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GUIDELINES & FORMS: Documentation

ADD/ADHD | Chronic Medical Conditions | Deaf/Hard of Hearing
Learning Disability | Mobility & Orthopedic | Psychological & Psychiatric
Substance Abuse  | Visual Impairment | Other

Introduction

Students diagnosed with a disability who request services or accommodations are required to provide appropriate and current documentation. In the case of multiple disabilities, students must provide documentation for each disability for which accommodations are requested.

Prior documentation such as an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a history of receiving accommodations from a former school does not necessarily validate the need for services or continuation of accommodations at the university level. This history can, however, be attached to the current documentation as part of a comprehensive assessment battery.

The determination of reasonable accommodations on campus is based on satisfying the documentation guidelines outlined below and a clear demonstration of the functional limitations on the student’s performance in an academic setting. These guidelines apply for all disability types recognized by the ADA.

  • A qualified professional should conduct the evaluation and provide name, title, professional credentials, including information about state licensure or certification number.
  • The evaluation should include the diagnosis (ICD-10 or DSM-IV) and be dated.
  • The document will include the original signature of the professional responsible for the assessment of functioning.
  • The evaluation must be current. Disabilities may change in severity over time and documentation should support current accommodation needs.
  • Recommendations and rationale for accommodations and/or assistive technology must be based on the analysis of the functional impact of the diagnosis.
  • Services, accommodations, and/or assistive technology will be determined on an individual basis upon documentation review and consultation with the disability service professional at each campus.
  • Insufficient documentation may result in the delay of services and accommodations.

Key Points: Qualified evaluator; current evaluation; evaluation signed and dated by evaluator; recommendations for accommodations. (Note: the term evaluation and documentation are used according to which is more appropriate for disability type. Both constitute acceptable reports or material for supporting services and accommodations.)

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ADD/ADHD Documentation Guidelines

The evaluation should:

  • Be conducted by a qualified professional whose background includes training and relevant experience in the full range of psychiatric disorders.
  • Be within the past three years and be updated as required.
  • Include a summary of relevant historical information including initial onset, diagnosis, medication and indication of ADD/ADHD throughout adolescence or adulthood.
  • Identify functional limitations in the educational setting.
  • Include rationale for specific recommendations or accommodations.

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Chronic Medical Condition

The evaluation should:

  • Be submitted on letterhead (or a standardized medical documentation form provided by the college) by a qualified health professional.
  • Have been obtained in the past six months. In case of changes, new documentation needs to be submitted.
  • Identify medication, if any, and include information describing the possible impact of the medication upon academic performance.
  • Identify functional limitations in the academic environment and recommendations for accommodations and/or assistive technology.

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Deaf/Hard of Hearing Guidelines

The documentation should:

  • Include a diagnosis based on an audiological evaluation conducted by a qualified professional.
  • Provide a description of functional limitations and recommendations for academic accommodations, interpreter services, and other services including assistive technology.

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Learning Disability Documentation Guidelines

The evaluation should:

  • Be conducted by an evaluator with comprehensive training with adolescents and adults with learning disabilities.
  • Be evaluated within the last three years of high school.
  • Adult students not previously diagnosed must provide appropriate documentation as per guidelines for students not previously diagnosed.
  • Include a description of functional impact of diagnosis and include specifics of how the learning process may be affected by the diagnosis; and should include recommendations and rationale for accommodations and/or assistive technology.
  • Include test scores to document the nature and severity of the disability.
  • Adult students not previously diagnosed must provide appropriate documentation as per guidelines for students not previously diagnosed.

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Mobility/Orthopedic Disabilities

The evaluation should:

  • Be made by a qualified professional with the appropriate training in diagnosing physical disabilities.
  • Be current and relevant. If the conditions change, an updated report will be required.
  • Include a diagnosis, a description of any functional limitations and recommendations for accommodations and /or assistive technology.

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Psychological & Psychiatric Guidelines

The evaluation should:

  • Be made by a professional who is qualified with appropriate training in diagnosing psychological and psychiatric disorders.
  • Be within the past three years and be updated as required.
  • Include a summary of relevant historical information including initial onset, diagnosis, medication and indication of psychological/psychiatric disorders throughout adolescence or adulthood.
  • Include rationale for specific recommendations or accommodations.

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Substance Abuse /Chemical Dependency

The evaluation should:

  • Be submitted from a qualified professional with experience in the field of Chemical Dependency.
  • Be current (within one year of submission).
  • Identify academic functional limitations and recommendations for accommodations.
  • Include treatment program and medication information in the report.

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Visual Impairment or Blindness Guidelines

The evaluation should:

  • Include an ophthalmologic evaluation made by a qualified professional or granted by a recognized resource such as the NY State Commission for the Blind (include CBVH Registry Number).
  • Be current and reflect present condition. In the case of visual acuity changes, new documentation should be submitted.
  • Identify functional limitations and provide recommendations for academic accommodations/assistive technology.

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Other

Prepared by the CUNY Council on Student Disability Issues (COSDI) – Documentation Guidelines Subcommittee.

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