Disability documentation

Important Information

The ACCESS Center is currently open.  Please contact us using either your assigned advisor's individual contact information below, or if you have not yet been assigned an advisor you may call or email the main office. 

Students needing to schedule appointments with an advisor can schedule with their individual advisor or call our front desk to make an appointment.  Appointments can be scheduled for video conference calls or an in-person meeting depending on your advisor.

 

Important Dates:

December 24-25 - Office Closed, University Holiday

December 28, 29, 30 - ACCESS Center office open, limited staffing

December 31-January 1 - Office Closed, University Holiday

January 4 - First day of class, Winter Term

January 18 - Office Closed, University Holiday

January 22 - Last day of class and Final exams, Winter Term

February 1 - First day of class, Spring Term

May 7 - Last day of class, Spring Term

May 10-14 - Final exams, Spring Term

In order to provide reasonable academic accommodations for a student, the ACCESS Center requires documentation that establishes a diagnosis of a disability and describes how the condition directly and substantially limits a major life function for the student.  Students may submit a letter or diagnostic report from their provider that contains the information for disability categories listed below.  As an alternative, some disabilities have a disability verification form (linked below) that students may have their provider complete for their specific disability.

Documentation must be from an appropriate professional who has diagnosed the student's disability or who has sufficient history with the student to support a previous diagnosis.  If applicable, any testing in the documentation must be adult normed and should be from a recent evaluation.  While they are helpful in establishing past accommodations,  IEPs and 504 plans are not sufficient documentation.

Students whose documentation is incomplete or outdated may be eligible for provisional accommodations (maximum of 1 semester) while working on obtaining further information from their doctor or mental health care provider.

Documentation may be sent to:

Email: ACCESSCenter@uwlax.edu

Fax: 608-785-6910

Mailing Address:

The ACCESS Center
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54601

Acquired Brain Injury expanding section

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and other Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI), can range in severity and impact, from concussions whose affects can be felt for days, to lesions that result in chronic physical and/or cognitive symptoms.  For students requesting services, the Disability Resources for Students (DRS) office requires documentation from a qualified professional that describes the disability and its likely impact on the student’s academic experiences. This documentation serves three purposes:

  • To establish that the student can be considered a person with a disability, and therefore eligible for protection against discrimination on the basis of disability.
  • To supplement information from the student regarding the impact of the disability.
  • To inform the development of reasonable accommodation (auxiliary aids and services) designed to facilitate equal access to University environments on a case-by-case basis.

Documentation must include the following:

  • A diagnosis of a traumatic brain injury and include a date of incident
  • A description of the current cognitive limitations with specific focus on barriers to the educational and/or housing environment. Documentation should address the severity/frequency of symptoms
    • Students requesting services during the first 2 years of recovery, are often approved for accommodations on a temporary basis as they recover.  In these cases, documentation is considered current if the assessment occurred within the past 6 months
    • Assessments conducted 2 years, or more, post-incident may be considered for permanent accommodation
  • To document motor and other physical impacts, documentation should include a diagnosis and describe presenting symptoms
  • Information on any medications being used and their side effects.
  • Signature, License/Certification, and contact information of diagnostician including mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address.

Documentation may be submitted in, but is not limited to, one of the following formats:

  • Qualified provider’s professional letterhead
  • Psycho-educational evaluation
    • Psychometric test results from general measures of aptitude and academic achievement
    • Information regarding information processing, memory and a general psychological evaluation can be helpful in determining the impact of a disability.
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) expanding section

Students requesting accommodations on the basis of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) must provide documentation by a professional who has 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 -V or DSM-IV) and date of onset.
  • Severity of the disability: mild, moderate, or severe.
  • Date of diagnosis and date of last contact with the student.
  • Summary of the student’s educational, medical, and family history that may relate to ADHD.
  • Symptoms which meet the criteria for the DSM 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.
  • Other information relevant to this student’s academic success.
  • Signature, License/Certification, and contact information of diagnostician including mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address.

UWL ADHD Verification Form.pdf

UWL ADHD Verification Form w supervisor line - Fillable.pdf

Autism Spectrum expanding section

The documentation must include the following:

  • Specific diagnosis as per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM -V or DSM-IV) and date of onset.
  • Current functional limitations on major life activities resulting from the Autism spectrum disorder to include but not be limited to:  communication or language skills, social interaction, restricted, repetitive and/or stereotyped patterns of behavior and activities, sensory functioning and sensitivity to environmental conditions, and motor planning.
  • Evidence to support the functional limitations. This statement may include aptitude testing, standardized tests of language skills, clinical and teacher observations, and standardized scales of symptoms related to autism. 
  • Recommendations for accommodations related to function and their rationale should be stated and any other strategies or services that may benefit the individual in a higher education environment.
  •  Signature, License/Certification, and contact information of diagnostician including mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address.

UWL Autism Spectrum Verification Form.pdf

Blind/Vision Impaired expanding section

The documentation must include the following:

  • 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 success
  • Signature, License/Certification, and contact information of diagnostician including mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address.
Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing expanding section

The documentation must include the following:

  • An audiology 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 success.
  • Recommendations for necessary and appropriate accommodations to equalize the student’s educational opportunities at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
  • Signature, License/Certification, and contact information of diagnostician including mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address.

UWL Deaf-HOH Verification Form.pdf

Physical/Mobility expanding section

The documentation must include the following:

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

UWL Physical-Mobility Disability Verification Form.pdf

Psychological expanding section

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.

The documentation must include the following:

  • Specific diagnosis as per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM -V or DSM-IV) and date of onset.
  • Current severity of the disability: mild, moderate, or severe.
  • Nature, frequency, and severity of the symptoms upon which the diagnosis was made. A diagnosis without explicit listing of current symptoms is not sufficient.
  • 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 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 success.
  • Signature, License/Certification, and contact information of diagnostician including mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address.

UWL Psychological Disability Verification Form.pdf

UWL Psychological Disability Verification Form - Fillable.pdf

Specific Learning Disability expanding section

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 documentation of the learning disability and its impact on learning be relatively recent. A suggested guideline is less than three years old. 

The documentation must include the following:

  • Date of diagnosis and date of last contact with student.
  • Severity of the disability: Mild, moderate, or severe.
  • 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 success
  • Signature, License/Certification, and contact information of diagnostician including mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address.
Systemic Health expanding section

The documentation must include the following:

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

UWL Systemic Health Disability Verification Form.pdf

The ACCESS Center does not maintain files with original copies of documentation obtained for the purpose of documenting disabilities and cannot release or send third-party information created by school district officials, physicians, mental health providers, or any other specialists.  It is recommended that students keep a file with all current and historical documentation so that they can provide copies to other agencies/institutions as needed.