disability. When appropriate, students are referred to community
resources for formal diagnostic evaluation, which would be at the student's
expense. Screenings generally take a minimum of one hour. To give each
student uninterrupted and full attention, advance appointments are requested.
requests faculty assistance in locating a note taker from the class in
which the student is enrolled. If students are not available from the
class, ODSSS will assist the student with identifying outside note takers.
provides assistive technology and text in Braille for students who are
blind or have print disabilities such as dyslexia. Students are asked
to obtain any available textbooks from Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic,
prior to requesting books in Braille or on tape. All request must be made
in writing or in person.
may include extended time, and/or use of adaptive equipment. Standard
practice is time and a half for exams. Students with more severe or multiple
disabilities may be granted additional time as determined by ODSSS.
Self Disclosure & Request for Services
All services must be requested in writing. Please
contact ODSSS for a Request for
Service Form or you may download the form from this website.