Documentation

Disability Documentation Policies

Disability Resource Services

Specific Learning Disability

ADHD

Psychological Disability

Low Vision or Blindness

Hearing Loss

Mobility, Systemic, or Health

Disability Resource Services
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

        The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse adheres to the civil rights definition of a disability. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination and assured services and accommodations that provide equal access to the activities and programs of the university. To establish that an individual is covered under the ADA, documentation must indicate that the disability limits a major life activity. If academic or classroom-based adjustments and accommodations are requested, learning must be one of the major life activities affected. Documentation submitted must:

  1. Be appropriate to verify eligibility

  2. Demonstrate a current substantial impact of one or more major life activities, and

  3. Support the request for accommodations, academic adjustments and or auxiliary aids.

        To qualify for disability services through Disability Resource Services, students are required to provide diagnostic documentation from a licensed clinical professional familiar with the history and functional implications of the impairments. Disability documentation must adequately verify the nature and extent of the disability in accordance with current professional standards and techniques, and it must clearly substantiate the need for all of the student's specific accommodation requests. All documentation must be submitted on the official letterhead of the professional describing the disability. The report should be dated and signed and include the name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license or certification. If the original documentation is incomplete or inadequate to determine the extent of the disability or reasonable accommodation, the University has the discretion to require additional documentation. Any cost incurred in obtaining documentation is borne by the student. If the documentation is complete but the University desires a second professional opinion, the University bears the latter cost. In general, it is not acceptable for such documentation to include a diagnosis or testing performed by a member of the student's family. Additionally, students requesting accommodations for the manifestations of multiple disabilities must provide evidence of all such conditions.

        These documentation guidelines are intended for the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and may or may not be sufficient for other universities or agencies that grant specific accommodations (i.e. placement exams).

(The following documents were referred to and used in the development of this policy and guidelines: University of Wisconsin-Madison McBurney Disability Resource Center document titled “Disability Documentation Policies for Students with Disabilities”, The University of Iowa Student Disability Services documentation guidelines, The University of Montana Disability Services documentation guidelines, and the University of Georgia’s documentation guidelines.)

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Specific Learning Disability

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Disability Resource Services (DRS) protects qualified students enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse from discrimination on the basis of disability and assures provision of reasonable accommodations. To determine that a student is protected by the two laws, DRS requires documentation that diagnoses a disability and describes how the condition directly and substantially limits a major life function such as learning. The following guidelines establish that a student is eligible for protection and services on the basis of disability, demonstrates that the disability produces a significant, functional impact on a major life activity, and supports the student’s request for accommodations.

Students requesting accommodation on the basis of a specific learning disability must provide documentation from a professional who has undergone comprehensive training and has relevant experience in differential diagnosis of a full range of cognitive and psychiatric disabilities (e.g., licensed clinical psychologists, educational psychologists, school psychologists and neuropsychologists). University policy requires that current and comprehensive verification of the learning disability and its impact on learning be relatively recent. A suggested guideline is less than three years old. This documentation must include, but is not restricted to the following:

  • Severity of the disability: Mild, moderate, or severe

  • Date of diagnosis and date of last contact with student

  • List of standardized tests or other measures used to assess the following: Aptitude, achievement, and information processing. A brief measure of intellectual ability and/or achievement will not be accepted.

  • Summary of the student’s educational, medical, and family history that may relate to the learning disability (must demonstrate that difficulties are not the result of sensory impairment, serious emotional disturbance, cultural differences, or insufficient instruction)

  • Summary of how the diagnosis was reached, including description of which learning disability definition was used for the diagnosis, and how the learning disability substantially limits a major life activity

  • List of functional limitations caused by the learning disability which may affect programs in higher education

  • Recommendations for necessary and appropriate accommodations to equalize the student’s educational opportunities at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

  • Other information relevant to the student’s academic adjustment

  • Signature and contact information of diagnostician, including mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address.

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Disability Resource Services (DRS) protects qualified students enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse from discrimination on the basis of disability and assures provision of reasonable accommodations. To determine that a student is protected by the two laws, DRS requires documentation that diagnoses a disability and describes how the condition directly and substantially limits a major life function such as learning. The following guidelines establish that a student is eligible for protection and services on the basis of disability, demonstrates that the disability produces a significant, functional impact on a major life activity, and supports the student’s request for accommodations.

