Requirements for Disability Documentation

Students requesting accommodations at Rush University must submit documentation of their disability. Eligibility for services and reasonable accommodations are determined holistically in light of disability documentation, student report of how their condition impacts them, perceived need for accommodations, history of accommodations (if any) and program requirements including technical standards.

Lack of accommodations history or specific documentation should not prevent a student from making a request for accommodations.

The guidelines below are divided into different categories, Learning Disabilities, Physical/Sensory Disabilities,  Psychological Disabilities and Short Term/Temporary Disabilities. Please adhere to the requirements listed below, the Office of Student Disability Services may request additional documentation to support an accommodation request if needed.

The following information must be present on all submitted documentation provided to the office of student disability services.

Student information

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • College and program

Certifying health professional information

  • Name
  • Professional title
  • Address
  • Licensing credential, number and state

Reports should include date of assessment, date of letter and should be on professional letterhead. The report(s) must include the following information.

  • First and latest date of contact.
  • Diagnosis(es)
  • Does this condition(s) listed in your report substantially limit a major life activity and thereby, rise to the level of a disability?
  • Brief history (including onset of symptoms, progression to date and any previous accommodations received)
  • Functional limitations (describe degree and basis for the impairment: mild, moderate, severe)
  • Suggested accommodation(s) in professional college (provide brief rationale for each suggestions)
  • Course of the condition (or set of conditions):
     __Permanent and relatively stable  ___Permanent and variable  __Permanent and Progressive
    __Temporary

Documentation requirements for a learning disability

I. A qualified professional must conduct the evaluation

  • Name, title, professional credentials, licensure/certification information and location of practice must be included on any reports submitted.
  •  Evaluators must have professional training in, and experience with, evaluating learning disabilities in adolescents and/or adults.
  • Evaluations performed by members of the student’s family are not acceptable. All reports must be on letterhead.

II. Documentation must be current

  • Reports should reflect the current functional limitations of the student.
  • In general, evaluations conducted in the last three years will be considered timely; however, older documentation may suffice if diagnosis and impact are consistent. *Please note many testing agencies will not accept documentation more than three years old.
  •  Documentation should describe the current impact of the diagnosed condition in the academic and clinical domains. If able, the evaluator should make recommendations appropriate to a professional health science program setting.

III. Documentation must be comprehensive

  • Reports should include a full history of the student (medical, developmental, academic, familial) and indicate any evidence of early impairment, even if not formally diagnosed in childhood or early adolescence.
  • Reports should indicate evidence of current impairment, including the results of a diagnostic interview and a battery of psychoeducational tests designed to identify learning disabilities.

IV. Minimally, documented evaluation must include the following

  • Assessment of cognitive ability/intellectual functioning
  • Measurement of academic achievement
  • Instruments that measure various domains of information processing
  • Other instruments to help confirm or rule out the diagnosis of learning disability
  • A specific diagnosis must be included if indicated.
  • All test scores should be included, along with an interpretation of each and a summary. Documentation should rule out alternative explanations for learning problems (i.e. difficulties that are motivational, emotional, attentional, or related to limited fluency in the English language).
  • Documentation should address any coexisting disorders or suspected coexisting disorders.
  • Documentation must indicate whether or not the evaluator believes the diagnosed condition rises to the level of a disability as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act. A clear indication of the student’s functional limitations must be included.
  • Documentation should tie recommendations for accommodation directly to the designated functional limitations. A rationale, explaining why each recommendation for accommodation is appropriate, should be given.

Documentation requirements for chronic health/physical/sensory disabilities

I. A qualified professional must conduct the evaluation

  • Name, title, professional credentials, licensure/certification information and location of practice must be included on any reports submitted.
  • Evaluators must have professional training in, and experience with evaluating the diagnosis of like or similar conditions in adults.
  • Evaluations performed by members of the student’s family are not acceptable.
  • All reports must be signed by the primary evaluator and typed on letterhead.

II. Documentation must be current

  • Reports should be based on evaluations performed within a reasonable time frame, depending on the degree of change associated with the diagnosed condition(s).
    • Generally a reasonable time frame is not more than three years, but it may be much shorter in many instances.
  •  Reports should accurately describe the current impact of the diagnosed condition and should indicate the currently anticipated course of the condition.

III. Documentation must be comprehensive

  • Reports should include both a description of and evidence of an impairment.
  • They should briefly describe any current treatment plan.
  • A specific diagnosis (or more than one) must be included.
  • Documentation should address any coexisting conditions, suspected coexisting conditions or other confounding factors.
  • Documentation must indicate whether or not the diagnosed condition(s) rises to the level of a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. This professional opinion should then be explained.
  • There must be a clear indication of the individual student’s functional limitations.
  • Documentation should include recommendations for accommodations that are directly related to the functional limitations (and relevant to a professional school environment if possible).
  • A rationale, explaining why each recommendation for accommodation is appropriate, should be provided.

Documentation requirements for Psychological Disabilities

I. A qualified professional must conduct the evaluation.

  • Name, title, professional credentials, licensure/certification information, and location of practice must be included on any reports submitted.
  • Evaluator must have training in, and experience with, the differential diagnosis of psychiatric disorders in adolescents and/or adults.
  • All reports must be signed by the evaluator and should be typed on letterhead

II. Documentation must be current.

  • Reports are to be based on evaluations performed within six months.
  • If a report is older than six months, and the student has remained in clinical contact with his or her evaluator, that professional may supplement the original report with a letter (on letterhead) describing any and all changes since the previous report.
  • Documentation, including any supplements, should describe the current impact of the diagnosed condition(s).
  • Documentation should describe any currently mitigating factors, such as medication or other treatment that further impact the students functioning, contributing to functional limitation (i.e., cognitive fogging or slowing due to side effects of medication).
  • Documentation should make recommendations appropriate to a professional school environment.

III. Documentation must be comprehensive.

  • Reports should include a brief history of the student’s disorder. A specific diagnosis, or more than one, must be included.
  • Reports must indicate that DSM-V criteria have been met for each condition. Other potential diagnoses must be ruled out in the report.
  • Documentation must indicate whether or not the evaluator believes the diagnosed condition(s) rise(s) to the level of a disability as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • There must be a clear indication of the individual student’s functional limitations, in a professional school environment and across other domains.
  • Documentation should include recommendations for accommodations that are directly related to the functional initiations.
  • A rationale, explaining why each recommendation for accommodation is appropriate, is to be given.

Short Term/Temporary Accommodations

There may be the occasion when a student sustains a serious, but time-limited, injury or illness (e.g., a broken bone, mononucleosis, etc.) that requires the student to miss several days of class, clinical practica or limits the student’s ability to perform in the clinical area. For the safety of the student, patients, classmates, and staff, the student will engage the office of student disability services to develop a short-term accommodation plan for all educational settings, including the classroom, lab, and clinical environment, where academic performance may be affected. These time-limited accommodations are created through an interactive process that includes the student, office of student disability services, the appropriate faculty and the student’s health care provider in order to facilitate the student meeting course objectives.

Students seeking short-term/temporary accommodations will:

  • Complete the Request for Accommodation Form
  •  Provide documentation from their treating clinician stating the diagnosis (please adhere to information stated above for documentation requirements) to the office of student disability services.
  • Specify any restrictions (such as lifting)
  • Expected date of when student would be eligible to return to duty without any restrictions.