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Physical & Medical Disabilities

Documentation Guidelines for Physical and Medical Disabilities

Assessment Providers

Physical disabilities include medical disabilities such as chronic health disorders and mobility impairments. Any physical disability or systemic illness is considered to have a medical basis and thus requires documentation by a licensed medical professional. These individuals may include physicians, surgeons, dentists, neurologists, or other relevantly trained medical specialists with experience and expertise in the area for which accommodations are being requested.

Assessment Documentation

Documentation must indicate that a specific disability exists and that the identified disability substantially limits a major life activity. Because of the changing manifestations of many physical disabilities, it is essential that documentation is recent and appropriate. All diagnostic evaluation reports submitted must be comprehensive and typed on official letterhead, and must include:

  • The diagnostician’s name, title, license/certification credentials, phone/fax number, address, signature, and date(s) of treatment
  • A clear statement of the medical diagnosis of the physical disability or systemic illness
  • A description of the current impact of the diagnosed physical/medical disorder on a major life activity, which addresses the individual’s current level of functioning and the need for accommodations
  • A description of the expected progression or stability of the impact of the disability over time
  • All treatments, medications, including dosage and side effects, and assistive devices/services currently prescribed or in use
  • A summary of assessment procedures and diagnostic test data, including test scores that substantiate a significant impairment in the area of functioning for which accommodations are being requested. Psycho-educational or neuropsychological assessments are often necessary to support the need for accommodations based on the potential for physical/medical disorders to interfere with cognitive performance.
  • Recommendations for reasonable accommodations that might be appropriate in the postsecondary setting
  • A clear link that has been established between the requested accommodations and the substantiated functional limitations that are pertinent to the academic/functional demands of the academic setting in which the accommodations are being requested

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