General Guidelines for Disability Documentation
Some disabilities can be verified simply by observation in the Student Disability Services Office. An example of this is the obvious use of a wheelchair as a result of mobility impairment. Other types of disabilities require more formal written documentation. This documentation can only be prepared by a person who is not a family member of the student and who is qualified by professional training and practice to diagnose and treat the impairment related to the disability. Documentation must be typed or word-processed and printed on the letterhead of either the practitioner or the agency hosting the practice. Handwritten notes on prescription pads or handwritten treatment records will not be accepted. A high school IEP or 504 plan is not sufficient documentation of disability. Documentation must be current. In most cases, this means within the past three (3) years. For older documentation, it should be an adult evaluation. Documentation should include the Seven Essential Elements of Quality Disability Documentation:
• The credentials of the evaluator.
• A diagnostic statement identifying the disability
• A description of the diagnostic methodology used
• A description of the current functional limitations. While relatively recent documentation is recommended in most circumstances, common sense and discretion in accepting older documentation of conditions that are permanent or non-varying is recommended. It is important to remember that documentation is not time-bound; the need for recent documentation depends on the facts and circumstances of the individual’s condition.
• A description of the expected progression or stability of the disability.
• A description of past and current accommodations, services and/or medications.
• Recommendations for accommodations, adaptive devices, assistive services, compensatory strategies, and/or collateral support services.
**There may be other documentation required for specific disabilities. Please contact the Students with Disabilities Coordinator for more information.