Disability Services at UMass Amherst

Documentation Needed to Determine Eligibility For Accommodations

Confidentiality and Release of Information
Documentation Needed to Determine Eligibility
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
Blind/Visually Impaired
Brain Injury
Deaf/Hard of Hearing
Physical and Systemic Disabilities
Psychiatric/Psychological Disabilities
Learning Disabilities
Visual Disorders/Non Acuity
Substance Abuse

Confidentiality and Release of Information

All documentation and files containing information about a student’s disability or disabilities are kept strictly confidential. Federal law requires that disability-related documentation be kept confidential in a manner similar to laws requiring medical records to be protected.

In keeping with the University’s confidentiality policy, notification sent to faculty and staff requesting reasonable accommodations do not state the nature of a student’s disability; they list only the recommended accommodations. Students must give their consent before information concerning accommodations can be sent to University personnel.

Documentation Needed to Determine Eligibility

If you wish to receive academic accommodations while enrolled at the University of Massachusetts Amherst you must provide documentation of your disability to Disability Services. Documentation must come from a licensed professional who is qualified to diagnose your disability. This professional practitioner must be impartial and not a member of your family. This documentation is used to help determine accommodations that are reasonable, appropriate and effective. The following guidelines have been listed to help you provide adequate documentation. Please contact Disability Services if you have questions or need more information.

Further assessment by an appropriate professional practitioner may be required if co-existing learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated. The applicant and Disability Services will collaboratively determine appropriate academic accommodations. adjustments.

Recommended Documentation

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

A complete statement of ADD or ADHD with the DSM-IV diagnosis and a description of supporting past and present symptoms.

An account of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis.

A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disorder on learning and the degree to which it impacts the applicant in the learning context for which academic adjustments are being requested.

Blind/Visually Impaired

A complete statement of vision-related disability with supporting numerical description that reflects the current impact the blindness or vision loss has on the applicant’s functioning.

Medical information relating to the applicant’s needs, the status of the applicant’s vision (static or changing), and its impact on the demands of the academic program.

Written account providing information about the applicant’s abilities that might be helpful in understanding the functional limitations, the use of corrective lenses and ongoing visual therapy (if appropriate).

A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning and the degree to which it impacts the applicant in the learning context for which academic adjustments are being requested.

Brain Injury

A complete statement of the head injury or traumatic brain injury.

The documentation must demonstrate the current impact the head injury (and any prescribed medication) has on the applicant’s functioning and ability to meet the demands of postsecondary environment.

An account of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis.

A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning and the degree to which it impacts the applicant in the learning context for which academic adjustments are being requested.

Deaf/Hard of Hearing

A complete statement of deafness or hearing loss, with a current audiogram that reflects the impact of hearing loss on the applicant’s functioning.

Medical information relating to the applicant’s needs, the status of the applicant’s hearing (static or changing) and impact on the demands of the academic program.

A narrative regarding the use of hearing aids or other assistive devices (if appropriate).

A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning and the degree to which it impacts the applicant in the learning context for which academic adjustments are being requested.

Physical and Systemic Disabilities

A complete statement of medical diagnosis of the orthopedic/mobility disability or systemic illness.

The documentation must reflect the current impact the physical disability or systemic illness has on the applicant’s functioning. A disability that is sporadic or degenerative may require more frequent evaluation.

A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning and the degree to which it impacts the applicant in the learning context for which academic adjustments are being requested.

Psychiatric/Psychological Disabilities

A complete statement of the disability, including the DSM-IV diagnosis and summary of present symptoms.

An account of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis.

The documentation must reflect the current impact the psychiatric/psychological disability (and prescribed medications) has on the applicants’ functioning.

A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning and the degree to which it impacts the applicant in the learning context for which academic adjustments are being requested.

Learning Disabilities

A summary report of neuropsychological testing that is comprehensive and includes a measure of both aptitude and academic achievement in the areas of reading, mathematics and written language.

If medications are prescribed to treat this disability, the documentation should include information regarding the impact these have on the applicant’s functioning and ability to meet the demands of postsecondary environment.

IEPs or 504 plans are not considered to be adequate documentation. However, they can be submitted along with documentation.

A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning and the degree to which it impacts the applicant in the learning context for which academic adjustments are being requested.

If you have been previously diagnosed with a learning disability, but do not have thorough documentation, you may receive services on a provisional basis for one semester only.

Visual Disorders/Non Acuity

A complete statement of the learning-related visual (non-acuity) disorder with supporting numerical description.

Medical information relating to the applicant’s needs, the status of the applicant’s vision (static or changing) and the impact on the demands of a postsecondary program.

A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning and the degree to which it impacts the applicant in the learning context for which academic adjustments are being requested.

Substance Abuse:

Rehabilitated Drug Addiction

A complete statement of successful completion of a supervised drug rehabilitation program with the DSM-IV diagnosis. A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning and the degree to which it impacts the applicant in the learning context for which academic adjustments are being requested.

Alcoholism

A complete statement of the disability, including the DSM-IV diagnosis. A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning and the degree to which it impacts the applicant in the learning context for which academic adjustments are being requested.