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Guidelines for Documenting a Disability

Individuals seeking accommodations from the University of Rochester on the basis of disability are required to submit documentation to verify disability and current level of impairment under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The University of Rochester requires current and comprehensive documentation in order to determine reasonable accommodations. The guidelines are designed to be flexible and sufficiently broad to allow for application within the different educational programs at the University of Rochester.

The following will be utilized to support accommodation requests at the University of Rochester.

Self-report / Intake interview

Individuals should be prepared to discuss the following during an intake interview:

  • Nature and severity of diagnosed disability
  • Impact of the disability in the academic environment
  • Rationale for reasonable accommodation, auxiliary aids and services for individual courses, programs, activities and facilities.
  • Previous use of accommodations and auxiliary aids and services in the academic environment

Professionally prepared documentation

Documentation will be reviewed for the following elements:

Qualified Professional:

  • Completed by a qualified professional who is licensed or otherwise properly credentialed to diagnose the particular condition

Diagnostic Statement:

  • A clear diagnostic statement identifying the disability. The date of the most current assessment and the date of original diagnosis as appropriate

Diagnostic Methodology:

  • Diagnostic methods that are appropriate to the particular disability and consistent with current professional practices in the field are expected
  • A description of the current diagnostic criteria, and a clinical narrative of process/test used to confirm diagnosis
  • Where appropriate relevant summary data and specific test scores (e.g. learning disabilities and cognitive disorders)

Functional Limitations:

  • Documentation must demonstrate how a major life activity is currently substantially limited by the impairment providing a clear description of the severity, frequency and pervasiveness of the condition
  • Disabilities that can fluctuate in terms of functional impact will require, at a minimum, yearly updates (e.g. psychiatric disorders, health impairments)

Suggested Reasonable Accommodations:

  • Recommendations for accommodations by outside agencies will be considered and may be adopted when they are congruent with the institution in providing equal access to courses, programs, facilities and services and when they are reasonable in nature
  • Documentation of a specific disability does not translate directly into a specific accommodation or set of accommodations. Instead reasonable accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis while integrating the individual's experience with the impact of the disability and the essential elements of a program, course or activity.

*Documentation completed by family members, regardless of qualifications, will not be accepted.

Please be aware that UHS and UCC do not provide disability evaluations.