Documentation Guidelines

Documentation Guidelines for the Office of Disability Services at Slippery Rock University

The Office of Disability Services provides academic services and accommodations for students with diagnosed disabilities. The documentation provided regarding the disability diagnosis must demonstrate a disability covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended in 2008. The ADA defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Disabilities Covered by the Above Laws:

  • Learning disabilities (such as dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia)
  • Medical health (such as cardiac disease, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, seizure disorder, etc.)
  • Physical/mobility impairments (ambulatory, wheelchair)
  • Hearing impairments
  • Visual impairments
  • Emotional/psychological impairments (such as bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, etc.)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Temporary disabilities - disabilities existing only for a short period of time (6-months or less) as a result of injuries, surgery or short-term medical conditions


There are multiple ways to provide Disability Services with documentation of your disability. Students should submit at least one of the following in addition to his/her self-report:

  1. Full evaluation/diagnostic report
    • A psychological evaluation from a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist
    • This would provide the richest information to determine the best possible accommodations and supports.
  2. Documentation that provides proof of diagnosis and prior accommodations.
    • IEP/504 plan
    • Accommodation letter from previous postsecondary institution

    Please Note: The accommodations for higher education environments may be different from basic education environments. Although the documentation types mentioned above can provide us with the information necessary, we are not able to utilize the same accommodations in all cases. All accommodations will be discussed in the first welcome meeting with the Office of Disability Services and provided on a case by case basis.  Any other accommodations specific to your disability must be requested and approved.

  3. Disability Verification Form
    • Must be completed and signed by a licensed healthcare professional
  4. A healthcare professional can submit a letter of their own. Please provide the following information to Disability Services on letterhead with the date and signature:
    • A diagnostic statement identifying the disability (with the date of diagnosis)
    • Severity of the disorder (mild/moderate/severe)
    • Medication or treatment currently prescribed
    • Recommended accommodations that may assist the student in minimizing the impact of the condition in an academic setting.

Important Notes Regarding Documentation

The Office of Disability Services will review and consider all pieces of documentation submitted. Documentation will assist our office in understanding how the disability impacts the student in an academic setting and the current impact of the disability as it relates to the accommodations requested.

Reviewing documentation is a collaborative process and each piece of documentation is handled on a case-to-case basis.

The eligibility determination process is not a same day process. Once documentation is received, it will be reviewed in order of receipt; therefore, it is recommended that documentation be submitted well in advance of any accommodation related needs.

If you would like to discuss the documentation review process, you may speak with a Disability Services staff member or the director.

Housing Accommodations

The Office of Disability Services also works in conjunction with the offices of Housing and Residence Life to provide appropriate housing accommodations to students who are approved for that accommodation through the Office of Disability Services. To request housing accommodations, students will need to:

  • Complete the housing accommodation request form at the time the housing application is submitted.
  • Submit an Accommodation Request to request accommodations with the Office of Disability Services.

Once those tasks are completed, communication will be made with the student to schedule a Welcome Meeting with the Office of Disability Services. This meeting will be followed by a review of the housing accommodation request form by the Director of Disability Services and the Associate Director for Housing Accommodations at Slippery Rock University.