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Documentation Guidelines

Documentation of disability Form

(The 'Documentation of Disability Form' above is used to provide verification of a disability. If you are looking for forms regarding assistance animals in on-campus housing, please visit the 'Housing Considerations and Documents' tab located on the Disability Services homepage.)

Documentation Information

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination and assured services. In order to establish that an individual is covered under the ADA, the documentation must indicate that a disability currently exists and it substantially limits some major life activity, including learning.

In most cases, an IEP, 504 Plan or brief note from a physician does not contain the information outlined in the points below, so is not sufficient as documentation.

All documentation received by the Office of Disability Services is considered confidential and will be treated as such.

Documentation of Disability Requirements

In order to ensure the provision of reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities, the Office of Disability Services requires students with most disabilities to provide documentation from a qualified medical or other licensed professional in a field related to the disability that provides verification of the disability. Students with certain disabilities will not be required to provide this documentation. For example, students with sensory disabilities such as blindness or deafness or students who use a wheelchair for mobility.

When documentation is required, providers may either complete the SDSU Disability Services Documentation of Disability Form, linked above, or they may choose to provide the required information on their own office letterhead. If the provider chooses to do the later, submitted documentation should include:

  • A clearly stated diagnosis of disability or disabilities, including the diagnostic codes, such as DSM-V or ICD for mental health conditions.
  • A clear diagnostic statement that describes how the condition(s) was diagnosed, including, where applicable:
    • A description of the diagnostic criteria.
    • Evaluation methods and tests.
    • Specific results, including where applicable, summary data and specific test results.
    • The clinical narrative.
  • The date of diagnosis and the date of last contact with the student patient.
    • Documentation must be relatively recent, dated within 1-5 years of the request, is acceptable in most circumstances.
  • Information on the functional limitations or current impact on the individual as related to the learning environment. Or, when relevant, in the housing environment.
    • The documentation should be thorough enough to demonstrate whether and how a major life activity is substantially limited by providing a clear sense of the severity, frequency, and pervasiveness of the condition(s).
  • A description of both current and past accommodations, support services, medications, auxiliary aids, and assistive devices, including their effectiveness in ameliorating functional impacts of the disability, is very helpful.
    • A discussion of any significant side effects from current medications or services that may impact physical, perceptual, behavioral, or cognitive performance is helpful.
    • Please note that SDSU has no obligation to provide accommodations previously provided by outside entities.
  • Recommendations for accommodations, adaptive devices, assistive services, compensatory strategies and/or collateral support services.
    • Recommendations from professionals with a history of working with the individual may provide information useful in the planning process.
    • Please note the SDSU has no obligation to provide or adopt recommendations made by outside entities.
  • The credentials of the evaluator(s).
    • Submitted documentation should be produced by a licensed professional who has undergone appropriate and comprehensive training, has relevant experience and has no personal relationship with the individual being evaluated, including family members or close family friends.

Please contact the Office of Disability Services at 605-688-4504 or via email if you have any questions.