In general, disability documentation is needed along with an accommodation request in order to establish protections under the ADA/504 and determine appropriate academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and reasonable modifications/accommodations. However, individuals whose disability impact is readily observable such as those who travel by wheelchair or are accompanied by a Service Animal (as defined by the ADA) may contact the ODR after submitting a request for accommodations to determine applicable documentation needs and next steps.
Documentation guidelines vary from one institution to another. ODR documentation guidelines (below) are designed to meet the needs of the Appalachian State University. If attending a different institution or taking a standardized test administered by an outside agency, students are responsible for researching those documentation policies/guidelines and requirements. Due to the differences of documentation guidelines, it may not be appropriate for ODR to complete paperwork certifying eligibility for standardized tests.
Generally Insufficient Documentation
ODR is unable to diagnose impairments, interpret a diagnosis, a condition's severity, or the current impact and/or functional limitations of a disability from documentation, therefore, the following are generally not sufficient for determining eligibility and could prolong the eligibility process:
- office medical records, medical chart notes or prescription pad notations;
- high school IEPs, 504 Plans, Response to Interview and/or SOPs not accompanied by documentation of the disability itself;
- documents prepared for specific non-educational venues (i.e., Social Security Administration, etc.); or
- documentation which only include general statements of diagnosis, symptoms or difficulties.
Employee Documentation Guidelines
Documentation guidelines for employees are determined on an individualized basis and communicated directly to the employee once the ADA/504 Coordinator has reviewed requested accommodations.
Documentation should be from qualified professionals, must reflect the condition substantially limits a major life activity or major bodily function and substaniate the need for workplace accommodations.
For assistance animal accommodations within University Housing additional requirements are needed and the documentation guidelines below should be used.