Physical / Medical Disability

Guidelines for Documentation of Physical or Medical Disabilities

The following guidelines are provided to help assure that the documentation accurately verifies eligibility for individuals with physical or medical disabilities. The responsibility for providing the necessary information lies with the student, including the associated costs. The Assistant Director for DSS is available to consult with physician(s) regarding these guidelines. 

The documentation must be prepared by a licensed professional, such as a physician, audiologist, or ophthalmologist, etc.  Additional information may be required from other physicians or allied healthcare providers, such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, or speech pathologists. 

The documentation should demonstrate that the individual has a disability in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It should also provide sufficient data to support the specific academic adjustments being requested. As the documentation serves as the basis for determining accommodations, it is in the student's best interest to provide recent and appropriate documentation that supports their need for accommodations in an academically competitive environment. 

The following guidelines are provided to ensure that evaluations and reports are suitable for documenting eligibility and determining reasonable accommodations. The documentation should include: 

  • A clear statement of the medical diagnosis of the disability and information on how it limits a major life activity. 

  • A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used for the medical diagnosis. 

  • A description of the diagnosis, including evaluation results and standardized scores if applicable. 

  • Details about the type and severity of current symptoms. 

  • A summary of how the disability affects the student in the postsecondary educational environment. 

  • A description of the treatments, medications, and assistive devices/services currently prescribed or in use. 

  • Information about any existing side effects of medication that affect the student's ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary educational environment (e.g., physical, perceptual, behavioral, or cognitive). 

  • A description of the expected progression or stability of the disability over time. 

  • Suggestions regarding academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and services may be included; however, the final determination rests with the Disability Support Services office. 

The documentation should be on professional letterhead, signed by the professional, and include their title, license number, address, and phone number. 

In the case of temporary disabilities that significantly interfere with a student's participation in programs, services, and activities for an extended period, the guidelines for disability documentation will be applied on an individual basis. However, the provided documentation should be very current to support the need for accommodations. 

If there are any questions regarding documentation, please contact the Assistant Director for Disability Support Services at or 509 527-2313.