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OAR Documentation Guidelines

To ensure the provision of reasonable and appropriate accommodations, a student must submit their current documentation of a disability.

Documentation must validate the presence of a disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disability Act.  With respect to the individual, the definition of a person with a disability includes (1) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual; (2) a record of such an impairment; or (3) being regarded as having such an impairment.

Documentation helps establish if the student meets the definition of a person with a disability and should describe functional limitations to support the need for, and reasonableness of specific accommodations. All documentation is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Documentation of a disability should include:

  • The contact information and licenses/credentials of a third-party professional who has relevant experience and expertise in the area for which accommodations are being requested.
  • A clearly stated diagnosis or diagnostic statement that identifies the disability with information that describes how the condition was diagnosed, notes the functional impact, and details the typical progression or prognosis.
  • Identify the session(s) of the evaluation and the length of time if the individual has been in treatment for the specified disability.
  • Contain the full name and birthdate of the person being evaluated.
  • Be up to date and not exceed five years.
  • Include a description of the person's current functional limitations in an academic and/or environmental setting.
  • For some disabilities, include the description of the type(s) of evaluation and diagnostic methods as this may help the student access additional accommodations not directly affiliated with the university.
  • Present itself on a letterhead with the date, name, and signature of the licensed professional making the diagnosis.

If the student is having difficulty obtaining their documentation, or if the university needs additional information, the OAR may provide the supplemental “Documentation of Disability” form.

Other points to remember concerning your documentation:

  • The provision of reasonable accommodations is based upon the current impact of the disability; therefore, it is in the student’s interest to provide the best, most recent documentation.
  • Keep in mind that evaluations conducted in childhood may not be sufficient for an adult college student.
  • The OAR does not pay for, nor provide testing, evaluations, and/or diagnosis.
  • It is helpful when the documentation addresses the student’s ability to function in an academic environment and may include recommendations for accommodations.
  • WCU is not obligated to approve every accommodation as recommended by evaluators.
  • All accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis and in consideration of that student's unique situation.
  • Individualized Education Programs (IEP) or 504 Plans do not alone constitute documentation of disability but is often helpful and may be included in a student's overall assessment.
  • A physician's prescription pad note is not acceptable as documentation of disability.
  • The OAR does not obtain information regarding a student's disability through the admissions process.
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