Documenting a Disability

The staff of Office of Disability Services requests disability-related documentation from an appropriate professional to verify a student as having a disability and to determine reasonable accommodations. The cost of the documentation is the responsibility of the student. If the initial documentation is incomplete or inadequate to determine the extent of the disability and reasonable accommodations, the Office of Disability Services has the discretion to require additional documentation.

It is not considered appropriate for professionals to evaluate members of their families.

Handwritten notes on prescription pads will not be accepted.

ODS offers two differing documentation packets to facilitate the gathering of complete and appropriate documentation (one specific to learning disabilities and one which should cover all other disabilities.)

All documentation must minimally include the following:

  • The documentation must be from a qualified professional. The name, title/credentials, address, phone number, state of license and license number of the evaluator (where appropriate). Qualified professionals vary due to the nature of the disability.
  • The documentation must identify an actual diagnosis of an impairment; if a full psycho-education evaluation was done, this evaluation report should also be submitted (learning disability/ADHD evaluations for example)
  • The documentation must discuss functional limitations in an academic environment which are caused by the impairment;
  • The documentation should recommend accommodations to compensate for identified functional limitations.
  • The documentation should list current medication, dosages, and existing (not possible) side effects (where applicable).

Qualified Professionals

The documentation/evaluation should be done by a psychologist, psychiatrist or medical doctor.

Hearing Impairments
The documentation should come from an audiologist or otologist.

Invisible Disabilities/Chronic Health Diagnoses
The documentation should come from an appropriate medical professional

Learning Disabilities
The licensing of the appropriate professionals may vary from state to state but in general, the evaluation should be done by a psychologist or other appropriately trained professional in the area of learning disability evaluation/assessment.

A comprehensive assessment battery and the resulting diagnostic report should include a diagnostic interview, assessment of aptitude, academic achievement, information processing and a diagnosis. It is not acceptable for an evaluation to consist of only one test for the purpose of diagnosis. All assessment instruments used in the evaluation must have age appropriate norms for high school seniors/college freshmen or older students. All standardized measures must be represented by standard scores or percentile ranks based on published norms.

Physical Impairments
The documentation should come from a physician or a nurse practitioner.

Psychological Disabilities
The documentation should come from a psychologist, psychiatrist or other licensed mental health professional.

Vision Impairments
The documentation should come from an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

After submission of documentation, the student should set an appointment with ODS staff. During this appointment, accommodations will be discussed/determined and all necessary forms and procedures will be reviewed with the student.