Disability Documentation Guidelines Disability Documentation Overview
Documentation establishes that a student has a disability and it provides a basis for determining reasonable accommodations.
Each student requesting accommodations for a disability is responsible for acquiring appropriate documentation to support his or her request and submitting it to the coordinator of disability services. After reviewing submitted documentation, the coordinator of disability services will schedule an interview with the student to discuss reasonable accommodations.
Prepare your documentation
Please review the following guidelines and share them with the professional preparing the documentation:
- Documentation should be on letterhead, typed, dated and signed. Also, it should clearly show the name, title, professional credentials, address, telephone and fax numbers of the diagnosing and/or treating professional.
- Documentation must be prepared by a professional with proper credentials for diagnosing and/or treating the disabling condition and who has no familial or personal relationship with the student.
- Documentation should reflect the current level of functioning and need for accommodations. Generally this means assessment and/or treatment that is no more than three years old. However, for psychiatric disabilities and changeable physical disabilities, documentation should be no more than six months old.
- Documentation should include:
- A clear statement of diagnosis. When appropriate, diagnostic codes from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association are helpful.
- The date of diagnosis and/or most recent assessment, and a description of the diagnostic methodology used.
- An explanation of the current functional limitations resulting from the disability. Information should clearly show how the condition impacts major life activities.
- Information regarding progression or stability of the condition.
- Information regarding the impact of medications and any adverse side effects, if applicable.
- A description of past accommodations and/or strategies for support and their effectiveness.
- Recommendations for accommodations and/or strategies for support.
Documentation should establish a clear relationship between the recommendations and functional limitations.
For students requesting accommodations for a learning disability or attention deficit disorder, it is most helpful to provide a comprehensive evaluation that reflects adult status (18 years or older) and includes:
- A summary of the presenting problem, diagnostic interview and background information (educational, medical, family history, etc.) that is relevant to the disability.
- The names of the aptitude, achievement and information processing tests and/or other tests/procedures used to determine the diagnosis, evaluation results including actual test scores expressed as standard scores and/or percentiles, and the date(s) of testing/evaluation.
- A clinical summary with diagnosis and recommendations.
- Secondary school information, such as an Individualized Education Plan, a Comprehensive Evaluation Report, a 504 Plan, and a Summary of Performance, may be useful. However, this information alone may not be sufficient for determining reasonable accommodations and/or strategies for support in the post-secondary setting.
The coordinator of disability services may request additional information after reviewing submitted documentation. In some cases, provisional accommodations may be provided while additional information is obtained.
Center for Student Success
Point Park University
West Penn Building, 5th floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222