Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, individuals with disabilities have rights and may be eligible for reasonable accommodations at colleges and universities.
Disability Services Documentation Guidelines
At TSC, Disability Services encourages students to contact our office for an appointment. Bringing documentation to the intake appointment can be helpful and expedite the accommodation process. Examples of acceptable documentation would be recent evaluations from psychologists, psychiatrist, neurologists, or medical doctors. 504 / RIT / ARD paperwork, is helpful, but not considered adequate documentation at this time.
We will use the information we obtain through conversation, observations, and if necessary, third-party documentation, to help decide what accommodations, if any, are reasonable. Accommodations are issued on a case by case basis.
Your official diagnostic documentation must be from a licensed practitioner eligible to diagnose and treat your disability. It should include diagnosis, prognosis, and impact on academic performance. Documentation should be recent and should reflect the use of an adult-level testing instrument for all learning disabilities. Documentation should be no more than five years old for LD, three years old for ADHD, and 6 months old for psychiatric disabilities. The types of information Disability Support Services might request are:
- Medical Documentation
- Psychological Evaluation
- Academic and/or Intellectual Assessments
- Current or Previous Work Related or Educational Accommodations
“Reasonable accommodation” is a term often used in higher education. For an accommodation to be unreasonable it would:
- Require a substantial change in an essential element of the curriculum;
- Require substantial alteration of a program or service;
- Cause an undue financial or administrative burden (college-wide);
- Pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
Accommodation requests that do not meet the test of being “reasonable” as outlined above will most often be denied. The decision of whether or not an accommodation is reasonable is made by Disability Services, often with input from college staff and faculty.
Note: TSC does not provide or arrange for personal attendant care or other services of a personal nature such as a private tutor or study coach.
Requests for updated documentation
With the passage of time, and as a student’s personal and academic circumstances change, there may be a need for documentation beyond what was needed at first. The Counselor’s role is always to work with the student to determine what accommodations, if any, are reasonable given each situation presented.
Not all documentation policies are the same
It should be noted that documentation policies differ from one institution to another. Disability Services’ documentation guidelines are designed to fit TSC and may not match those at other institutions.