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Guidelines for Documentation of a Medical or Physical Disability

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At Bard College at Simon’s Rock, students who request accommodations for a disability are required to submit documentation to verify eligibility under Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). These guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that evaluation reports are appropriate for documenting eligibility for students who seek accommodations and services for a physical disability or systemic illness.

Physical disabilities include but are not limited to impairments, chronic illnesses, traumatic brain injury, arthritis, and visual, hearing, mobility, and manual limitations. A diagnosis of a disorder/condition/syndrome or impairment in and of itself does not automatically qualify an individual for accommodations under the ADA. The documentation must also support each request for accommodation, academic adjustment or modification, or auxiliary aid.

Physicians or other licensed health care providers conducting assessments, rendering physical diagnoses, and making recommendations for accommodations must be qualified to do so. A diagnosis must be provided in order to substantiate the stated disability. Recommended documentation includes:

  • A clear statement of the medical diagnosis of the physical disability or systemic illness;
  • Medical information relating to the student’s needs, including the impact of medication on the student’s ability to meet the educational demands of the postsecondary environment;
  • A statement describing the functional impact of the limitation of the disability on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested;
  • What accommodations have been provided in the past and what accommodations are recommended;
  • Length of time the diagnostician has treated the student and date of last contact;
  • Diagnostician’s name, title, license number, address, and phone number. It is not appropriate for professionals to evaluate members of their own families.

This information is confidential and will be used only for the purpose of enabling the College to provide the student with supportive academic accommodations and other services. We will not release any part of the documentation without the student's informed and written consent.

Jean Altshuler, Director of Accessibility and Academic Support
Bard College at Simon’s Rock
84 Alford Rd
Great Barrington, MA 01230

Guidelines adapted from text created by Polly Waldman.
Guidelines adapted from the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)
Guidelines adapted from Educational Testing Services (2003). Guidelines for Documentation of Physical Disabilities and Chronic Health Conditions in Adolescents and Adults.