Documentation must reflect the condition substantially limits a major life activity or major bodily function. ODR utilizes flexibility and discretion in determining how recent documentation must be, especially for conditions that are permanent or non-varying. Changing conditions and/or changes in how a condition impacts the individual may warrant more frequent updates.
Generally sufficient documentation includes: a psychological/psycho-educational evaluation or a letter from medical/mental health provider which includes the below numbered items.
1. Qualifications of Clinician/Provider: Documentation must be typed on office or practice letterhead, dated and signed by a professional who is licensed or certified in the area for which the diagnosis is made. Name, title, and license/certification credentials must be stated and shall not be family members or others with a close personal relationship to the individual.
2. Diagnosis & History: A diagnostic statement identifying the disability including ICD or DSM classification along with any relevant personal, psychosocial, medical, developmental and/or educational history.
3. Description of Diagnostic Methodology: A full description of the diagnostic methodology used, including data and measurements from appropriate evaluation instruments. The results obtained should draw a direct link to the diagnosis and the functional limitations of the disability. For cognitive disorders, evaluations should use adult norms.
4. Current Impact and Functional Limitations: A clear description of the level of severity along with the current impact and functional limitations of the condition pertaining to the academic and/or residential settings. Information regarding if symptoms are constant or episodic, and the frequency and/or duration should be addressed.
Any treatments, medications, and/or assistive devices/services currently prescribed or in use, should include a description of the mediating effects and potential side effects from such treatments.
5. Recommendations: Recommendations are welcomed and considered, however ODR makes the ultimate determination on eligibility and reasonable academic adjustments necessary to provide equal access for participation in academic courses, programs and activities. Recommendations should be directly linked to the impact or functional limitations associated with the disability, or medication prescribed to control symptoms and include a clear rationale based on level of impairment.
Emotional Support Animal (ESA) documentation must also speak to an existing and continuing diagnostic and therapeutic relationship; the provider's confirmation that the Emotional Support Animal has been prescribed for treatment purposes and is necessary to help alleviate symptoms associated with the person's condition and/or to help the person use and enjoy university housing services; and include a clear description of how the animal will mitigate functional limitations. Generally, documentation from health care professionals who review emotional profiles and create template ESA letters for public housing and air carriers, or who have had no contact with the student except for limited encounters that were specifically intended to produce an ESA letter are not considered reliable
Documentation guidelines vary from one institution to another. ODR documentation guidelines 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.