What determines a Physical Disability?
Any physical disability or systemic illness is considered to be in the medical domain and requires expertise of a physician, including a neurologist, physiatrist or other medical specialist with experience and expertise in the area for which accommodations are being requested. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.
The following guidelines are provided to assist the Disability Services office in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations. Documentation serves as a foundation that legitimizes a student's request for appropriate accommodations. Recommended documentation includes:
- A clear statement of the medical diagnosis of the orthopedic/mobility disability or systemic illness,
- Documentation for eligibility must reflect the current impact the physical disability or systemic illness has on the student's functioning (the age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the student's request for accommodations, and the current status of the student). Therefore, disabilities that are sporadic or degenerative may require more frequent documentation,
- A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis, including evaluation results and standardized scores if applicable,
- A description of present symptoms that meet the criteria for diagnosis,
- Medical information relating to the student's needs to include the impact of medication on the student's ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary environment,
- A statement of the functional impact of limitation of the disability on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested. Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Disability Services office (DS) collaboratively determine appropriate accommodations.
The above information should be provided in a typewritten report, signed by the evaluator, on professional letterhead bearing the name, license number and professional credential of the evaluator.
Documentation must also meet the General Documentation Requirements.