Documentation Requirements

Documentation provides the university with verification of a student’s disability. It is the student's responsibility to provide documentation of a disability to the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS). Documentation requirements vary depending on the specific disability. In general, the less apparent the disability, the more information is required to determine a student’s needs and make accommodation recommendations. Documentation should be recent, relevant, comprehensive, and where appropriate, contain test scores and interpretations (e.g., psychoeducational reports, audiograms, etc.).

If the original documentation is incomplete or inadequate to determine the extent of the disability or the need for reasonable accommodations, the university has the discretion to require additional documentation.

Confidentiality

The university is committed to maintaining the confidentiality of the records of current and former students with disabilities. Students with disabilities are entitled to privacy and discretion in the handling of all disability-related information. Disability information provided to OAS for accessibility requests, including documentation to establish the existence of a disability, is used solely for the purpose of enabling Emory to provide supportive, academic and other services related to the student’s disability. Disability-related information is collected and maintained separately from other academic information and is kept in secure files with limited access. Disability information is not considered part of a student’s permanent academic record and is shared only on a need-to-know basis.

Disclosing a Disability

Students are under no obligation to disclose a disability unless an accommodation is being requested; likewise, faculty and staff have no authority to review disability documentation or obtain any information concerning a student's disability without a legitimate educational need to know.

Academic Records

Students’ grades, transcripts and other academic information are also confidential and are only released in accordance with the law and Emory’s policies and procedures. It is the student’s responsibility to provide copies of grade reports and/or any other academic information to any agencies or individuals sponsoring the student.  

Documentation Requirements

Students requesting accommodations and/or support services under the amended Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 must provide documentation of the existence of a disability that substantially limits a major life activity (e.g., learning, speaking, breathing, seeing, hearing, walking, etc.). OAS uses an individualized process to establish reasonable accommodations based on the student’s feedback and a review of all supporting documentation. Students may submit any documentation that is current and relevant, with the understanding that additional information may be required to support a specific accommodation request.

Documentation information should validate the need for services based on the individual's current level of functioning in the educational setting. A school plan such as an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), 504 Plan, or Summary of Performance (SOP) can be submitted as documentation, as long as the information provided addresses the impact of the condition and assists OAS to determine a connection between the disability and the accommodation(s) being requested. OAS reserves the right to request additional documentation in order to support specific accommodations.

All Documentation Must:

Be completed by an evaluator who has training and experience with adolescent/adult populations;

Include  the  evaluator’s  name,  title,  professional  credentials,  area  of  specialization, employer and state/province in which individual practices (Note: OAS cannot accept documentation written by a family member);

Be typed, printed on letterhead, dated, signed and legible.

In addition, All Documentation Must Include:

  • History of the disability
  • Description of the current impact as it relates to meeting the various demands of higher education (academically, socially, emotionally, physically, medically)
  • Expected progression or stability
  • Functional living skills (i.e. orientation and mobility and activities of daily living)
  • Notation of any medical equipment that is required
  • Notation of medications, if any, and potential impact on learning and/or side effects
  • Implications of existing co-morbid conditions

Additional observations and/or recommendation

For all cognitive disabilities (Learning Disabilities, conditions or incidents impacting the brain, ADHD, Asperger’s and other Pervasive Developmental Disorders):

  • A comprehensive neuropsychological or psychoeducational evaluation that includes aptitude and achievement (preferably one with measures normed for an adult)
  • Rating scales and objective measure of attention (for ADHD)
  • Standardized scales of symptoms related to Autism (Asperger’s and Pervasive Developmental Disorder)

For the following disabilities, OAS requests that a treating professional complete a verification form in addition to a written letter that addresses the bullet points above:

  • Chronic medical conditions
  • Physical and mobility disabilities
  • Psychological/Mental Health conditions

Disability Verification Forms

If it is more convenient than accessing prior records, students may have their healthcare provider complete the appropriate form from those listed below.  Please feel free to contact OAS at 404-727-9877 or accessibility@emory.edu with any questions about these forms or other documentation-related concerns.

  • Chronic Medical/Physical
  • ADHD
  • Mental Health
  • Communication or Language
  • Temporary Medical Condition

Typically, documentation is from an appropriate, licensed professional who is able to detail the presence of the disability, the impact of it on the student’s learning or other major life activity, and relevant details to support the student’s request for accommodations. Some examples include medical records/letter from a physician or psychologist, psychoeducational assessment/evaluation, and school records.  For the convenience of practitioners, verification forms have also been developed that may be completed for ADHD/ADD, Medical or Physical Disabilities, or Mental Health conditions and are available for download.  All documentation that is received is confidential and is kept in a private file at the Office of Accessibility Services.