Disability Documentation Guidelines
The Office of Disability Support Services (DSS) is committed to providing accommodations and services to qualified students with disabilities in order to reduce or eliminate any disadvantages that may occur as a result of an individual's disability. In determining reasonable accomodations, the University is guided by the federal definition of "disability" which describes an individual with a disability as someone:
- Who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more Major Life Activities
- A record of such impairment; or
- Is regarded as having such an impairment
|Specific Disability Documentation|
Any student with a disability may request accommodations. In order to establish disability status and eligibility for specific accommodations, academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aides/services, DSS requires students to provide Current and Comprehensive Documentation of the student's impairment(s). Disability Documentation is reviewed by the Director and determinations of accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis based on the functional limitations of the disability.
Disability documentation is credible evidence from a qualified Provider/Evaluator that attests to the existence of a disability, its impact on academic performance and related competencies and recommendations for equal access and/or accommodations. The information contained in this documentation is used by DSS to determine eligibility and reasonable accommodations under the law.
Guidelines for Documentation and Review Process
The following guidelines are provided for evaluators, physicians, medical professionals, students and family members to guide the process of submitting documentation to DSS to aid in the review process.
- Documentation should be no more than:
- 6 months old for students with psychiatric, cognitive, and other disabilities that are subject to frequent change or are impacted by medication or other treatment.
- 3 years old for students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AHDH)
- 5 years old for students with learning disabilities
- Evaluators, physicians, medical professionals, etc. are encouraged to submit any prior assessments and/or evaluative reports together with current documentation.
- Documentation must be printed on official letterhead and signed by the credentialed professional.
- A Summary or Performance (SOP), Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and/or a 504 Plan are not considered adequate documentation.
- Documentation must be submitted by a qualified practitioner who is not a family member of the student.
- Reasonable accommodations are determined based on the nature and resulting impairment(s) due to the disability.
- While the law requires that priority consideration be given to the specific methods requested by the student, it does not imply that a particular accommodation must be granted if it is deemed unreasonable or other suitable techniques are available.
- Prior receipt of accommodations (e.g. in high school) does not guarantee receipt of the same accommodations at Fairfield University.
- Missing disability documentation information may result in a delay of reviewing a student's request for reasonable accommodations.