Timing for Submitting Documentation of a Disability
Student Accessibility Support staff can talk with families about the scope of accommodations and support provided at Brandeis, but documentation is not reviewed and individual accommodations are not determined until a student has been accepted and enrolled at Brandeis.
Documentation Reflects Shift from Secondary School to College
Approval for most accommodations requires current documentation (generally, no more than three years old.) While the presence of the condition itself may be undisputed, approval for accommodation requires information about conditions or diagnoses that can manifest differently over time (learning disabilities, AD/HD, psychiatric.) Current documentation is encouraged, also, for a condition that does not change over time, but the physician or specialist may document that reevaluation of the disability is not necessary. The university may require further clarification or information from the physician or specialist. Some psychiatric conditions require updating documentation every six months, as appropriate.
IEPs or 504 plans from a student's high school may be included, as they provide information about how the student was viewed in his or her high school context. To determine accommodation needs that are appropriate to the university, though, we need a report of a comprehensive evaluation that includes testing instruments, scores, a specific diagnosis and specific recommendations.
Documentation Criteria to Substantiate Academic Accommodations
Helpful criteria to check for are:
- The evaluation must be current (within three years) and specific.
- The evaluation must be conducted by a qualified professional (who is not a family member or relative.)
- The report must substantiate the disability, and substantiate the need for accommodations.
Guidelines for documenting disabilities at the college level can be found at the Educational Testing Services website.