Speech Impairments

Speech and language disorders refer to problems in communication and related areas, such as oral-motor function. These delays and disorders range from simple sound substitutions to the inability to understand or use language or use the oral-motor mechanism for functional speech.

1. Qualified Evaluator

A licensed audiologist or licensed speech-language pathologist would be considered qualified to diagnose a communication disorder and make recommendations for appropriate accommodations. Documentation must meet the following criteria:

  • include the name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator
  • be presented on professional letterhead, typed, dated, signed, and legible
  • the evaluator may not be an immediate family member

2. Current Documentation

The currency of documentation is dependent upon the nature of the communication disorder. Thus, if the condition that leads to the communication impairment is progressive, DRC will request documentation that is within the last two years. Documentation for non-progressive communication disorders should be five years or less. However, each request will be evaluated on a case by case basis. If your medical document is older than five years old, please have a qualified evaluator as listed above, complete the DRC 102 General Medical and/or Mental Health Documentation Form and submit it with your most current evaluation, as stated below.

3. Comprehensive Documentation of a Communication Disorder should include, but is not limited to:

  • A clear statement of the communication disorder with a summary of present symptoms which meet the criteria for diagnosis of a Communication Disorder.
  • Medical information relating to the student’s needs
  • The status of the student’s current impairment (static, improving or degrading)
  • Its impact on the demands of the academic program
  • Narrative or descriptive text providing both quantitative and qualitative information about the student’s abilities which might be helpful in understanding the student’s profile, including the use of auxiliary aids, hearing aids (if appropriate), etc.
  • Suggestions of reasonable accommodation(s) which might be appropriate at the post-secondary level are encouraged. These recommendations should be linked to the impact of the disability.
  • Recommended alternative communication modes and/or equipment can be suggested, if applicable.
  • Suggestions of reasonable accommodation(s), which might be appropriate at the post-secondary level, are encouraged. These recommendations should be supported by the diagnosis.

4. Supporting Documentation

The qualified evaluator’s report, while necessary, is by no means the only documentation we can use to better understand and accommodate the student with a communication disability. Other helpful documents include records of previous accommodation, high school 504 plans or IEPs, and previous medical evaluations. Please see the DRC 102 General Medical and/or Mental Health Documentation Form [PDF], should you wish to add this to your supporting documentation.

*Please note the on-campus DRC office is currently closed. Students must submit documentation as an attachment to [email protected] prior to their scheduled appointment. 

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