Documentation guidelines

Documentation Guidelines:

In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended in 2008, Accessibility Resources provides equal access to educational programs and safeguards against discrimination for qualified students with disabilities as defined by the ADA. The ADA defines a person with a disability as any person who;


  • Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
  • Has a record of such impairment;
  • Is regarded as having such an impairment


Please note these guidelines are guidelines some of which will apply to some but not all disabilities. Not all disability information will require all aspects of the guidelines. More documentation may be required depending on the range and variability of functional limitations within any given disability; less documentation may be requested for permanent disabilities.

Any documentation provided by a third party must be prepared by a person (not a family member of the student) who may need to be qualified by professional training and practice to diagnose and treat the impairment leading to the disability. Documentation needs to be on letterhead of the practitioner or agency employing the practitioner.

Handwritten notes, including those on prescription pads and letterhead will not be accepted as the only source of documentation.

Any accommodation decisions made by Accessibility Resources may not translate to other institutions or be applicable for high-stakes exams such as the GRE, MCAT, etc.

Documentation should include the following:

Diagnostic Statement – A diagnostic statement identifying the specific disability, including identification of how the condition substantially impairs a life function, the date of the current evaluation, and the date of original diagnosis. Psychiatric diagnoses, including ADHD, should include the DSM diagnosis and a summary of current symptoms. Clear identification of a disability is necessary.

Diagnostic Criteria and Tests – A description of the diagnostic criteria or diagnostic tests used. All test and subtest scores must be included and standard scores and the norming population identified. Diagnosis of a Learning Disability may include comprehensive psycho-educational assessment aptitude, academic achievement, and information processing. Where appropriate and relevant, psycho-educational or neuro-psychological testing measures may also be required to support requests based on limitations of cognitive or perceptual functioning such as ADHD, psychiatric, and some medical disabilities. Evaluations must be sufficiently recent occurrence to allow determination of the current impact of the disability in the college academic environment.

Functional Impact- A description of the functional impact of the disability is needed.  The current functional impact on physical, perceptual, and/or cognitive functioning should be described.

Treatments- Currently prescribed treatments, medications, assistive devices, and auxiliary aids or services may be described. Description should include all currently in use and their estimated effectiveness in ameliorating the impact of the disability. Significant side effects that may affect physical, perceptual, or cognitive functioning should be identified and described.   

Recommendations- recommendations for modifications, auxiliary aids and/or services and accommodations should be supported by a rational relationship between the recommendation and the functional limitations described. Prior use of academic adjustments and level of benefit should be identified. If no academic adjustments have been used in the past, a rationale for current use is helpful. Student report of the efficacy of academic adjustments or accommodations will also be considered.

IEP- Secondary school Individual Educational Plan (IEP) may serve as documentation at the postsecondary level- some IEPs provide more information than others. Depending on the information contained, an IEP may provide all or just a portion of the necessary documentation and may serve to identify previously utilized modifications and auxiliary aids or services. This may apply to 504 Plans, although some will lack critical information.

Please send documentation to:

Accessibility Resources

155 Marano Campus Center

Oswego, New York 13126

Phone - 315-312-3358

Fax - 315-312-2943

Email -