Students requesting accommodations on the basis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) must provide documentation by a professional who has undergone comprehensive training and has relevant experience in differential diagnosis of a full range of psychiatric disorders (e.g. licensed clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist, psychiatrist, or medical doctor). The documentation must include the following:

  • Specific diagnosis as per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) and date of onset

  • Severity of the disability: mild, moderate, or severe

  • Date of diagnosis and date of last contact with the student

  • Complete evidence of ADHD and of a substantial limitation to major life activities

  • Summary of the student’s educational, medical, and family history that may relate to ADHD

  • Symptoms which meet the criteria for the DSM-IV-TR diagnosis

  • List of the functional limitations caused by the ADHD which may affect programs of higher education

  • Recommendations for necessary and appropriate accommodations to equalize the student’s educational opportunities at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse such as alternative media, note takers, or other reasonable accommodations

  • Other information relevant to this student’s academic adjustment

  • Signature and contact information of diagnostician including mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address

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Psychological Disability

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Disability Resource Services (DRS) protects qualified students enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse from discrimination on the basis of disability and assures provision of reasonable accommodations. To determine that a student is protected by the two laws, DRS requires documentation that diagnoses a disability and describes how the condition directly and substantially limits a major life function such as learning. The following guidelines establish that a student is eligible for protection and services on the basis of disability, demonstrates that the disability produces a significant, functional impact on a major life activity, and supports the student’s request for accommodations.

Commonly seen psychological disabilities include major depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and anxiety disorders. Often, psychological disorders onset in the late teens to early thirties. As a result, accepting the disability and its functional limitations may be a new experience for many students.

Students requesting accommodations on the basis of a psychological disability must provide the current documentation from a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or licensed clinical social worker, which must include the following:

  • A specific, current psychological diagnosis per the DSM-IV-TR which indicates the nature, frequency, and severity of the symptoms upon which the diagnosis was predicated. A diagnosis without explicit listing of current symptoms is not sufficient. Primary and secondary Axis I and Axis II diagnoses are required.

  • Evidence of current impairment. An assessment of the individual’s presenting symptoms and evidence of current behaviors that significantly impair functioning must be provided. In an academic setting, functional impairment is most often expressed in poor academic performance across a variety of academic tasks.

  • Date of diagnosis

  • Approximate duration and prognosis of the disability

  • Relevant history of the disability (date of onset, previous hospitalizations)

  • Recommendations for necessary accommodations to equalize the student’s educational opportunities at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

  • Other information relevant to the student’s academic adjustment

  • Professional’s name, title, certification/license, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, and signature

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Low Vision or Blindness

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Disability Resource Services (DRS) protects qualified students enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse from discrimination on the basis of disability and assures provision of reasonable accommodations. To determine that a student is protected by the two laws, DRS requires documentation that diagnoses a disability and describes how the condition directly and substantially limits a major life function such as learning. The following guidelines establish that a student is eligible for protection and services on the basis of disability, demonstrates that the disability produces a significant, functional impact on a major life activity, and supports the student’s request for accommodations.

Students requesting accommodations on the basis of low vision or blindness must provide documentation consisting of:

  • An ocular assessment or evaluation from an ophthalmologist

  • A low-vision evaluation of residual visual function, when appropriate

  • An assessment of the functional limitations of the condition(s) for which the accommodation is being requested

  • Degree of limitation: mild, moderate, or severe

  • Suggestions as to how the functionally limiting manifestations of the visual condition(s) may appropriately be accommodated

  • Other information relevant to the student’s academic adjustment

  • Professional’s name, title, certification/license, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, and signature

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Hearing Loss

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Disability Resource Services (DRS) protects qualified students enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse from discrimination on the basis of disability and assures provision of reasonable accommodations. To determine that a student is protected by the two laws, DRS requires documentation that diagnoses a disability and describes how the condition directly and substantially limits a major life function such as learning. The following guidelines establish that a student is eligible for protection and services on the basis of disability, demonstrates that the disability produces a significant, functional impact on a major life activity, and supports the student’s request for accommodations.

Students requesting accommodations on the basis of deafness or hearing loss must provide documentation consisting of:

  • An audiological evaluation and/or audiogram, no older than three years if loss is progressive

  • An assessment of the functional limitations of the hearing loss for which accommodations are being requested

  • Degree of limitation: mild, moderate or severe

  • Other information relevant to the student’s academic adjustment

  • Professional’s name, title, certification/license, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, and signature

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Mobility, Systemic, or Health-Related Disabilities

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Disability Resource Services (DRS) protects qualified students enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse from discrimination on the basis of disability and assures provision of reasonable accommodations. To determine that a student is protected by the two laws, DRS requires documentation that diagnoses a disability and describes how the condition directly and substantially limits a major life function such as learning. The following guidelines establish that a student is eligible for protection and services on the basis of disability, demonstrates that the disability produces a significant, functional impact on a major life activity, and supports the student’s request for accommodations.

Students requesting accommodations on the basis of mobility, systematic or health-related disabilities must provide documentation consisting of:

  • An identification of the disabling condition(s)

  • As assessment of the functional limitations of the condition(s) for which the accommodation is being requested

  • Degree of limitation: mild, moderate or severe

  • Suggestions as to how the functionally limiting manifestations of the condition(s) may be appropriately accommodated

  • Other information relevant to the student’s academic adjustment

  • Professional’s name, title, certification/license, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, and signature

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