General guidelines for documentation

In order to fully evaluate requests for accommodations or auxiliary aids the DRC will need documentation of your disability. The documentation will need to which consist of an evaluation by an appropriate professional and describes the current impact of the disability as it relates to the accommodation request.

All contact information and documentation received is kept in separate confidential files within the DRC. No information concerning inquiries about accommodation or documentation will be released without written consent.

Documentation provided will be used by the DRC to evaluate requests for accommodation or auxiliary aids. The evaluation process includes a review of the documentation in the context of the fundamental goals and essential standards of the program, course, service, or benefit in question.

The evaluation process will generate suggested reasonable accommodations that will then be reviewed based on potential effectiveness, preferences of the requester, maximum level of integration, and the potential for an undue financial or administrative burden.

The guidelines below were developed to assist you in working with your treating professional(s) to prepare the information needed to evaluate your request. If, after reading these guidelines, you have any questions, please call the Disability Resource Center at (775) 784-6000.

What Do I Need to Include?

1. A diagnostic statement identifying the disability, date of the current diagnostic evaluation, and the date of the original diagnosis.

The diagnostic systems used by the Department of Education, The State Department of Rehabilitative Services or other State agencies and/or the current editions of either the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM), or the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems of the World Health Organization (ICD) are the recommended diagnostic taxonomies.

2. A description of the diagnostic criteria and/or diagnostic test used.

This description should include the specific results of diagnostic procedures, diagnostic tests utilized, and when administered. When available, both summary and specific test scores should be reported as standard scores and the norming population identified. When standard scores are not available; the mean, standard deviation, and the standard error of measurement are requested as appropriate to the construction of the test.

Diagnostic methods used should be congruent with the disability and current professional practices within the field. Informal or non-standardized evaluations should be described in enough detail that a professional colleague could understand their role and significance in the diagnostic process.

3. A description of the current functional impact of the disability.

The current functional impact on physical, perceptual, cognitive, and behavioral abilities should be described either explicitly or through the provision of specific results from the diagnostic procedures. Currency will be evaluated based on the typical progression of the disability, its interaction with development across the life span, the presence or absence of significant events (since the date of the evaluation) that would impact functioning, and the applicability of the information to the current context of the request for accommodations.

4. Treatments, medications, assistive devices/services currently prescribed or in use.

A description of treatments, medications, assistive devices, accommodations and/or assistive services in current use and their estimated effectiveness in ameliorating the impact of the disability should be included. Significant side affects that may impact physical, perceptual, behavioral, or cognitive performance should also be noted.

5. A description of the expected progression or stability of the impact of the disability over time should be included.

This description should provide an estimate of the change in the functional limitations of the disability over time and/or recommendations concerning the predictable needs for reevaluation.

6. The credentials of the diagnosing professional(s).

Information describing the certification, licensure, and/or the professional training of individuals conducting the evaluation should be provided.

Additional information

Beyond the six elements expected to be included in documentation; recommendations for accommodations, adaptive devices, assistive services, compensatory strategies, and support services will be considered.

Based on the context of the diagnostic evaluation, recommendations for specific accommodations, adaptive devices, and/or assistive services that may ameliorate the functional impact of the disability and provide fuller access should be described. As appropriate, recommendations for medical, psychological, and/or educational support services or training that would be beneficial may also be included.

Recommendations from professionals with a history of working with the individual provide valuable information for the review process. They will be included in the evaluation of requests for accommodation and/or auxiliary aids. Where such recommendations are congruent with the programs, services, and benefits offered by the University they will be given deference. When recommendations go beyond services and benefits that can be provided by the University, they may be used to suggest potential referrals to area service providers beyond the university.

All documentation will be retained in a confidential manner at the DRC for a minimum of 5 years.