Documentation Guidelines

The Office of Disability Services follows documentation guidelines outlined by the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD).  

The seven essential elements of quality disability documentation are:

  1. Licensed or credentialed evaluator, with specific training or expertise related to the condition being diagnosed, and who is not related to the individual.
  2. Clear diagnostic statement, including diagnostic sub-types where relevant, that describes how the condition was diagnosed and provides information on the functional impact of the condition. A full clinical description will convey this information, as will diagnostic codes from the DSM (Diagnostic Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association) or the ICF (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health of the World Health Organization.)
  3. Description of the diagnostic methodology used including diagnostic criteria, evaluation methods, tests and dates of administration, clinical narrative, observations, and results. Diagnostic methods must be congruent with the particular disability and with current professional practices in the field.
  4. Description of the current functional limitations of the disabling condition helps establish the possible disability and identify possible accommodations. A combination of the individual's self-report, results of formal evaluation procedures, and clinical narrative are recommended. Quality documentation will demonstrate how a major life activity is significantly, amply, or substantially limited by providing evidence of frequency and pervasiveness of the conditions(s).
  5. Description of the progression or stability of the disability over time and in context.
  6. Description of current and past accommodations, services or medications.
  7. Recommendations for accommodations, assistive devices, assistive services, compensatory strategies, and/or collateral support services.