Disability Documentation Guidelines

The Office of Learning Resources (OLR), uses the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) guidelines for documentation.

Documentation should support your accommodation(s) request and in general, should follow the guidelines outlined on this page for Documentation from External Sources.  

  • For permanent disabilities, documentation should be relevant but does not necessarily have to be “recent.”  Historic information, supplemented by your meeting with Disability Services staff is often sufficient to describe how the condition impacts you currently.
  • For new or temporary injuries and illnesses, documentation should be current. 

*Supporting documentation for service & support animals must also include the following:

  1. 1. Your formal diagnosis based on DSM-IV or ICD-10 guidelines, with associated codes.
  2. 2. For a service animal, a description of the work or tasks the animal is trained to perform; for an ESA, a description of how the animal will mitigate the symptoms of your diagnosed condition.
Guidelines for Documentation from External Sources

Please note that any costs associated with obtaining supporting documentation are the responsibility of the student. This includes any costs associated with diagnosing, evaluating, testing, etc. 

Types of Records

  • Educational records such as IEP or 504 plans, Summary of Performance (SOP), teacher observations, and other reports of past accommodations.
  • Medical records, reports and assessments created by health care providers, school psychologists, teachers, or the educational system such as multifactorial, psycho-educational or other evaluations.
Providers
  • Documentation should be provided by a licensed or otherwise properly credentialed professional who has undergone appropriate and comprehensive training, has relevant experience, and has no personal relationship with the individual being evaluated.
  • Formal reports should be submitted in English, on signed and dated letterhead from the provider.

Content

  • A clear diagnostic statement that describes how the condition was diagnosed, provide information on the functional impact, and details the typical progression or prognosis of the condition.  This should include a description of the diagnostic criteria, evaluation methods, procedures, tests and dates of administration, as well as a clinical narrative, observation, and specific results.  If the condition is not stable, information on interventions (including the individual’s own strategies) for exacerbations and recommended timelines for re-evaluation are most helpful.
  • Information on how the disabling condition(s) currently impacts the individual, taking into account the individual’s self-report, the results of formal evaluation procedures, and clinical narrative to provide necessary information for identifying possible accommodations
  • A description of current and past accommodations, services, medications (and side-effects), auxiliary aids, assistive devices, and support services, including their effectiveness.   While accommodations provided in another setting are not binding on the current institution, they may provide insight in making current decisions.
  • Recommendations for accommodations, services, auxiliary aids, assistive devices, compensatory strategies and support services and a logical relationship to their functional limitations