Documentation Guidelines

Documentation requirements help us develop an effective access plan for each student.
In this Section

Disability Services helps to develop a plan.

Disability Services verifies a student has a disability and works with them to develop a plan of equal access. Documentation guidelines are not meant to be used exclusively or without contacting Disability Services regarding the individual nature of a disability.

Requirements

It is the responsibility of the student with a disability to provide current and comprehensive documentation of their disability from the appropriate licensed professional. Pending the receipt of documentation, Disability Services reserves the right to deny accommodations or services.

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Students requesting means of equal access on the basis of attention deficit disorder, with or without hyperactivity (ADD, ADHD), should provide documentation containing:

    • A statement of the diagnosis from the qualified individual.
    • A summary of the assessment procedure.
    • A description concerning impacts within an educational setting.
    • Any statement regarding medication.
    • Any recommendations regarding means of access within a learning environment.

    Documentation should be from a professional who has undergone comprehensive training and has relevant experience in differential diagnosis and the full range of psychiatric disorders (e.g., licensed clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist, psychiatrist or other relevantly trained medical doctor).

    Hearing Loss

    Students requesting means of equal access on the basis of deafness or hearing loss should provide documentation containing:

    • An audiological evaluation and/or audiogram, no older than 3 years if loss is progressive.
    • An assessment of the functional limitations of the hearing loss and whether the degree of limitation is mild, moderate or substantial.
    • Suggestions of appropriate means of access within a learning environment for this individual.
    Low Vision or Blindness

    Students requesting means of equal access on the basis of low vision or blindness should provide documentation containing:

    • An ocular assessment or evaluation from an ophthalmologist.
    • A low-vision evaluation of residual visual function, when appropriate.
    • An assessment of the functional limitation(s) of the condition(s), and whether the degree of limitation is mild, moderate or substantial.
    • Suggestions of appropriate accommodations in an educational environment for this individual.
    Mobility, Systemic or Health-Related Disabilities

    Students requesting means of equal access on the basis of a mobility or orthopedic disability, or a systemic health impairment, should provide documentation containing:

    • A statement of diagnosis.
    • An assessment of the functional limitations of the condition(s)and whether the degree of limitation is mild, moderate or substantial.
    • Suggestions of appropriate means of access within a learning environment for this individual.
    Psychiatric Disability

    Students requesting means of equal access on the basis of a psychiatric disability should provide documentation containing:

    • A statement of diagnosis.
    • An assessment of the functional limitations of the conditions(s) and whether the degree of limitation is mild, moderate, substantial or fluctuates.
    • A statement regarding medication(s), if any.
    • Suggestions of appropriate means of access within a learning environment for this individual.

    Documentation should be from a professional who has undergone comprehensive training and has relevant experience in differential diagnosis and the full range of psychiatric disorders (e.g., licensed clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist, psychiatrist or other relevantly trained medical doctor).

    Specific Learning Disability

    Students requesting accommodation on the basis of a specific learning disability must provide documentation containing:

    To establish the need for accommodation, documentation must reflect the current impact of the learning disability. Testing must be current. In general, this means within the past three years for a high school student and within the past five years for an adult.

    Diagnostic Interview - A description of the presenting problem(s); developmental, medical, psycho-social and employment histories; family history (including primary language of the home and the student's current level of English fluency); and a discussion of comorbidity where indicated.

    Assessment - A neuropsychological or psycho-educational evaluation is required and must provide clear and specific evidence that a learning disability exists and that alternative explanations for lower than expected performance have been ruled out. Assessment, and any resulting diagnosis, must consist of, and be based on, a comprehensive assessment that relies on multiple forms of evidence (i.e., standardized test results, informal assessment results, observational and historical data) that supports a learning disability diagnosis.

    Evidence should be precise, objective, valid and acceptable in the field. Reports should follow statistically sound and widely accepted practices for interpreting data. Identifying a discrepancy between or among test scores is not sufficient to warrant the diagnosis of a learning disability or establish eligibility for accommodation. Evidence that establishes a clear link between specific deficit areas and the functional limitations experienced by the individual must be provided.

    For the neurological or psycho-educational evaluation to illustrate a substantial limitation to learning, the comprehensive assessment battery must contain the following domains:

    • Aptitude/Cognitive Ability
    • Academic Achievement
    • Information Processing

    Clinical Summary - Documentation that indicates the substantial limitations to major life activities posed by the specified learning disability. It should describe the extent to which these limitations impact the academic context for which accommodations are being requested

    Clinical Summaries suggest how the specific effects of the learning disability may be accommodated and states how the effects of the learning disability are mediated by the recommended accommodations.

    Documentation should be from a professional who has undergone comprehensive training and has relevant experience in differential diagnosis and the full range of psychiatric disorders (e.g., licensed clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist, psychiatrist or other relevantly trained medical doctor).

     
    Traumatic Brain Injury

    Students requesting means of equal access on the basis of a traumatic brain injury or brain insult should provide documentation from a qualified healthcare professional containing:

    • Thorough neuropsychological evaluation including assessment of the areas of attention, visuoperception/visual reasoning, language, academic skills, memory/learning, executive function, sensory, motor, and emotional status. Data should include subtest scores and percentiles.

    • Evidence of current impairment. A history of individual's presenting symptoms and evidence of behaviors that significantly impair functioning.

    • A diagnostic interview. The interview must contain self-report and third party information pertaining to: developmental history, family history, learning or psychological difficulties, relevant medical history, and a thorough academic history.

    • Evidence of alternative diagnoses or explanations ruled out. The documentation must investigate and discuss the possibility of dual diagnoses and alternative or coexisting mood, learning, behavioral, and/or personality disorders that may confound the diagnosis.

    • A specific psychological diagnosis as per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.

    • A clinical summary which: (a) indicates the substantial limitations to major life activities posed by the disability, (b) describes the extent to which these limitations would impact the academic context for which accommodations are being requested, and (c) suggests how the specific effects of the disability may be accommodated, and (d) states how the effects of the disability are mediated by the recommended accommodations.

    Confirm Your Documentation

    Requested documentation may or may not meet the guidelines required of other academic or testing organizations.
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    Costs Related to Documentation

    All costs incurred obtaining documentation is borne by the student. If the initial documentation is incomplete or inadequate to determine the extent of the disability and reasonable accommodations, Disability Services may require additional documentation.  Any cost of obtaining additional documentation is also borne by the student.  If the University desires a second professional opinion, the University bears the cost.