Disability Documentation Guidelines for Students: Disability Services

It is the role of the Office of Disability Services is to coordinate the delivery of accommodations that are both reasonable and appropriate to eligible students with disabilities. For that reason we apply certain standards to the documentation which we accept. Please provide the following guidelines to the individual or agency that will prepare your documentation:

  • Documentation must be from a professional qualified in their area of expertise to evaluate a particular type of disability (e.g., physician, psychologist, licensed mental health counselor, psychiatrist, or audiologist).
  • It should clearly state the current, specific diagnosis that underlies the disability. General descriptions such as “depressed” or “anxious” are not acceptable. Use of terms such as “implies” or “suggests” in front of a diagnosis also are not definitive enough for purposes of documenting a disability.
  • The report must be typed on letterhead and the evaluator’s name, title, date, and signature must be present. A medical diagnosis written on a prescription pad, even though signed, is not adequate.
  • Test results or an explanation of how the diagnosis was reached, and a clear determination that it substantially impacts academic performance or other major life activity, must be included.
  • It must be current. The acceptable time frame varies somewhat based on the type of disability (see note about Learning Disabilities below). Generally for evaluations obtained during adulthood, documentation should be dated within three years of the time it is submitted to Testing and Disability Services.
  • A diagnosis supported by testing for a Specific Learning Disability should include a cognitive and achievement assessment that is based on adult measures (typically after the age of sixteen adult norms will have been used). The resulting report should include all subtests and standardized scores from the comprehensive assessment battery.
  • If you are expecting to rely on a high school IEP or 504 or Transition Plan to continue to qualify you for accommodations, you need to know the important limitations and differences that exist between high school and the university level. Please read the section on our web page titled “Before you Transition from High School to KSU” at your earliest opportunity.
  • If the documentation you have does not meet KSU’s standards regarding provider’s credentials, date of evaluation, or diagnostic detail, you will be required to obtain a new evaluation before receiving services. While the University will not provide or pay for the evaluation, the Testing and Disability Services office can make a referral for testing in the surrounding community. If you have any doubts, we recommend submitting your documentation as early as possible for our review.
  • Seven years after your last use of accommodations at the University, your confidential records will be carefully destroyed (shredded) by office staff.