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Disability Documentation Requirements

Disability documentation submitted to the Services for Students with Disabilities office must clearly establish the existence of a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, Amended 2008 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973:

Disability:  A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the person's major life activities; a history of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment.  

"Substantially limits" means being unable to perform or has significant restrictions to a major life activity, in comparison to the average person.  A "major life activity" is defined as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, eating, etc.  In an academic setting, the disability must substantially limit a student's ability to participate equally in activities associated with learning and/or demonstration of specific skills or knowledge.  A diagnosis without clear evidence of a substantial limitation to a major life activity will likely not meet the definition of disability under ADA and Section 504. 

Documentation forms can be printed for your convenience. These documentation requirements are based on recommendations from the Educational Testing Service Policy Statement for Documentation of Disabilities in Adolescents and Adults

Disability Documentation Forms

Documents are in PDF format. You will need Adobe Reader to open files.

To verify a disability and facilitate the provision of appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities, disability documentation information should include:

  1. A diagnosis by a licensed professional qualified to determine the specific diagnosis.  Use of diagnostic terminology indicating a disability by someone whose training and experience is not in these fields is not acceptable.  Nonspecific terms such as individual "learning styles," "learning differences," "academic problems," "slow reader," "test anxiety," etc. in and of themselves do not constitute a disability.  The diagnostician is encouraged to use direct language and avoid the use of such terms as "suggests" or "is indicative of."

  2. Documentation must be current (within three years or more recent if the effects of the disability and/or medication treatments are variable.)

  3. Documentation must clearly identify the substantial impact of the disability on a major life activity (i.e. learning) and the individual's functional limitations.

  4. Documentation provided must clearly link the functional limitations of the disability to the recommended accommodations. The documentation should describe the student's academic strengths and weaknesses (functional limitations) and be based on educational assessment procedures or thorough clinical interviews and observations. (Recommended accommodations that are not supported by relevant assessment information cannot be guaranteed.)

  5. Documentation must include a listing of all formal and informal tests/procedures administered and the specific results of those tests. (Include standard scores, quotients and percentiles, if available, for each test administered; clinical observations/interview; rating scale results, etc.)

When your licensed provider has completed the disability documentation form(s), they can mail or fax them to our office.

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Services for Students with Disabilities
105 Garfield Avenue, P.O. Box 4004
Centennial Hall 2106 
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004
Phone: 715 836-5800
Fax: 715-831-2651