Learning disabilities documentation standards

Make sure you have the right documentation if you request an accommodation for a learning disability.

Qualified Assessor

A qualified assessor is either a:

Registered Psychologist with an expertise in diagnosing Learning Disabilities (LD) and making educational recommendations


Certified School Psychologist who, if in BC, is a member in good standing with the BC Association of School Psychologists. These professionals must be or have been employed by a provincially funded school board/college/university at the time of the LD assessment.

Current Documentation

The qualified assessor's report must be complete, typed on official letterhead, and signed and dated by the qualified assessor. The report must also include:

  • The qualified assessor's name, title, professional credentials, address and phone, fax number, or e-mail
  • History
  • Review of documentation and previous testing, if any
  • Discussion of Standardized Test results (Intelligence, Aptitudes and Achievement, and Emotional Functioning)
  • Appropriate Norm-Referenced Assessment Instruments
  • Test results in Standard scores and/or percentiles
  • Conclusions and recommendations that include specific and, if indicated, realistic educational accommodations accompanied by a rationale

    Diagnostic Features

    The LD diagnosis must contain and report on the following diagnostic features:

    • Diagnosis of the individual's achievement on individually administered, standardized tests in reading, mathematics, or written expression substantially below norms with any additional factors expressed: an associated disorder in cognitive processing, a co-morbid mental disorder or general medical condition, or the individuals' ethnic or cultural background
    • Identified current significant weakness in at least one area of cognitive processing
    • The learning problems significantly interfere with academic achievement or occupational function that requires reading, mathematical, or writing skills

    The report must provide a clearly stated diagnosis of a Learning Disability with reference to DSM diagnostic criteria.

    The diagnosis must describe the level of severity and how the disability currenty significantly interferes with academic function (e.g. reading, memorizing, writing, note-taking, test-taking, etc)

    The report should contain recommendations for specific reasonable accommodations needed to address the current and substantial impact of the LD on the client's academic functioning. Recommendations must be supported by test scores and must be included in the report. 

    Typically, the report should be current and not more than 3-5 years old

    Students should be at least 17 years old at the time of the testing.

    If there are any questions about LD documentation, please email a Accesibility Advisor at access.diversity@ubc.ca.

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