In determining eligibility for accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American’s With Disabilities Act (ADA) the student must demonstrate that a qualified professional has established a formal diagnosis of a disability. A qualified professional must not be a relative or a family friend.
The diagnosis alone is not enough to establish eligibility for accommodations under the ADA. There must also be evidence of a “substantial limitation” in one or more major life activities, such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, caring for self, performing manual tasks, working or learning. These guidelines are provided to help the evaluating professional document his/her findings in a manner that meets requirements of the ADA and supports the request for accommodations.
The professional conducting the evaluation and making the diagnosis must be qualified to make the diagnosis and to recommend appropriate academic accommodations.
Professionals typically qualified to make a diagnoses include:
- Clinical Psychologists
- Relevantly Trained MDs
- Educational Specialists
- Learning Disabilities Specialists
- Licensed Professional Counselors
- Licensed Clinical Social Workers
- Speech and Hearing Specialists
- Visions Specialists
The documentation must include the name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator, licensure number and specialization. All evaluations reports must be typed on letterhead, signed, and dated by the diagnostician. It must also include the following:
- The diagnoses in which accommodations are being requested
- Previous history of the condition and prognosis
- Description of current functional limitations. Description must include an explanation of how the diagnosis substantially limits a major life activity.
- Address the severity of the condition and the impact it has in the learning environment where accommodations are being requested
- Recommendations. Specific recommendations for accommodations as well as rationale for why each accommodation is recommended. However, the final determination of appropriate accommodations lies with Radford University’s Disability Resource Office.
Recommendations from professionals with a working knowledge of the individual’s history will provide valuable information for the review process. Professional recommendations congruent with the mission and services offered by Radford University will be given serious consideration. When recommendations go beyond services provided by the University, referrals to local area services providers outside of the university will be recommended.
Other documents that will be accepted to request accommodations:
- Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
- 504 Plan
- Psycho-educational Testing
- Medical Letter of Impact
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Documentation
It is the student’s responsibility to:
- Obtain appropriate documentation.
- Present a copy of disability documentation from a qualified professional to the Disability Resource Office upon acceptance letter from the Admissions Office and decision to attend Radford University.
- Obtain additional information when requested.
It is the Disability Resource Office’s responsibility to:
- Review documentation in a timely manner.
- Notify student of documentation status.
- Provide services/accommodations for students with disabilities.
The Disability Resource Office adheres to the laws governing confidentiality. Once registered, all documentation and information becomes confidential and is maintained in a secure location. Documentation of a disability is never part of a student's academic record.
Radford University provides equal access to education without regard to disability.