Supporting Documentation Guidelines for Disabilities

Students requesting accommodations must submit appropriate written documentation to Student Accessibility Services. Disability information is shared only with University personnel who work together in a cooperative effort to provide reasonable accommodations.

Providing Supporting Information

Housing Accommodation Requests

Please refer to the Residence Hall Accommodations page for more information.

Academic Requests

  • Review the general documentation guidelines (below) to see what supporting documentation is appropriate for the situation.
  • Send supporting documentation to:
    Student Accessibility Services
    St. John Fisher University
    3690 East Avenue
    Rochester, NY 14618
    Fax: (585) 385-7251
  • After the documentation is received, it will be reviewed to determine what academic accommodation(s), if any, will be made.
  • Undergraduate and Graduate Students:
    • If accommodations are approved, the student will receive an outline of the process and instructions about implementing his/her accommodation plan.
    • If accommodations are not approved, the student will receive a request for further information or a denial of accommodations. Students whose request for accommodation is denied may submit an appeal through the accommodation appeal process.
  • Doctoral and Pharmacy Students:
    • Students will receive more information from their respective schools.
  • Students with approved accommodations must schedule an appointment to meet with the coordinator of student accessibility services to activate the accommodation plan. Services begin after this meeting takes place.

General Disability Documentation Guidelines

  • Documentation must be typewritten on business letterhead from a licensed professional not related to the student who is qualified to give a psychological and/or medical diagnosis. The name, credentials and signature of the licensed professional must appear on the documentation.
  • The documentation must include all pertinent diagnoses, clearly stated and explained.
  • Information outlining testing/assessment tools must be included. Learning disability testing must include the actual standard test scores; student must be tested using measures normed on adult populations.
  • Documentation must include information on how the disability currently impacts the individual and document "how a major life activity is limited by providing a clear sense of the severity, frequency and pervasiveness of the condition(s)."
  • All pertinent positive and negative effects of mitigating measures must be addressed. This could include a description of treatment, medications (and potential side effects) and assistive devices with estimated effectiveness of their impact on the disability.
  • Documentation should provide recommendations for accommodations for the individual and include the rationale for the recommended accommodations.
Documentation Guidelines for Disabilities
Disability Currency of Documentation Accepted Evaluator Elements of Documentation
ADD/ADHD Within 3 years Psychologist, psychiatrist, neuropsychologist, medical doctor Evidence of early impairment from more than one setting; evidence of current impairment; summary of neuropsychological or psychoeducational assessments to determine the current functional limitation pertaining to an educational setting; prescribed medications, dosages and schedules; suggestions of accommodations.
Autism spectrum disorder/Asperger’s syndrome Within 3 years Developmental pediatrician, neurologist, psychiatrist, psychologist, neuropsychologist Academic testing-standardized achievement tests, including standard scores; impact of symptoms on learning; ability to function in a residential university community; prescribed medications, dosages and schedules that may influence the learning environment.
Chronic illness and physical impairment Depends on condition Licensed medical professional Documentation will vary based on the diagnosis, which would include conditions such as asthma, allergies, arthritis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, migraine and multiple sclerosis.
Hearing impairment Depends on whether condition is static or changing Otorhinolaryngologist, otologist, licensed audiologist Audiological evaluation or audiogram administered by a licensed audiologist; interpretation of the functional implications; suggestions of accommodations.
Learning disability Within 5 years Clinical or educational psychologist, school psychologist, neuropsychologist, learning disabilities specialist Assessment must be comprehensive (more than one test) and address intellectual functioning/aptitude, preferably the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III with standard scores; achievement — current levels in reading, math and written language (acceptable instruments include the Woodcock Johnson Psychoeducational Battery III, Wechsler Individual Achievement Test or others); and information processing utilizing subtests from the WAIS-III, WJ III or others. Individual "learning styles," "learning differences," "academic problems" and "test difficulty or anxiety" do not constitute a learning disability. Please refer to General Documentation Guidelines above.
Psychiatric disorder Within 6 months Licensed clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, psychiatric advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), licensed clinical social worker Family history; discussion of dual diagnosis; current diagnosis (DSM-IV TR) indicates the nature, frequency, severity of symptoms — diagnosis without an explicit listing of current symptoms is not sufficient; prescribed medications, dosages and schedules that may influence the learning environment; types of accommodations, including any possible side effects.
Visual impairment Depends on condition Ophthalmologist Ocular assessment/evaluation; suggestions on how the condition may be accommodated.

Acknowledgement: This information is based on the Disability Documentation Guidelines to Determine Eligibility for Accommodations at the Postsecondary Level developed by the Association for Higher Education and Disability.

It is important to have recent and appropriate documentation because accommodations are determined based on the current impact of the condition(s) and how it affects access to academics and educational activities.

In general, documentation for ADHD and learning disabilities should be within the time frames listed above. However, if there is documentation of a long-standing history of a disability and receiving accommodations or services in school, this may be considered adequate documentation. Students are encouraged to submit copies of an Individual Educational Program or 504 plan as a source of useful information which can help provide a history. However, Individual Educational Programs or 504 plans may not exclusively provide sufficient documentation for approval of accommodations.

Any questions about appropriate documentation should be directed to the coordinator of student accessibility services who can be contacted at (585) 385-5252.

Refer to our Documentation of Disability Policy for more information.