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Documentation Guidelines

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, individuals with disabilities are guaranteed certain protection and rights to accommodations. The following is suggested to provide information which will augment the student's self-report on accommodations needed.

Third party documentation is most helpful when it:

  • is comprehensive and current (current depends upon the diagnosis*)
  • includes a clearly stated specific diagnosis and includes symptoms or criteria on which the diagnosis is based
  • provides actual evaluation scores/criteria, as well as procedures used to make the diagnosis (when relevant), and
  • uses technically sound tests &/or evaluations
  • includes psychosocial, familial, historical, medical, developmental information and medication history, when appropriate
  • indicates how the disability substantially limits a major life activity of the individual, and/or provides evidence of current impairment, as well as functional impact
  • describes current and past accommodations, services or medications, and
  • suggests accommodations, academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids and includes rationale
  • indicates current treatments, typical progression, prognosis and/or stability, when relevant
  • is conducted by a properly credentialed, qualified evaluator, appropriate to the disability, that does not have a personal relationship with the student or student’s family, and
  • includes testing and examination dates as well as the contact information and relevant credentials of the diagnosing evaluator.

*for example: Chronic Health and Mental Health disabilities depend upon the diagnosis and prognosis.

Documentation is to be provided to the Director. The Director will only share this information (usually NOT the diagnosis) with faculty or staff on a "need to know" basis, usually at is pertains to arranging accommodations. Students that are on medications for any reason, or have a mental or physical disability, are also strongly encouraged to disclose this information to the Health Center and/or Counseling Center. Documentation is not shared amongst the Health Center, Counseling Center and the Learning Enrichment and Disability Services Office as they are governed by different privacy laws and regulations. If you want these campus offices to share information, you must provide explicit written permission for them to do so (ask the office for a form).  Students that mistakenly send documentation to offices other than the aforementioned (e.g. the Admissions Office) will likely find that the information has been passed on to the Director of the Learning Enrichment and Disability Services Office.

Students interested in pursuing accommodations should contact the Learning Enrichment and Disability Services Office as soon as they know they will be attending Beloit College. Even if a student is questioning whether or not to use the accommodations, it is beneficial to have documentation on file and have a discussion with the Director in case he/she changes his/her mind or the academic demands change. The Director reviews third party supporting materials, discusses them with the student, interviews each student, and offers accommodation options.  Students choose (each semester, each class, each accommodation) whether or not they will utilize accommodations.

Beloit College utilizes guidance regarding documentation from AHEAD (Association of Higher Education and Disability).