Disability Documentation Guidelines

Disability Support Services

These guidelines are intended to assist evaluators in preparing letters of verification for clients/patients who need to provide documentation of a disability in order to receive accommodations at University of Detroit Mercy.

The information provided should include:

1. A diagnostic statement identifying the disability, date of the most current diagnostic evaluation, and the date of the original diagnosis.

The diagnostic statement should be written using the diagnostic taxonomies utilized in one of the following: the Department of Education; the State Department of Rehabilitative Services or other State agencies; the current edition of either the DSM-IV (APA); or the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems of the World Health Organization (ICD).

2. A description of the diagnostic tests, methods, and/or criteria used.

This description should include the specific results of the diagnostic procedures, diagnostic tests used, including dates administered. When available, both summary and specific test scores should be reported as standard scores and the norming population identified. When standard scores are not available, the mean, standard deviation, and the standard error of measurement are requested as appropriate to the construction of the test.

3. A description of the current functional impact of the disability which includes specific test results and the examiner's narrative interpretation.

The current functional impact on physical, perceptual, cognitive, and behavioral abilities should be described either explicitly or through the provision of specific results from the diagnostic procedure. Currency will be evaluated based on: the typical progression of the disability; its interaction with development across the life span; the presence or absence of significant events (since the date of the evaluation) that would impact functioning; and the applicability of the information to the request for accommodations in an educational setting.

4. Treatment, medications, and/or assistive devices/services currently prescribed or in use.

Provide a description of treatments, medication, assistive devices, accommodations and/or assistive services in current use, and their estimated effectiveness in ameliorating the impact of the disability. Significant side effects that may impact physical, perceptual, behavioral, or cognitive performance should also be noted.

5. A description of the expected progression or stability of the impact of the disability over time, particularly the next five years, and suggested accommodations.

This description should provide an estimate of the changes in the functional limitations of the disability over time and/or recommendations concerning the predictable needs for reevaluation. Suggestions of accommodations that might be appropriate in an educational setting, supported by a disability related rationale, should be included.

6. The credentials of the diagnosing professionals if not clear from the letterhead or other forms.

Provide information describing the certification, licensure, and/or the professional training of individuals conducting the evaluation should be provided.