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Disability Documentation Policy

Wellness Center/Disability Services Disability Documentation Policy

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Kettering University recognizes that qualified students who have diagnosed or identified learning, physical, or emotional disabilities are entitled to the same benefits from the educational programs of the university as non-disabled students. To establish that an individual is covered under the ADA, the documentation should indicate that the disability substantially limits some major life activity, including learning. Accommodations are individualized and determined on a case-by-case basis for students who are qualified for equal access to programs and courses.

It is your responsibility to provide appropriate documentation of your disability to the Wellness Center. The documentation provided must include:

  • a diagnosis of a physical or mental impairment
  • discuss how the disability limits one or more major life activities
  • address how the disability will affect you in the learning environment
  • outline the reasonable accommodations recommended
  • dated within the last three (3) years

Submission of the documents, review and interview with Wellness Center staff can take up to five (5) business days. Requests for accommodations should be made as early as possible in the term to ensure that appropriate time is given to professors if accommodations are needed in the classroom. Professors require a minimum one (1) week notice to review accommodation requests prior to quizzes and exams.

What documents do I need to provide?

An Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan cannot serve as the stand alone documentation for accommodations and services at the university level. It is your responsibility to provide the appropriate documentation which identifies the nature of your disability, discusses how your disability will impact you in the learning environment, and outlines the necessary reasonable accommodations to be provided in the classroom or on campus. Your documentation must be prepared by a person who is not a family member and by a person who is qualified by professional training and practice to diagnose and treat those impairments associated with your disability. Documents must be typed and printed on the letterhead of the practitioner, agency, clinic, or hospital. The documentation must contain the name, title, professional credentials, licensure or certification information, original signature, and contact information of the professional. The university reserves the right to ask for more recent documentation or additional documentation for clarification as appropriate.  Handwritten notes on prescription pads will not be accepted.

The following is a summary of the documentation you will need to provide based on your specific disability. For more detailed information, refer to the appropriate set of documentation guidelines found at the end of this document.

Learning Disability

Students must provide a psycho-educational evaluation not more than three years old with qualifying cognitive and processing standardized test scores and a DSM IV diagnosis of a learning disorder. The documentation must also discuss the effect on the student’s functioning in the academic environment, and include a discussion of the reasonable accommodations recommended. The evaluation must be completed by a licensed school psychologist or psychologist who diagnoses learning disabilities.

Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder

Students must provide a letter or report not more than three years old from a psychologist, psychiatrist, or M.D. qualified to diagnose the condition. The letter must be typed on letterhead and signed. The letter must identify the specific disability, the effect on the student’s ability to function in the learning environment, and the reasonable accommodations recommended.

Psychological or Mental Disorder

Students must provide a letter or report not more than three years old from a psychologist, psychiatrist, or M.D. qualified to diagnose the condition. The letter must be typed on letterhead and signed. The letter must identify the specific DSM IV disability, the effect on the student’s functioning in the learning environment, and the reasonable accommodations recommended.

Physical or Other Health Impairment

Students must provide a letter or report not more than three years old from a psychologist, psychiatrist, or M.D. qualified to diagnose the condition. The condition or its effects must be long term to permanent. The letter must be typed on letterhead and signed. The letter must identify the specific disability or health impairment, the effect on the student’s functioning in the learning environment, and the reasonable accommodations recommended.

Hearing Impairment or Deafness

Students must provide an audiogram indicating level of hearing loss or letter on letterhead not more than three years old from an M.D. qualified to diagnose the condition. The condition or its effects must be long term to permanent. The letter must identify the specific disability, the effect on the student’s functioning in the academic environment, and the reasonable accommodations recommended.

Speech Impairment

Students must provide a report or letter on letterhead not more than three years old from a speech pathologist or an M.D. qualified to diagnose the condition. The condition or its effects must be long term to permanent. The letter must identify the specific disability, the effect on the student’s functioning in the learning environment, and the reasonable accommodations recommended.

Visual Impairment or Blindness

Students must provide a letter or report not more than three years old from an M.D. qualified to diagnose the condition. The condition or its effects must be long term to permanent. The letter must be typed on letterhead and signed. The letter must identify the specific disability, the effect on the student’s functioning in the learning environment, and the reasonable accommodations recommended.

Why can’t I use my Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan from High School?

An Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan cannot serve as the stand alone documentation for accommodations and services at the university level.

Records must contain information meeting the disability documentation requirements previously outlined (diagnosis, functional limitations, and recommendations). IEPs are primarily plans for education prepared by K-12 public school systems appropriate to assuring a student with a disability has equal access to a free and appropriate education in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Various educational records such as an IEP, a transcript, or other special-education records, however, may provide valuable information about what kinds of accommodations and services were effective in the past. The IEP is a useful tool to assist the disabilities specialist in identifying appropriate classroom accommodations and learning strategies that may have been effective in previous educational experiences. The office for Services for Student with Disabilities encourages students to provide a copy of their most recent IEP in addition to the required documentation.