Guidelines for documentation of disabilities

Students seeking support services from the Office of Educational Accessibility must submit documentation that verifies their eligibility under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act.

General Guidelines for all disabilities

Each student will be interviewed in an intake process. Academic accommodations will be provided on an individual basis, and will be based on the student's functional limitations.

IEPs and 504 Plans are helpful to colleges but may be insufficient as a sole form of documentation, as both are required under laws that do not apply once the student attends college.


Documentation guidelines: medical, psychological & ADHD disabilities

The evaluation should be conducted by a qualified professional with training and experience in evaluating adolescent/adult populations. (Evaluators include clinical psychologists, neuro-psychologists, psychiatrists, or other relevantly trained medical doctors. A clinical team approach to diagnosis may also be appropriate.)

The documentation guidelines are as follows:

  1. Letters or other documents must be on letterhead and clearly state the name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator (e.g., licensed psychologist); the area of specialization; and the state/province in which the individual practices.
  2. Write in narrative format and include a description of the diagnostic tests, methods and/or criteria used; the specific results of the diagnostic procedures; and when available, both summary and specific test scores. A diagnosis alone is not sufficient information to establish eligibility or provide accommodations.
  3. Describe the current substantial functional impact of the disability on a major life activity.
  4. Indicate treatments, medications and/or assistive devices/services currently prescribed or in use and significant side effects that may impact physical, perceptual, behavioral or cognitive performance.
  5. Describe the expected progression or stability of the impact of the disability over time, particularly the next five years.
  6. Recommend accommodations, including adaptive devices, assistive services, compensatory strategies, and/or collateral support services.

Guidelines for Documentation for Specific Learning Disabilities

The evaluation should be conducted by a qualified professional with training and experience in evaluating adolescents/adults for learning disorders. (Evaluators include clinical psychologists, neuropsychologists, school psychologists, and learning disorders specialists. A clinical team approach to diagnosis may also be appropriate.)

The evaluation should be comprehensive, including:

  • A clinical interview with relevant background information (e.g., current difficulties/limitations in functioning; academic, medical, psychological, and/or family history)
  • Aptitude testing with a comprehensive, well-established measure (e.g., the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV)
  • Achievement testing with a comprehensive, well-established measure (e.g., the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement, Third Edition (WJ-III)
  • Information processing testing (subtests of the WAIS-IV may be used)

The report should include:

  • The name, title, professional credentials, signature, and contact information of the evaluator
  • The date of the evaluation
  • A summary of the measures used in the evaluation
  • Test scores, preferably standard scores and/or percentiles
  • A diagnosis that is supported by the evaluation
  • Recommendations for accommodations that are supported by the evaluation.

Educational Accessibility Office

Office hours:
Monday and Tuesday: 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday - Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Elisabeth Jakubowski

George B. Pass Building, Room 141

1428 Cedar Road
Chesapeake, VA 23322


Phone: 757-822-5127

Fax: 757-822-5134


Tiffanny Putman

Martin Building, Room 2518

300 Granby St.
Norfolk, VA 23510


Phone: 757-822-1226

Fax: 757-822-1229


Ted Tyler

Building A, Room 142

120 Campus Drive
Portsmouth, VA 23701


Phone: 757-822-2208

Fax: 757-686-5173

Virginia Beach

Vickie Rogers

Bayside Building, Room B207

1700 College Crescent
Virginia Beach, VA 23453


Phone: 757-822-7216 or -7211

Fax: 757-822-7346

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