Disability Documentation Guidelines & Forms
The Accessible Education Center (AEC) provides accommodations, services, and auxiliary aids to students with disabilities. The AEC supports students with various disabilities/diagnoses including ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, seizure disorder, traumatic brain injury, mental health, gastrointestinal conditions, deaf or hard of hearing, and visually impairments/blind. It is important to note that this is not an exhaustive list; thus, we welcome all students with disabilities to seek out our services.
Eligibility is established through information obtained from the submitted documentation and the student’s self‐report during the Intake appointment.
The AEC has created verification forms for various categories of diagnoses (see below). However, students can opt to provide AEC with a letter. Letters must be submitted on office letterhead from treating professional’s office and must include a wet signature/DocuSign. Documentation must be from a qualified/licensed professional (e.g., physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, mental health counselor, etc.), who is unrelated to the student, and whose credentials permit the evaluation of the disability. The documentation must include the following information and any other information that will assist the AEC in determining the student’s request:
- Brief summary of professional’s relationship to the student, including duration of time providing care.
- Date of the initial diagnosis and/or date of the most recent visit with the student for this diagnosis.
- The expected duration, stability, and/or progression of the disability.
- Verification of disability status through:
- A diagnosis or identification of the nature of the disability, and;
- A description of the specific functional limitations experienced as a result of the disability and how these limit one or more major life activities.
- The impact of medication on the student's ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary environment, if relevant.
- For students who experience flare ups or intermittent symptoms, describe the current severity, duration, and frequency. Suggest recommendations for accommodations and/or services that the student may require and describe how the student’s disability necessitates the need for the specific requested accommodation.
For Housing requests, the following information is also required or completion of Supplemental Housing Verification Form [pdf]:
- State the specific housing accommodation(s) that are being request.
- Based on the student’s diagnosis and disability-related limitations, are the requested accommodation(s) necessary or a preference?
- Describe how the student's diagnoses necessitates the need for the requested housing accommodation, as it relates to the student's disability.
- Demonstrate how the specific room design and/or living environment will help to mitigate the student's limitations.
For Emotional Support Animal requests, the following information is also required or completion of ESA Verification Form [pdf]:
- How the ESA serves as a mitigating factor in the ongoing treatment or management of the student’s disability, including as related to the use and enjoyment of the student’s campus experience, which includes University Housing.
- Identify if the student is using any measure(s) (e.g., prescriptions, treatment, therapy, etc.) that mitigates the limitation(s) caused by the student’s impairment; if so, do the mitigating measure(s) eliminate the limitation(s).
- Based on your diagnosis, how would the ESA alleviate these limitations? In what ways is the ESA part of the student’s treatment plan?
- Identify any other accommodation that may be equally effective in allowing the student to use and enjoy campus experience, which includes University Housing.
- What type of animal is the student requesting as an ESA? Why this particular type of animal?
For Learning Disabilities: documentation ideally includes a comprehensive evaluation of intelligence and academic achievement, with standardized scaled scores and composite scores to support the diagnosis or eligibility classification. This is commonly included in a psychoeducational evaluation conducted by a school psychologist or a licensed psychologist. Detailed information available on the Learning Disability Documentation Guidelines [pdf].
For Individual Education Plans (IEPs), 504 Plans and SELPAs; these often differ significantly from the accommodations and services provided at the post-secondary level. These plans often do not contain the diagnosis, limitations, severity, duration, and signature of treating professional. For learning disabilities these plans often lack the evaluation/assessment scores that qualify a student as a student with a specific learning disability for accommodations and services at the higher education. Please refer to the above guidelines for more information.
Further assessment or additional documentation may be necessary, if the submitted documentation does not qualify the student as a student with a disability and/or does not support the requested accommodations. For questions, please email email@example.com.