Documentation Guidelines

Guidelines for Disability Documentation

Documentation is used to determine eligibility for disability services, as well as to guide accommodation decision-making. In order to establish disability status and eligibility for disability services, it is the student's responsibility to provide appropriate documentation of a diagnosed disability to the Office of Disability Support Services (DSS) and to formally request a letter of accommodation from DSS personnel. Documentation accepted by DSS is valid as long as a student is continuously enrolled at UNA. However, if there is a break in the student's enrollment, updated documentation may be requested to receive services.  

Below is a list of general documentation guidelines. Please note that each disability has additional documentation guidelines. Please visit the disability listed under the “Documentation Guidelines” tab on the left-hand side that is relevant to you.

The documentation on file should include the following:

1. Be typed and printed on official letterhead and be signed by an evaluator qualified to make the diagnosis (include information about license or certification and area of specialization).

  • Please note: A High School IEP or a 504 plan is not sufficient documentation of a disability.

2. Clearly state the diagnosis or DSM-5 diagnostic code of the disability or disabilities and attest to the presence of a disabling condition as defined by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990)/ADAAA (Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, 2008).

  • Please note: Students requesting accommodations for the manifestations of multiple disabilities must provide documentation of all such conditions.

3. Provide a description of the functional limitations resulting from the disabilities as related to an academic setting.

4. Adequately verify the nature and extent of the disability in accordance with current professional standards and techniques,

5. Be current (generally, completed within the last 5 years for learning disabilities or 1 year for psychological disabilities).

6. Include complete educational, developmental, and medical history relevant to the disability for which accommodations are requested.

7. Provide a list of all test instruments (reliable, valid, and standardized for use with an adult population) used in the evaluation report and relevant subtest scores used to document the stated disability.

  • Please note: This should NOT include a diagnosis or test performed by a member of the student's family. 

8. Provide a list of all medication currently being used and its current impact and/or treatments.

9. A list of recommended academic accommodation(s) from your medical provider or physician. A history of accommodations can also be submitted to the office.

 **Each disability has additional documentation requirements, so please visit the disability listed under the “Documentation Guidelines” tab on the left-hand side that is relevant to you.**

Please Note: 

  • If the documentation is incomplete or inadequate, and the inability to determine the extent of the disability or reasonable accommodation is presented, UNA has the discretion to request additional documentation.
  • A history of accommodations does not in itself warrant the provision of similar accommodations at UNA.
  • Medication cannot be used to imply a diagnosis.
  • The final determination of eligibility for services rests with the University of North Alabama.

 Guidelines for Evaluating Professionals:

Appropriate evaluators

  • Evaluators must be licensed qualified professionals whose training and credentials are consistent with expertise in the disability for which he/she provides documentation and/or eligibility classification under the IDEA/Section 504.
  • Evaluators may not be friends or family members of the student.
  • DSS will also take into consideration their meeting with the student and the students Impact Statement as part of the interactive process

Identifying information of the evaluating professional.

  • Identifying information includes the names, signatures, titles, identifying credentials (e.g., license numbers), and contact information of evaluating professionals on their professional letterhead.
  • Dates of evaluations must be included.

Accommodation recommendations

  • Any accommodation recommendations made must be supported by a rationale that explains the necessity based on the student’s measured impairments and current substantial limitations.
  • Documentation of accommodations approved in the past is encouraged but does not guarantee approval at the postsecondary level.

  If you have questions or concerns about the documentation, please contact DSS at: