Students who are seeking academic accommodations must provide documentation. The accommodations process is an interactive one that requires documentation of the disabling condition and functional limitations that result. Under the 2008 ADA Amendment Act, key questions that should be addressed in documentation include:

  • Is there clear evidence of a disability?
  • What is the impact of the disability?
  • Does it substantially limit a major life activity?
  • Is there history of receiving services?

Documentation Guidelines

Students requesting support services from the Office of Disability Services are required to submit documentation of a disability to verify their eligibility for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and University policies. The ADA defines a disability as a substantial limitation of a major life function.

The following guidelines are provided to assist students in identifying and providing the required information when requesting support services from ODS. The types of documentation supportive of a request for accommodations may include medical records, psycho-educational testing or evaluations, and school assessments, among others. ODS may request additional documentation or information from the student to support the request for accommodations.

Documentation Guidelines:

  1. Documentation must be provided that includes a clear statement of the disability with any appropriate supporting data or information.
  2. Medical or diagnostic documentation submitted by the student must be obtained from a licensed medical or health professional who has experience and expertise in the assessment and diagnosis of the particular disability. Any medical documentation must be signed by the medical or health professional and should include the names, titles, professional credentials, license number, addresses, phone numbers, and date of the document or report.
  3. Documentation for eligibility should be current, preferably withing the last five years, but older data will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 
  4. While not required in all cases, a summary of present symptoms including medical information relating to the student's needs, the status of the student's disability (static or changing), and its impact on the demands of the academic program, is recommended to help the University evaluate potential accommodations.
  5. Narrative or descriptive text may be helpful for understanding the student's profile and providing both quantitative and qualitative information about the student's abilities. This includes psycho-educational reports and the use of medication, therapy, medical devices or other treatments.
  6. While not required, documentation may include a summary of cognitive and achievement measures used and evaluation results including standardized scores or percentiles used to make the diagnosis if applicable.
  7. Documentation that includes suggestions of reasonable accommodation(s) which might be appropriate at the post-secondary level may assist the University in identifying appropriate accommodations. Any recommendations should be supported by the diagnosis and clearly articulate how the identified accommodations address any functional limitations of the student in the post-secondary academic setting. While any recommended accommodations are considered by the University, the University retains the sole discretion to determine what accommodations may be provided on a case-by-case basis. 
  8. A history of receiving services, in and of itself, is not sufficient to approve accommodation. Submitting record of receiving accommodations in the past such as a, Individualized Education Plan, or other accommodation plan can be helpful in approving accommodations by giving the evaluator information on what has been helpful in the past.