Documentation of Your Disability
- Documentation that indicates you have a specific disability is necessary for both legal and educational purposes. The appropriate documentation verifies your disability and qualifies you for necessary services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Compensatory services to address your disability are determined by the specific nature and severity of your disability.
- The information necessary for both legal and educational purposes is included in an assessment report, which must be completed by a qualified professional. Qualified professionals include medical doctors and licensed psychologists. The assessment should be recent and should include the type of disability diagnosed and the limits the disability imposes on your ability to function. Assessment reports that are more than a few years old generally contain information that is outdated.
- Recent assessment reports are beneficial, not only to document the existence of a disability, but also to support requests for accommodations such as extended time for testing, alternate test formats, priority scheduling and other support services. Requests for accommodations cannot be granted without supporting documentation. Also, a recent assessment will support your request for accommodations on other standardized testing required by some programs at the University.
- Obtaining a recent assessment is the responsibility of the person requesting accommodations. You may be able to obtain an evaluation by requesting assessment information from your hometown physician. Other sources could include the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services (BVS) or private practitioners in your area.
- No accommodations can be provided without this information. Once provided, it is not necessary to provide new information each year unless the nature of your disability changes significantly or you are requesting accommodations for a disability not mentioned in your original documentation.
Edinboro University suggests that documentation follow the standards established by the Educational Testing Service, as listed here.