Walla Walla University
Disability Support Services:
Guidelines for Documentation of Health and Physical Disabilities
Students who are seeking support services from Walla Walla University on the basis of a diagnosed physical disability are required to submit documentation to verify eligibility. Documentation of a physical disability consists of a written report, which includes a diagnosis and medical documentation which addresses specific academic needs of the student. The cost and responsibility for providing this professional evaluation shall be borne by the student.
The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring the letter is appropriate for documenting eligibility. All requests for accommodations will be considered, but the University will make the final determination on whether the requested accommodations are reasonable under state and federal guidelines for private universities. Documentation presented to Disabilities Support Services (DSS) will remain in a private confidential file in the DSS Office. The DSS Coordinator is available to consult with diagnostician(s) regarding these guidelines. The letter should:
- Be prepared by a licensed professional qualified to diagnose the medical condition or impairment (e.g. physician, audiologist, ophthalmologist, etc). Additional information may be necessary from other physicians or from other allied health care providers, such as but not limited to physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, speech pathologists, etc.
- Be comprehensive. The documentation should include a diagnosis and description of how the condition impacts the student's functioning and education. Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated.
The report should be on professional letterhead, signed by the individual making the diagnoses, and include the following information:
A. Diagnosis of the disability, level of severity, and the date of most recent evaluation.
B. A description of the diagnostic criteria or tests used.
C. Current symptoms, severity of symptoms and the approximate date of onset;
D. Treatments, medications, devises or services prescribed or used to minimize the impact of the condition.
E. The expected duration, stability or progression of the condition.
F. How this disorder impacts the student in the post-secondary environment and recommended accommodations.
G. Diagnostician’s name, title, license number, address and phone number.
- Be current. In most cases, this means within the past year. Due to the nature of some health and medical conditions, updated reports may be requested. Since assessment constitutes the basis for determining reasonable accommodations, it is in a student's best interest to provide recent and appropriate documentation to serve as the basis for decision-making about a student's need for accommodations in an academically competitive environment.
- Present clear and specific evidence, which identifies the individual's disability/condition, history of the condition, present level of functioning, symptoms and limitations, and how the student's education may be impacted. This may also include results of medical tests and their interpretation.
- Provide sufficient data to support the particular academic adjustment(s) requested. The documentation should demonstrate the individual has a disability in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Requests which are not supported by proper documentation will not be approved.
Documentation of a Temporary Disability, which interferes in a student's ability to participate in programs, services, and activities for an extended period of time, will be treated on an individual basis and the policy for disability documentation will apply. However, the documentation provided should be very current in order to support the need for accommodation.
Letters should be submitted to:
Sue Huett, M.Ed.