ahead conference 2012 jean ashmore sharon downs carol funckes scott lissner joanne simon n.
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AHEAD’s Updated Guidance on Reasonable Documentation
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  1. AHEAD Conference 2012 Jean Ashmore, Sharon Downs, Carol Funckes, Scott Lissner, JoAnne Simon AHEAD’s Updated Guidance on Reasonable Documentation

  2. Why? • Changes in understandings of disability • 2008 Amendments to the ADA • Updated EEOC and DOJ regulations and accompanying guidance

  3. What? • NOT a list of characteristics of documentation • A comprehensive approach to using a variety of types of information to support decision-making about accommodation requests • Reflective of legal and judicial thinking • Responsive to disability studies scholarship • REPLACEMENT of AHEAD’s previous guidance

  4. Background • ADAAA • Rejected heightened standard for demonstrating disability • Primary purpose: “to make it easier for people with disabilities to obtain protection..” • Law never required documentation • Law allows PSE to request documentation that is reasonable and related to the accommodation(s) requested

  5. Sources & Forms • Primary Documentation • Student Self-Report • Secondary Documentation • Observations by disability professional • Interaction with disability professional • Tertiary Documentation; Third-Party Documentation; External Documentation • What we traditionally think of as “documentation”

  6. Primary Documentation Student Self-Report It is only through understanding an individual's experience in context that we can translate external information into useable information on the barriers and facilitators to access and full participation

  7. Past History From Self-Report • Barriers & Problem situations • Facilitators & Accommodations • Tools & Adaptive Devices • Social Networks & Assistive Services • Skills & Compensatory Strategies • Resources & Collateral Support Services

  8. Secondary Documentation • Observations by disability professional • Interaction with disability professional • Professional conclusions fromall information The weight given to the individual’s description will be influenced by its clarity, internal consistency, its congruence with tertiary information and the professional’s observations of the student

  9. Tertiary, Third-Party or External Documentation • Educational records • Medical records • Reports and assessments • psychoeducational evaluations • IEPs • SOP • Teacher observations • Information on previous use of accommodations

  10. Professional Filter The weight given to external documentation will be influenced by its clarity, internal consistency, and congruence with student self-report and disability professional’s observations. External documentation will vary in its relevance and value depending on the original context, credentials of the evaluator, relevant detail provided and the comprehensiveness of the narrative.

  11. Purposes of ALL forms of documentation • Support disability professional in • Understanding the student’s disability experience • understanding how disability may impact the student in the academic setting • making informed decisions about accommodations • NOT to meet a static protocol for information that needs to be “on file”

  12. Process • Deliberate, collaborative process with student to explore: • Previous educational experiences • Past use of accommodations & their effectiveness • Current or anticipated barriers • Professional judgment to assess • Clarity and consistency of student’s report • Congruency with observations • Congruency with external information

  13. Process • Determine appropriateness of accommodations • Is the barrier disability related? • Is there a connection between request and barrier? • Would the accommodation provide access? • Is the accommodation reasonable? IF THERE IS NOT ENOUGH INFORMATION TO MAKE THESE DETERMINATIONS, REQUEST INFORMATION SPECIFICALLY TARGETED TO PROVIDING THE MISSING INFORMATION

  14. Highlighted Concepts • Individual Review • Commonsense Standard • Reviewing requests for accommodation is different than providing “treatment” • Non-burdensome Process • In initially requesting accommodations • In implementing accommodations • Relevant Information • Current not necessarily “recent”

  15. Contact information • Jean Ashmore jean@ahead.org • Sharon Downs sadowns@ualr.edu • Carol Funckes carolf@email.arizona.edu • Scott Lissner lissner.2@osu.edu • Jo Anne Simon joanne@joannesimon.com