Documentation Guidelines for Academic Accommodations
Student Disability Services works with students with disabilities to obtain documentation which assists in determining eligibility for accommodations. Eligibility for reasonable and appropriate accommodations is based on current, comprehensive disability documentation. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain and provide this information in a timely manner.
By sending the most comprehensive information possible, students will help avoid delays in the processing of documentation. Simply providing documentation does not ensure students will be eligible. Documentation will be used to determine what is reasonable and appropriate for the individual, including history of accommodations and services used in the past.
Your diagnosis is generally considered confidential as are the documents you provide to support your claim of disability. There are times your information may be shared on a need to know basis with university officials in keeping with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
There are two ways to provide documentation from an appropriately qualified professional that makes evident the current impact of the disability as it relates to the accommodation(s) requested.
- Have your provider complete the appropriate Disability Verification Form below.
- Follow the General Guidelines below to assist you in working with your treating/diagnosing professional(s) to prepare the information required to evaluate your request for services.
Please see Housing Accommodations for more specific information regarding documentation for a housing accommodation.
SDS will evaluate learning disability documentation on a case by case basis; general guidelines are provided below.
- A comprehensive psycho-educational test battery, which means intelligence/ability testing and educational/achievement testing are recommended. A full diagnostic report, including all standard test scores as well as subtest scores and the evaluator's narrative, is recommended. If you are providing information from a public school, include the most recent Comprehensive Evaluation (i.e. Multi-factored Evaluation) and Individual Educational Program (IEP) and the original eligibility evaluation as well as any other MFE's that include the results of a psycho-educational test battery. These documents alone may or may not provide adequate information to document the learning disability.
- A diagnosis made by (a) qualified professional(s) i.e., licensed school psychologist, licensed psychologist, learning disabilities/educational specialist is suggested.
- A description of current functional limitations is helpful in determining reasonable accommodations. Psycho-educational testing completed within the last three years typically provides a better assessment of current functional limitations.
- Suggestions for appropriate accommodations are helpful. It is important that these suggestions are based upon functional limitations. If it is not evident why an accommodation is suggested by assessing test scores and resulting functional limitations, then a rationale for the accommodations is necessary.
Any documentation submitted will be reviewed and shoud meet the following criteria:
- Current functional impact of the condition(s). Please describe how this condition impacts their daily life, especially in regards to their academics. Also, indicate how the condition impairs any major life activities, such as concentrating, learning, sleeping, etc.
- Treatments, medications, accommodations/auxiliary aids, services currently prescribed or in use. Provide a description of treatments, medications, accommodations and/or services currently in use and their estimated effectiveness in minimizing the impact of the condition(s). Include any significant side effects that may impact physical, perceptual, behavioral or cognitive performance. If you feel that any additional accommodations are warranted, please list them along with a clear rationale and related functional limitations. Any accommodations will be taken into consideration, but not automatically implemented.
- The expected progression or stability of disability over time. If possible, provide a description of the expected change in the functional impact of the condition(s) over time. If the condition is variable, describe the known triggers that may exacerbate the condition.
- A diagnostic statement identifying the disability. When appropriate, include International Classification of Diseases (ICD) or Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) codes, the date of the most recent evaluation, or the dates of evaluations performed by referring professionals. If the most recent evaluation was not a full evaluation, indicate when the last full evaluation was conducted.
Student Disability Services prefers documentation be provided in English. Documentation received in a language other than English may delay the accommodation process and may require third party translation at the student's expense. Please contact our office as early as possible for a case by case consultation regarding non-English documentation.
Temporary Illness or Injury
A student who has a temporary illness (e.g. cold or flu), or is recovering from surgery not based on a long-term condition would not be considered to have a disability.