Disability Documentation Guidelines
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination and assured reasonable accommodations. In order to establish that an individual is covered under the ADAAA, we ask students to submit documentation of a disability. If you have questions or concerns about documentation requirements, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The guidance below is based on suggested practices from the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD).
IEPs and 504 Plans: If a student has a high school IEP or 504 Plan, please share that with the DSO as a form of disability documentation which will be helpful in the accommodation decision-making process. In some cases, an IEP or 504 Plan may not contain all the information we require. In such cases, we will ask for additional documentation per the guidelines below.
Acceptable Sources of Documentation: We ask that medical documentation be from a licensed professional not employed by RIT or NTID. We welcome educational documentation (IEPs or 504 Plans) as well as military documentation for those with service-related disabilities. You will be contacted by the DSO if we require additional documentation to approve your request for accommodations.
Confidentiality: All disability information you provide to the RIT Disability Services Office will be kept confidential. We will only disclose this information to others on a need-to-know basis to permit RIT faculty or staff member(s) to complete or manage your request, with others at your request, or as otherwise required under applicable law. For additional information on how your information may be used, please review RIT's Privacy Statement posted at www.rit.edu/privacystatement.html .
- The credentials of the evaluator(s)
Submitted documentation should be produced by a licensed or otherwise properly credentialed professional who has undergone appropriate and comprehensive training, has relevant experience, and has no personal relationship with the individual being evaluated.
- A diagnostic statement identifying the disability
Submitted documentation should include a clear diagnostic statement that describes how the condition was diagnosed, provides information on the functional impact, and details the typical progression or prognosis of the condition. Use of diagnostic codes from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM) is helpful in providing this information; a full clinical description conveying the necessary information is also acceptable.
- A description of the diagnostic methodology used
Submitted documentation should include a description of the diagnostic criteria, evaluation methods, procedures, tests and dates of administration, as well as a clinical narrative, observation, and specific results. Where appropriate to the nature of the disability, having both summary data and specific test scores (with the norming population identified) within the report is recommended.
Diagnostic methods that are congruent with the particular disability and current professional practices in the field are recommended. Methods may include formal instruments, medical examinations, structured interview protocols, performance observations and unstructured interviews. If results from informal, non-standardized or less common methods of evaluation are reported, an explanation of their role and significance in the diagnostic process will strengthen their value in providing useful information.
- A description of the current functional limitations
Submitted documentation should include information on how the disabling condition(s) currently impacts the individual. A combination of the results of formal evaluation procedures, clinical narrative, and the individual’s self-report is the most comprehensive approach to fully documenting impact. The documentation should be thorough enough to demonstrate whether and how a major life activity is substantially limited by providing a clear sense of the severity, frequency and pervasiveness of the condition(s).
Relatively recent documentation, dated within 1-5 years of the request, is acceptable in most circumstances. Older documentation of physical conditions that are permanent or non-varying is acceptable.
- A description of the expected progression or stability of the disability
It is helpful when documentation provides information on expected changes in the functional impact of the disability over time and context. Information on the cyclical or episodic nature of the disability and known or suspected environmental triggers to episodes provides opportunities to anticipate and plan for varying functional impacts. If the condition is not stable, information on interventions (including the individual’s own strategies) for exacerbations and recommended timelines for re-evaluation are most helpful.
- A description of current and past adjustments, services and/or medications
A description of both current and past medications, auxiliary aids, assistive devices, support services, and adjustments, including their effectiveness in ameliorating functional impacts of the disability, is very helpful. A discussion of any significant side effects from current medications or services that may impact physical, perceptual, behavioral or cognitive performance is helpful. Please note that RIT has no obligation to provide adjustments previously provided by outside entities.
- Recommendations for reasonable accommodations
Recommendations from professionals with a history of working with the individual may provide information useful in the planning process. Please note that RIT has no obligation to provide or adopt recommendations made by outside entities.
COVID-19 Update: Please do not mail or fax documentation to the DSO at this time. We ask that all documentation be submitted via email to email@example.com until further notice.
To submit documentation of your disability, please use one of the following methods:
- Fax to 585-475-2215
- Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mail to:
Rochester Institute of Technology
Disability Services Office/SAU 1150
28 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623-5604
Listed to the left is information regarding documentation submitted to RIT, which is based on suggested practices from AHEAD (Association on Higher Education and Disability). It is also available for printing.