Guidelines for Documentation

Students Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision

Opthalmologists are the primary professionals involved in diagnosis and medical treatment of individuals who are blind or experience low vision. Optometrists provide information regarding the measurement of visual acuity as well as tracking and fusion difficulties. The diagnostician must be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.

The following guidelines are provided to assist the Disability Services Office in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations. Documentation serves as a foundation that legitimizes a student's request for appropriate accommodations. Recommended documentation includes:

  •  A clear statement of vision-related disability with supporting numerical description that reflects the current impact the blindness or vision loss has on the student's functioning (the age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the current status of the student and the student's request for accommodations),
  • A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis and a summary of evaluation results including standardized scores,
  • Present symptoms that meet the criteria for diagnosis,
  • Medical information relating to the student's needs, the status of the individual's vision (static or changing), and its impact on the demands of the academic program,
  • Narrative or descriptive text providing both quantitative and qualitative information about the student's abilities that might be helpful in understanding the student's profile including functional limitation, the use of corrective lenses, and ongoing visual therapy (if appropriate),
  • A statement of functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in learning context for which accommodations are being requested.

Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated. The student and the Disability Services Office collaboratively determine appropriate accommodations.

**These guidelines are not meant to be used exclusively or as a replacement for direct communication with the Disability Services Office regarding the individual nature of a disability. While submitted documentation meeting the above guidelines may be acceptable to SUNY Oswego, it is important to be aware that they may/may not meet the documentation guidelines required in other academic or testing organizations (e.g., special certifications, board examinations, standardized tests for admission to graduate schools, law schools, etc.)

All documentation should be sent to:

                    Dr. Starr L. Wheeler, Coordinator
                         Disability Support Services
                            SUNY Oswego
                        155 Campus Center
                        Oswego, NY  13126

Source: The Policy Book, LRP Publications, 2000