Eligibility Process and Documentation Guidelines
Student Disability Services (SDS) determines eligibility for reasonable and appropriate accommodations by following a process that is aligned with best practice and subscribes to current legal precedent in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA). SDS promotes a process that is individualized and interactive.
The process begins when students complete the SDS Confidential Registration Form as a means to self-disclose to SDS indicating their disability and accommodation needs.
Additionally, to further substantiate a disability as defined by ADAAA, SDS encourages students to provide documentation that describes the nature and impact of their disability on a major life activity and more specifically within an educational setting. Typically, this information is provided by a third party evaluator.
In all, SDS considers information from three primary documentation sources as is necessary and appropriate to potentially establish eligibility for accommodations as follows:
- Student Self-Report and Direct Observation and Interaction
Students should complete the SDS Confidential Registration Form. This form provides students an opportunity to describe firsthand how their disability impacts them in the current educational environment, types of accommodations previously received, and those they anticipate may be needed. Students may include supplemental information as appropriate.
SDS encourages students to participate in an intake meeting once their documentation has been submitted. An interactive conversation between SDS and the student is often invaluable to the process.
- Information from External or Third Parties
Documentation of a disability from a qualified evaluator or professional may also be helpful in substantiating the need for accommodations. Information from a qualified professional will typically fill in any information gaps from other documentation sources. Documentation may include but is not limited to psychoeducational or neuropsychological assessments and/or other clinical reports. The following criteria should be included in third party evaluations and reports:
A definitive diagnosis from the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)
A description of the functional limitations as a result of the disability
The impact that the disability has on a major life activity and within a university setting
History of onset with current level of severity, expected duration, and/or progression
Accommodations recommended based on a substantial limitation to a major life activity
Typed on letterhead, signed, and dated by a qualified professional
In the absence of or in addition to an evaluator's report, students may have their clinician complete the SDS Disability Certification Form. This form is designed to address each of the criteria noted above. SDS reserves the right to ask for additional documentation if necessary to determine eligibility for accommodations.