Documentation Guidelines

The Office of Disability Resources (ODR) understands that documentation may vary with each individual situation and we try to exercise flexibility on a case by case basis.  

Documentation is an important component in accommodation decision making and allows for a better understanding of students’ needs and barriers that they may come across in the higher education environment. Disability-related information, including documentation, is considered private and does not become a part of the student’s permanent educational record. ODR records are maintained on a secure server that is separate from all other educational records. In accordance with the law, this information is maintained with confidentiality.  

Documentation provided should be completed by a third party (not a family member) who is qualified to diagnose and treat the impairment(s) leading to the disability(ies). Documentation may include the Documentation of Disability Form created by ODR to assist with providing meaningful information to our office; Housing Accommodation Requests Form (if requesting housing accommodations); and/or any additional documentation you may wish to provide the office. This documentation should come from an appropriate provider (e.g., health care provider). Notes on prescription pads and other forms of documentation that do not include relevant information (e.g. credentials/license information) from an appropriate provider, may be subject to authentication. Please know that ODR may also request additional information from the student if the office believes that the documentation is not sufficient to establish a disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. 

Helpful information may include: 

  • Evaluations (e.g., psychological, psychoeducational, neuropsychological), comprehensive school records indicating disability-related needs, or a detailed assessment from a diagnosing/treating healthcare provider.  
  • Information related to diagnosis(es), such as current functioning and disability-related limitations, severity, duration, progression/prognosistreatments, medications, auxiliary aids/services, and side effects. 
  • Description of the diagnostic methodology used (e.g., criteria, methods, procedures, clinical narrative, observation, specific results) and recommendations, from appropriate providers. 
  • Documentation of current and/or past accommodations, services, medications, auxiliary aids, assistive devices, and support services that are related to disability is helpful. 

Special Note: School accommodation or service plans (e.g., IEP, 504 Plan, College Accommodation Letters, etc.) may serve as documentation at the postsecondary level. Some service plans provide more information than others. Depending on the information contained, a service plan may provide all or just a portion of the necessary documentation and may serve to identify previously utilized accommodations, auxiliary aids, or services.  

Recommendations for accommodations, auxiliary aids and/or services 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.  

Documentation can be uploaded initially when completing the Registration Form or by uploading new documentation to the Accommodate portal. 

In the event that you do not have documentation, we encourage you to complete the Registration Form, and a Disability Resources Specialist will email you through your UMW email to discuss next steps.