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Documentation Policy Impact

Documentation Policy

Qualified individuals with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. To request accommodations, the student must register and submit current (within the last 3 years) documentation from a licensed professional that identifies the disability and the ways in which that disability impacts the student in an academic setting. A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis and through an interactive process between the student and the Office of Accessibility Services (“OAS”).

Documentation Guidelines

Documentation must be completed by an appropriately credentialed professional, such as a health care provider, psychologist, licensed counselor, etc. on their official letterhead. Diagnoses of Learning Disabilities must be accompanied by copies of the psychoeducational assessment.

All documentation must be on the professional’s official letterhead and include the following information:

  • The date the document was completed;
  • A diagnostic statement identifying the disability, including the date of the original diagnosis;
  • A current description of how the disability impacts one or more of the student’s major life activities and that supports the need for accommodations;
  • A description of the frequency and expected progression or stability of the disability over time;
  • Treatment, medications, and/or assistive devices currently in use;
  • A description of what accommodations have previously been helpful for the student and any recommendation for accommodations (i.e. extended test time, flexibility in attendance, alternative format textbooks, gluten-free meals, etc.); and
  • The name, signature, and credentials of the diagnosing professional with relevant experience who has no personal relationship with you.

Examples of appropriate documentation:

  • A letter from your health care provider on their letterhead that contains all the requested information above;
  • Neuropsychological, psychoeducational, and medical evaluations; or
  • Audiograms, eye exams, etc.

The following documentation is not adequate for determining accommodations:

  • A brief note from a physician or health professional that simply provides a diagnosis without offering supporting documentation. This includes notes written on a prescription pad, as well as aftercare instructions;
  • Evaluations that identify “challenges” but do not specifically diagnose a disability;
  • Documentation that is outdated, incomplete, or does not clearly define the functional limitations of the disability;
  • Individual Education or 504 Plans; or
  • Documentation of accommodations from a previous institution of higher learning. 

Supplemental documentation, such as medical reports, psychoeducational testing, IEP’s and 504 Plans, or other relevant documents, may be submitted upon request from the OAS. These documents may also serve as an appropriate starting place for discussions about accommodations with the OAS. A request for additional documentation, as well as further evaluation, may also be discussed to assist in the authorization of accommodations.

All documentation will be kept confidential. Limited information, when needed for legitimate educational interest, is released and/or discussed on a need-to-know basis and is subject to FERPA guidelines. Outside the FERPA guidelines, no information will be released and/or discussed without consent from the individual.

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the documentation submitted is appropriate and meets these guidelines. The Office of Accessibility Services reserves the right to determine whether submitted documentation supports the need for reasonable accommodations. Some accommodation requests may require additional documentation. If you have any questions regarding acceptable or appropriate documentation, please contact or 304-367-4543.

Download PDF of the Documentation Policy