What you need to know when documenting your disability
The documentation establishing a disability needs to include the following elements for a student to be served in a postsecondary setting.
- Be current, appropriate, and relevant information. In most cases, documentation shouldn’t be older than three years. Accommodation needs change and are not always identified at the time of initial diagnosis. However, a prior history of accommodation, without documentation of current need, does not necessarily demonstrate eligibility for an accommodation.
- Specify the nature and extent of the disability in accordance with current professional standards and techniques.
- Provide a diagnosis of the disability with specific diagnostic information, including assessment procedures and relevant test scores. Terms such as "suggest" or "is indicative of" are not a diagnosis.
- Provide evidence of a substantial limitation to a major life function.
- Contain an explanation of the impact of the disability on the student’s current academic performance.
- Include state recommendations for specific accommodations for the academic environment.
- Clearly substantiate the need for all of the student's specific accommodation requests.
- Include the name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator.
- Be submitted on professional letterhead, typed, dated and signed by an appropriately licensed professional in the specialty area.
It’s the responsibility of the individual seeking accommodations to provide current and adequate disability documentation before accommodations are delivered. In some cases, new or further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required to determine eligibility. The cost of obtaining this documentation is the responsibility of the student. A high school IEP (Individual Education Plan) may be submitted and offers helpful information, but is not enough to meet the requirements of professional diagnostic documentation. Documentation guidelines reflect a nationally recognized set of standards as set forth by the professional organization Association of Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD).
SCTCC will provide reasonable accommodations, and/or services that are warranted by the documentation provided. A plan for accommodations is made through an interactive process with the Counselor for Students with Disabilities and the student requesting the accommodations. SCTCC makes the final decision in selecting from equally effective accommodations. An accommodation provision may be refused if it imposes an undue hardship or fundamental alteration of a program or course at SCTCC or the documentation does not support the request.
It’s the policy of SCTCC to comply with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Amendments Act (ADAAA). The ADAAA prohibits discrimination of qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of their disability. SCTCC shall make reasonable accommodations to ensure access to programs, services, and activities as required by law. Access means that a qualified individual with a disability will not be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities, nor will the individual be subjected to discrimination.
SCTCC will maintain confidentiality of the documentation submitted and will not release any part of the documentation without the student’s informed and written consent.