To qualify for accommodations through DSS, students must have a qualifying disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ADA defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. A major life activity also includes the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.

In accordance with federal disability laws, post-secondary education students are responsible for obtaining necessary testing to document the existence of a disability.  Institutions of postsecondary education are not required to conduct or pay for an evaluation to document a student’s disability or provide referrals for evaluations.  Please note that high school IEP/ARD paperwork is not considered sufficient documentation at a post-secondary educational level. Colleges do NOT follow, write, or utilize IEPs. Treatment Progess Notes and/or VA Ratings Forms that only indicate percentage(s) of disability are not considered sufficient documentation.
State certificates of blindness and/or deafness may be used as medical documentation - no additional documentation is required to be submitted to DSS with these certificates.
Use the following Documentation Criteria Checklist as a guide to ensure your documentation contains all necessary information to substantiate your qualified disability.  Classroom accommodations cannot be provided to students until appropriate documentation has been submitted and reviewed by a DSS Coordinator.  Please note that documentation that does not contain ALL of the following required information will NOT be accepted by the DSS office.
 
  • Documentation must be current (less than 3 years old is preferred, but documentation within the past 5 years will be reviewed on a case by case basis)
  • Documentation must be typed and on an official letterhead
  • Evaluator must be a licensed professional who is qualified/trained to perform valid testing to support his/her diagnosis within the specific area for which you will be identifying a disability
  • Documentation must clearly identify a specific diagnosis(es) with all appropriate diagnostic codes (i.e. DSM, ICD, and/or ICF codes)
  • Documentation must contain a list of all tests and/or exams that were conducted and used to determine the specific diagnosis/disability
  • Documentation must contain a summary/explanation of all test/exam results/findings
  • Documentation must specifically state which major life activity or activities are substantially limited as a result of the disability
  • Documentation must contain a statement explaining the current impact the student’s disability/diagnosis has in an educational setting and overall academic performance
  • Documentation must also contain recommended learning and/or classroom accommodations in accordance with the diagnosis/disability
  • Documentation must also contain an explanation/rationale of why the recommended accommodations are needed and related to the documented disability
  • Documentation must be signed by the evaluator with respective license number
*If submitted documentation is deemed insufficient, the student will informed by the DSS office and advised of required documentation.