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 Assistant Director of Accessibility, Equity & Inclusion. After reviewing submitted documentation, the Assistant Director of Accessibility, Equity & Inclusion 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 Assistant Director of Accessibility, Equity & Inclusion may request additional information after reviewing submitted documentation. In some cases, provisional accommodations may be provided while additional information is obtained.
Office of Equity & Inclusion
Point Park University
Student Center, 1st Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222