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Office for Students with Di...
Disability Documentation Guidelines
(202) 250 - 2059
(202) 448 - 7259
Federal and state law requires colleges and universities to provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities that substantially impair or limit their opportunity to achieve their maximum academic potential. Students requesting accommodations and/or support services under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 must provide current documentation of the existence of a disability that substantially limits a major life activity (i.e. learning, speaking, breathing, seeing, hearing, walking, etc.).
Every student needs to submit medical documentation to determine appropriate and reasonable accommodations. If documentation is insufficient to validate certain accommodations, OSWD will email you with a request to have more documentation sent to us. More specific guidelines are provided in the links associated with particular types of disabilities in the menu.
Documentation information should validate the need for services based on the individual’s current level of functioning in the educational setting. A school plan such as an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan is insufficient documentation, but these plans can be included as part of a more comprehensive assessment battery.
To register with OSWD a student must provide documentation from a medical professional qualified to diagnose and confirm the presence of the disability or medical condition for which accommodations are sought. This documentation must describe the student’s disability-related academic functional limitations, in order to help OSWD assess and establish the student’s academic accommodations.
The types of documentation, and the qualified professionals able to provide, depend on the nature of the disability. The following “OSWD Documentation Requirements” summarizes what documentation needs to be provided, and by whom.
See our "Guidelines for Documenting a Learning Disability (LD)" (PDF).
Guideline Type: Requirements
See our "Guidelines for Documenting an Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)" (PDF).
Documentation of mobility or other physical disability should consist of a letter or report from a qualified health care professional (i.e. physician). The letter or report should include the following: The type of disability. A statement of the functional limitation(s) caused by the disability. A...
Documentation of mental health disabilities should consist of a detailed report by a qualified mental health professional (i.e. psychiatrist, psychologist or licensed clinical social worker with appropriate competencies related to the student's diagnosis). All documentation must be current, within the past year, and should include...
Documentation of a health-related disability should consist of a letter or report from a qualified health care professional (i.e. physician). This report should include the following: A specific diagnosis. The functional limitations of the disability. Whether the condition is stable or progressive. Whether the condition...
Visual disabilities are usually defined as disorders in the structure and function of the eye as manifested by at least one of the following: visual acuity of 20/70 or less in the better eye after the best possible correction, a peripheral field so constricted that...
Office for Students with Disabilities
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