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Tips for Success in the Documentation Process
The process of documenting a disability can be quite confusing and sometimes surprisingly time
consuming. DSS staff are, however, eager to assist students to establish a need for disability
accommodations, and we offer the following tips to facilitate that process.
- Start early! Submit your documentation several months before you plan to start classes at
- Request the documentation flyer that covers the type of disability for which you wish to
receive accommodations. MSU's documentation guidlines for learning, ADHD-based,
traumatic brain injury-related, physical, and psychological disabilities may also be found on this web site Information for Students Appendix B.
After reviewing MSU's documentation guidelines, call a
staff person in DSS to request answers to any documentation-related questions you may
- Contact your school, your physician, or your clinician about your need for full
documentation. Share the documentation flyer from MSU with the appropriate professional
person and request that all information listed in the documentation guidelines be forwarded to DSS.
Keep in mind that the approach to documenting disability preferred by your school, your
physician, or your clinician may be inadequate to fulfill documentation guidelines at MSU. Also
remember that it is the quality and completeness of written documentation, not simply the
professional credentials of the evaluator, that verifies the presence of a disability and
determines eligibility for accommodations. It is important, therefore, that MSU's published
guidelines be taken quite seriously by the professional person who submits the
documentation. A failure to provide full information can significantly delay the process.
- If you are currently in high school and your test data for a learning disability will be more
than three years old (more than one year old if you have an ADHD-based disability) when
you enter MSU-Bozeman, talk with school personnel about being reassessed before you exit
high school. If you are currently receiving special education services, it may be possible to
have a full reassessment done as part of what is called a transition plan. Ask school
personnel about this.
- When all is said and done, responsibility for submitting full documentation rests with you,
and if your school, your physician or your clinician can not provide what is needed, you may
find it necessary to seek additional assessment at your own expense. Personnel in DSS may
be able to refer you to an appropriate professional or to offer information and advice that will
make you a better informed consumer, so feel free to call for assistance.
- Again, get in touch with staff at DSS early and often.