Requirements for Documentation

Physical, Medical, or Psychological Disabilities

  •  An appropriate agency or certified professional capable of diagnosing the disability in question should provide documentation. If the person signing the verification is not a certified professional, the documentation should state that it was based on a review of records prepared by an appropriate qualified professional or appropriate agency who performed the diagnosis.
  • The documentation should be printed on agency, office, or company letterhead, listing the name, office address, and credentials of the qualified professional who performed the diagnosis and/or the name of the appropriate agency. 
  • Documentation should include a diagnostic statement, which describes the current functional limitations caused by the disability.
  • If applicable, a description of treatments, medications, assistive devices/services in current use, and the estimated effectiveness in ameliorating the impact of the disability. Significant side effects that may impact physical, perceptual, behavioral, or cognitive performance should also be noted. 
  • A description of the expected progression or stability of the impact of the disability over time should be included. This will provide a relevant timeframe for reevaluation of the student’s needs. Expenses incurred in the reevaluation are the student’s responsibility.
  • Academic accommodations recommended, i.e.; additional testing time, auxiliary aids, etc.

Learning Disabilities

  • Qualified evaluator: The documentation should list the name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator. The evaluator should have the professional training to make a diagnosis regarding the specific learning disability. Documentation should be on letterhead, typed, dated, signed, and otherwise legible.
  • Currency of documentation: Documentation diagnosing a learning disability must be less than three years old.
  • Substantiation of learning disability: Documentation should include a comprehensive assessment battery. The resulting diagnostic report should include a diagnostic interview, assessment of aptitude, academic achievement, information processing, and a diagnosis.
  • Rationale for accommodation: Specific evidence to establish a rationale supporting the need for accommodation and recommended accommodations.

Temporary Disabilities

  • Students sometimes have surgery or an accident which causes them to have difficulty with mobility or use of their hands for an extended period of time but not permanently. Although the ADA does not cover support for students with temporary disabilities, the DSS office often assists in supporting the student with classroom accommodations. The student should first contact the VU Student Health Center to report the student’s condition.  He/she should provide thorough documentation of the temporary disability, such as that described above for physical disabilities, and a timeframe for the need for accommodations and for the reevaluation of the student’s condition. If accommodations are determined to be necessary, the student’s professors will be contacted. If transportation around campus will be needed, the student should make the arrangements with the VUPD.