Documentation Policy and Guidelines

The primary mission of the Office of Student Accessibility and Support Services (SASS) is to determine if a student’s request for accessibility-related accommodations is appropriate. An important piece in making this determination is documentation that the student provides to SASS. Accessibility documentation for the purpose of providing accommodations must both establish an accessibility issue and provide adequate information on the functional impact of the accessibility issue so that effective accommodations can be identified. The documentation needs to provide SASS with a basic understanding of the student’s accessibility needs and enough information to anticipate how the current impact is expected to interact with Allegheny’s requirements.

Students who wish to be considered for reasonable accommodations must submit current documentation (ie., medical/educational/diagnostic reports) from licensed physicians, psychologists, or other qualified professionals as well as supporting historical records and materials.  School plans such as IEPs or 504 Plans are helpful, but do not substitute for complete and current documentation.

Documentation guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that documentation is complete and supports requested accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids as being necessary.  A diagnosis of a disorder/impairment alone does not qualify an individual for an accommodation under applicable federal laws.

For the purpose of receiving consideration for reasonable accommodations at Allegheny College, an individual must have an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

*SASS used information and guidelines from the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) and the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in developing these guidelines.

Documentation that is submitted to SASS must:

  • clearly state the diagnosed disability or disabilities
  • describe the functional limitations resulting from the disability or disabilities
  • be age-appropriate — describing how the disability or disabilities currently affect the student in an educational setting
  • be comprehensive- including complete educational, developmental, and medical history relevant to the disability for which accommodations are being requested
  • include a list of all test instruments used in the evaluation report and relevant subtest scores used to document the stated disability (this requirement does not apply to physical or sensory disabilities of a permanent or unchanging nature)
  • describe the specific accommodations requested
  • adequately support each of the requested accommodations
  • be typed or printed on official letterhead and be signed by an evaluator qualified to make the diagnosis (include information about license or certification and area of specialization).