In order to be eligible for accommodation under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), students must be able to demonstrate that a professional who is qualified to make the diagnosis and to recommend appropriate academic accommodations has established a formal diagnosis of disability. A qualified professional must not be a relative or a family friend.
The diagnosis alone is not enough to establish eligibility for accommodations under the ADA. There must also be evidence of a “substantial limitation” in one or more major life activities (walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, caring for self, performing manual tasks, working, or learning).
Professionals typically qualified to make diagnoses include:
- Clinical Psychologists
- Relevantly Trained MDs
- Educational Specialists
- Learning Disabilities Specialists
- Licensed Professional Counselors
- Licensed Clinical Social Workers
- Speech and Hearing Specialists
- Vision Specialists
The documentation must include the name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator, licensure number, and specialization. All evaluation reports must be typed on letterhead, signed, and dated by the diagnostician. Documentation must also include the following:
- The diagnoses in which accommodations are being requested
- Previous history of the condition and prognosis
- Description of current functional limitations, which must include an explanation of how the diagnosis substantially limits a major life activity
- Description of the severity of the condition and the impact it has in the learning environment where accommodations are being requested
- Recommendations for accommodations as well as rationale for why each accommodation is recommended; However, the final determination of appropriate accommodations lies with the University of Saint Francis Student Disability Services staff.
Other documents that will be accepted to request accommodations:
- Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
- 504 Plan
- Psycho-educational Testing
- Medical Letter of Impact
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Documentation
Once registered, all documentation and information becomes confidential and is maintained in a secure location. Documentation of a disability is never part of a student’s academic record. Documentation verifying disability can be submitted in a variety of ways:
- In person to the Student Success and Academic Advising Center: Room 210 in the Pope John Paul II Center
- Scanned and emailed to Geneva Burgess, Coordinator of Disability Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mailed to:
Student Success and Academic Advising Center
University of Saint Francis
2701 Spring Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46808
Attn: Geneva Burgess