Guidelines for Documentation of a Disability

In order to determine eligibility and provide accommodations, the Office of Disability Services will need documentation. The type of documentation required may depend upon the type of disability and the specific accommodations a student would like to request.

To be eligible for disability services, a student must provide written documentation to establish that a disability currently exists and substantially limits one or more basic life activities, as described below in each link:

Disability documentation should:

  • Adequately verify the nature and extent of the disability in accordance with current professional standards and techniques.

  • Be prepared by an appropriately licensed clinical or educational professional(s) familiar with the history and functional implications of the disability. Reports must be on letterhead, dated and signed.

  • Provide documentation of current disability as well as a historical record of disability when appropriate. This information may be from the student academic record, formal assessment tools appropriate to measure student performance and disability, teacher and parent input. An education diagnostician or school psychologist may provide current educational diagnostic evaluation information.

  • Clearly link the functional limitation(s) of the disability to the individual student’s specific accommodation request(s). The report should explain and document how the requested accommodation affects the individual’s disability on the specific task or activity (i.e., how extended time on an exam impacts attention deficit disorder; how a learning disability interferes with not-taking skills such that a classroom note-taker is needed).

  • Provide rationale for the accommodation requested in each academic area (Math, Reading, and English).

  • Show evidence from the student’s assessment to support each specific accommodation need. Because accommodations are individually determined, a generic list of accommodations that may or may not be appropriate for the individual student should be avoided.

  • Provide additional information about best mode of learning (i.e., FM loop, lip reading, sign language for hearing impaired or Braille, large print, voice for visually impaired). This is important to validate accommodation request.

  • Show multiple disabilities, if present, and note primary disability and provide any relevant information regarding how the disabilities may interact to validate request.

  • Contain a list of medications along with possible side effects.

  • Be updated if there has been significant change in disability requiring major alterations in accommodations, more documentation may be required.



  • Dyslexia and Learning Disabled documentation should include testing, subscores, and discrepancy.

  • Psychological disabilities should include DSM IV diagnosis.

  • Documentation should show functional limitations of disability. Department of Assistive and Rehabilitation Services (DARS) or TRC tuition waiver alone is not sufficient to support appropriate accommodations request.