Disability Services

Northwest College of Art & design strives to ensure that all students are provided with an equal opportunity to participate in the college’s programs, courses, and activities. Students requiring special assistance must self-identify to the Director of Education and provide current documentation supporting their disability.

Students must assist in identifying the proper accommodations and negotiate these accommodations at the beginning of each semester. As outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NCAD will provide reasonable accommodations and academic adjustments as long as those accommodation provisions do not fundamentally alter the nature of the programs or the academic requirements that are considered essential to the NCAD program of study.


NCAD will provide in-class and testing accommodations and services appropriate to the documented disability of the individual student. Common reasonable accommodations may include:

  • The use of a tape recorder for lecture
  • Extra time for exams and/or projects as needed
  • A quiet location for exams
  • The use of a computer during exams
  • A study guide or lecture outlines
  • Referral to community resources
Obtaining Services
  1. Contact the Director of Education and schedule an appointment.
  2. Make your request for accommodation at least 15 days prior to the beginning of each semester to allow time for any accommodation to be coordinated.
  3. Mail, fax, or bring in current medical documentation of your disability.
  4. Upon verification of your disability, the Director of Education will discuss appropriate in-class and alternative testing accommodations with you.
  5. Maintain on-going contact with the Director of Education for support throughout your academic career (highly recommended).
Eligibility for Services

Current documentation from a qualifying professional — such as a physician, clinical psychologist, and psychiatrist — must be provided. The document should indicate that the student meets appropriate criteria of a physical or psychological impairment that substantially limits one or more major life/ college activities. In an academic setting, the disability must substantially limit the ability to participate equally in activities associated with learning and/or demonstration of specific skills and/or knowledge.

Documentation of a learning disability consists of the provision of professional testing and evaluation including a written report, which reflects the individual’s present level of information processing as well as his/her achievement level. The cost and responsibility for providing this professional evaluation shall be borne by the student.

The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that any evaluation and report are appropriate for documenting eligibility and identifying reasonable accommodations.

Documentation must:

  1. Be prepared by a professional qualified to diagnose learning disabilities, which would include but not be limited to: a licensed neuro- psychologist or psychologist, learning disability specialist, or other appropriate professional certified to administer class “C” psychological tests. Experience in the evaluation of adults with learning disabilities is essential.
  2. Be comprehensive. The use of a single test and/or instrument (such as Slingerland, and Scopotic Sensitivity Screening) is not acceptable for the purposes of diagnosis. Minimally, areas to be addressed must include but not be limited to:
    a. Aptitude. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R) with subtest scores is preferred. The Woodcock-Johnson Psycho- Educational Battery Revised: Tests of Cognitive Ability is acceptable. The Leiter International Performance Scale or the Comprehensive Test of Non-Verbal Intelligence (C-TONI) is accepted when cultural bias, or hearing loss is a concern.
    b. Achievement. Current levels of functioning in reading, mathematics and written language are required. Acceptable instruments include the Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery- Revised: Tests of Achievement Stanford Test of Academic Skills (TASK): or specific achievement tests such as the Test of Written Language-2 (TOWL-@), Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests-Revised, or the Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test. (The Wide Range Achievement Test Revised is NOT a comprehensive measure of achievement and therefore is not suitable.)
    c. Information Processing. Specific areas of information processing (e.g., short and long term memory; sequential memory; auditory and visual perception/processing; processing speed) must be assessed. Use of subtests from the WAIS-R or the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability is accepted. (This is not intended to be an exhaustive list or to restrict assessment in other pertinent and helpful areas such as a vocational interest and aptitudes.)
  3. Be current. In most cases, this means within the past three years. Since assessment constitutes the basis for determining reasonable accommodations, it is in a student’s best interest to provide recent and appropriate documentation to serve as the basis for decision-making about a student’s needs for accommodations in an academically competitive environment.
  4. Present clear and specific evidence, which identifies specific learning disabilities and reflects the individual’s present level of functioning in processing and intelligence, as well as achievement. Individual “Learning Styles” and “learning differences” in and of themselves do not specify a learning disability.
  5. Include in the report, the exact instruments used and procedures followed to assess the learning disabilities, test results (including subtests score data), a written interpretation of the results by the professional doing the evaluation, the name of the evaluator, and dates of testing. A list of academic accommodations which would benefit the student as the post-secondary level may also be included and helpful, but not necessary. 6. provide sufficient data to support the particular academic adjustments requested. Requests which are not supported by documentation may not be approved without additional verification.

Documentation should include:

  • Date of evaluation
  • Diagnosis of disability
  • Current impact of the disability
  • Recommendations for accommodations
  • Credentials and contact information of the evaluator

Additional Resources For Students:

  • Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)
  • U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
  • Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)

Contact Information

To learn more about NCAD’s Disability Services and to get answers to specific questions, please contact:

Julius Finley
Director of Education
Northwest College of Art & Design
Email: jfinley@nad.edu