Adequate Documentation Should:
To establish that an individual is covered under the ADA, documentation must indicate that the disability substantially limits a major life activity.
General Documentation Guidelines
- Detail a specific current diagnosis, and describe a substantial functional limitation in one or more major life activities.
- Support diagnostic findings by including: relevant history, observations, tests administered, test results and interpretation of results.
- Must be recent (within the last 3-5 years) detail and substantiate the need for all of the student's specific accommodation requests.
- Must include: date, signature, name, title, professional credentials of the evaluator(s), and information about license or certifications.
- Any cost incurred in obtaining additional documentation when the original records are inadequate is borne by the student.
- Documentation from family members is not acceptable.
- When requesting for accommodations for the manifestations of multiple disabilities students must provide evidence of all such conditions.
In cases where documentation is incomplete students will be asked to provide additional or clarifying information from the evaluator. Students leaving UAF for any reason may, upon readmission, be asked to submit updated documentation prior to receiving accommodations or services.
Generally, the following documentation is NOT sufficient for the provision of services and accommodations:
- High School IEPs, 504 Plans and/or SOPs: These documents can however be used in a supportive way and as a communication tool.
- Documentation in which screening instruments or rating scales are used as the sole diagnostic tool.
- Official medical documentation, medical chart notes or prescription pad notations.
- Documentation more than three (3) years old.
- Testing instruments normed (standardized) for children rather than adults.
Specific Disability Documentation Guidelines
Different documentation is required for different types of disabilities. The guidelines listed let you know what the UAF Disability Services office is looking for regarding your particular disability. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us.
A medical report from a qualified medical professional stating cause and extent of injury or disease and functional limitations resulting from the disability.
A medical report from a qualified medical professional stating restricted vision is required.
Attention Deficit Disorder
Students requesting accommodations on the basis of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) must provide documentation by a professional who has undergone comprehensive training and has relevant experience in differential diagnosis and the full range of psychiatric disorders (e.g., licensed clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist, psychiatrist and other relevantly trained medical doctors). The documentation that should be completed by the professional must include:
- Evidence of early impairment. The condition must have been exhibited in childhood in more than one setting.
- Evidence of current impairment. An assessment of the individual's presenting attentional symptoms and evidence of current impulsive/hyperactive or inattentive behaviors that significantly impair functioning in two or more settings must be provided. In an academic setting, functional impairment is most often expressed in poor academic performance across a variety of academic tasks.
- A diagnostic interview. The interview must contain self-report and third-party information pertaining to: developmental history, family history of ADHD or other learning or psychological difficulties, relevant medical and medication history, a thorough academic history, a review of prior psycho educational test reports to determine whether a pattern of strengths or weaknesses is supportive of attention or learning problems.
- Evidence of alternative diagnoses or explanations being ruled out. The documentation must investigate and discuss the possibility of dual diagnoses and alternative or coexisting mood, behavioral, neurological and/or personality disorders that may confound the ADHD diagnosis.
- Neuropsychological or psycho educational assessment may be needed to determine the current impact of the disorder on the individual's ability to function in an academic setting. Such data should include subtest and standard scores.
- A specific psychological diagnosis as per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual - IV (DSM-IV). Symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity that were present in childhood, and the current symptoms which have been present for at least the past six months and which impair functioning in two or more settings must also be identified.
Deaf or Hard of Hearing
A current audiology evaluation from a qualified professional indicating the amount of hearing loss is the required documentation for this disability.
Learning disabilities is a general term which refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning or mathematical ability.
- Learning Disorders are diagnosed when the individuals achievement on an individually administered, standardized tests in reading, mathematics, or written expression is substantially below that expected for age, schooling and level of intelligence.
- Learning problems significantly interfere with academic achievement or activities of daily living that require reading, mathematical or writing skills.
- Substantially below is usually defined as a discrepancy of more than 2 standard deviations between achievement and IQ.
Identifying a discrepancy alone, is not sufficient to warrant the diagnosis of a learning disability. Data must clearly demonstrate that a student has one or more functional limitations in the academic setting AND that these limitations require accommodation in order for the student to achieve equal access.
In order to receive accommodations in the classroom because of a learning disability, a UAF student must present documentation confirming a diagnosis of a learning disability to the UAF Disability Services office. The documentation must be from a qualified professional with training in the area of learning disabilities.
A learning disability is generally defined as a substantial difference between learning potential and academic achievement. The correct documentation should include:
- Recent psychometric data that support the presence of impairment in one or more of the following areas: listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities. Tests should use adult based norms, particularly for measures of aptitude, and cognitive intelligence.
- Psycho-educational testing must be recent (within the last 3 years for a high school student, and the last 5 years for an adult) and relevant to the student’s current educational placement.
- Evidence of a history of learning difficulties documented through collateral information, e.g. developmental and educational histories, background information from previous psycho-educational assessments.
- A clear diagnostic statement and organized summary that describes how the diagnosis was achieved, and objective information regarding the current educational impact. Description of the current functional limitation and its impact in the higher education setting.
Note: The university reserves the right to request a re-evaluation when documentation is not current or comprehensive enough to support the provision of accommodation. All testing costs are incurred by the student.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
(Trauma to the brain resulting from cerebral vascular accidents, tumors, or other medical conditions)
Students requesting accommodations on the basis of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or brain insult must provide documentation by a neuropsychologist. The documentation must include:
- Thorough neuropsychological evaluation including assessment of the areas of attention, visuoperception /visual reasoning, language, academic skills, memory/learning, executive function, sensory, motor, and emotional status. Data should include subtest scores and percentiles.
- Evidence of current impairment. A history of individual's presenting symptoms and evidence of behaviors that significantly impair functioning.
- A diagnostic interview. The interview must contain self-report and third-party information pertaining to: developmental history, family history, learning or psychological difficulties, relevant medical history, and a thorough academic history.
- Evidence of alternative diagnoses or explanations ruled out. The documentation must investigate and discuss the possibility of dual diagnoses and alternative or coexisting mood, learning, behavioral, and/or personality disorders that may confound the diagnosis.
- A specific psychological diagnosis as per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual - IV (DSM-IV).
- A clinical summary which: (a) indicates the substantial limitations to major life activities posed by the disability, (b) describes the extent to which these limitations would impact the academic context for which accommodations are being requested, and (c) suggests how the specific effects of the disability may be accommodated, and (d) states how the effects of the disability are mediated by the recommended accommodations.
Disability Services requires a report from a qualified mental health professional stating how the diagnosis was made and detailing the functional limitations and the current impact on the academic setting.
The Disability Director is not an academic advisor, but can assist you in balancing your course load to better address your disability needs. Though it can be very helpful to meet with the Disability Services director as you plan each semester you must meet with your academic advisor as well to select courses and obtain a departmental signature.
UAF does not provide personal assistance such as assistance with toileting, bathing, transportation to school, personal monitoring, individualized tutoring service, or readers for personal use or study.