Do I Qualify for Disability Services?
Documentation of Disability
Documentation is professional diagnostic information prepared by a licensed clinical professional such as a psychologist, clinician, specialist, medical doctor or other qualified diagnostician.
Click here to review our Documentation Guidelines (pdf)
How can I check if my documentation qualifies?
Checklist for qualifying documentation under the documentation guidelines:
________ Falls under 1 or more of the 7 categories
________ Is written by a qualifying professional listed in that category (Example, for the "Psychiatric" category #7, an MD does not qualify)
________ Contains all of the information listed in each of the checklist items under the corresponding category, including a description of the functional limitations/behaviors that significantly impair functioning
________ Contains all 4 points noted at the end of the guidelines titled "The diagnostic report must include"
Please review your qualifying category, and compare to your documentation if the above checklist items are included in your documentation. It is recommended you send these documentation guidelines directly to your provider so they can help determine if they are qualified to provide the documentation, and what information they may need to include based on the checklist.
What needs to be included in the documentation?
Refer to the checklist under the category(ies) that your diagnosis falls under. The required documentation may include one or more of the following: a diagnosis of your current disability, date of the diagnosis, professional evaluation assessments and how that diagnosis was reached, credentials of the diagnosing professional, information on how your disability affects a major life activity, and how the disability affects your academic performance. The diagnosis needs to match the credentials of the professional evaluator. For example, a learning disability can be diagnosed by an educational psychologist whereas a medical condition is diagnosed from a medical doctor. The documentation should provide enough information for you and your school to decide what is an appropriate academic adjustment. It is best to provide the original diagnostic evaluation along with a summarized letter as the summary may have missed required information.
Will my IEP/504 plan meet the documentation requirements?
An individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 plan, if you have one, may help identify services that have been effective for you. This is generally not sufficient documentation, however, because of the differences between post-secondary education and high school education. What you need to meet due to the new demands of post-secondary education may be different from what worked for you in high school. Also, in some cases, the nature of a disability may change. If the documentation that you have does not meet the post-secondary schools requirements, the SSD Coordinator will tell you during your appointment if additional documentation is needed, and what additional documentation you need to provide. You may need a new evaluation in order to provide the required documentation. It is recommended to still make an appointment in order for the SSD Coordinator to determine appropriate accommodations for the college setting.
Who will have access to my documentation? Who do I show my documentation to?
Documentation remains confidential and solely in the department of Services for Students with Disabilities. Your documentation and information is separate and will not appear on any of your other educational information (transcripts, etc.) As stated in our disclosure form, a copy of documentation will only be released directly to the student when a Release of Information is signed upon request. You are only obligated to show your documentation to the SSD department, who is the only department qualified to assess appropriate and reasonable accommodations. Staff & Faculty are not obligated or in the professional scope to determine accommodations. Therefore, they will not be able to accommodate any requests directly and will refer you to this department. You must present your documentation to the SSD department, who will then provide you with a letter of accommodation, to which you will use to present to others when requesting services. This letter of accommodation will only state that your disability has been verified, along with the list of approved accommodations. It will not state confidential information related to your disability. It is up to your discretion when requesting accommodations what disability related information you choose to disclose.
What other important information do I need to know?
Students with disabilities are expected to provide some kind of documentation of your disability so that we can best determine the assistance that will be appropriate to help you gain access. Documentation is particularly important if the disability is not readily apparent as in the case of a hearing impairment, a back injury, a psychological or a learning disability. Your documentation will help the SSD Coordinator to determine the most appropriate accommodations to provide access to our programs and classes. Refusal to provide information will not subject a student to any adverse treatment; however, in order to receive certain services, it is necessary to document the true need. If you do not have documentation, the SSD Office can also refer you to professionals in the community who might be able to evaluate your needs and provide documentation. This is a fee based service in which you will be responsible for all costs. All students must meet the academic requirements and standards considered essential to the integrity of each college course, program or college policy.