Guidelines, Resources, & Forms
Documentation of a Disability
Students who are requesting accommodations and services from the Learning Accommodations Center are required to submit documentation of a disability to verify eligibility under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis and upon an individualized review of documentation and all relevant factors.
General Documentation Guidelines
The following guidelines have been modeled after the Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) Best Practices for Disability Documentation in Higher Education.
- Documentation needs to be provided by a licensed or otherwise properly credentialed professional. A match between the credentials of the individual making the diagnosis and the condition being reported is expected. Reports must be signed, dated and on a letterhead or a Disability Verification Form provided by the Learning Accommodations Center.
- Documentation must include a clear diagnostic statement identifying the disability. This would describe how the condition was diagnosed, how long the condition is expected to last, and the prognosis.
- Comprehensive documentation should include a description of the diagnostic methodology used. Diagnostic methods need to be congruent with the particular disability and current professional practices in the field.
- Documentation needs to include a description of the current functional limitations. In most circumstances, this means that documentation needs to be recent to include information on how the disabling condition currently impacts the individual. Reasonable accommodations are based on the current impact of the disability in an educational setting, including academic performance. A combination of the results of formal evaluation procedures, a completed Disability Verification Form, if requested, and the individual’s self-report will be used to document the impact.
- When appropriate, the documentation should provide a description of the expected progression or stability of the disability. It is helpful to have information on expected changes in the functional impact of the disability over time and in different situations. Information on the cyclical or episodic nature of the disability and known or suspected environmental triggers can help in providing appropriate accommodations/supports.
- The most comprehensive documentation will include a description of current and past accommodations, services and/or medications and their effectiveness. A description of side-effects of medications is helpful. While accommodations provided in another setting do not automatically carry over, they may be useful in determining reasonable accommodations in the college setting.
- Comprehensive documentation will include suggestions for current accommodations and services. There should be a link between the suggested accommodations and the student’s functional limitations. Suggested accommodations provide valuable information in determination of reasonable accommodations, but do not guarantee that specific accommodations will be approved.
NOTE: All submitted reports become the property of the Learning Accommodations Center and are kept in a confidential file. Students should submit copies of documentation, not originals.
After General Documentation Is Submitted
- Information is forwarded to the NECC Assessment Center if the student needs to take an assessment with an accommodation.
A referral may be made to the Assistive Technology Specialist if the student needs assistive technology software and/or devices as part of their accommodations.
- Once a Student has taken the NECC Assessment and registered for classes, they meet with a Disability Services Specialist to develop a plan for accommodations for each class.
- The student delivers a Faculty Packet to each of their instructors informing the instructors of the student’s accommodations.
- Resources for Neuro-Psychological and Psycho-Educational Testing for students who would like testing for LD, ADHD, etc.
- See: General Information and Student Accommodations Information for more information on available Learning Accommodations Center services
- See: Assistive Technology Information for more information on available learning accommodation technologies.