Guidelines for Documentation

Disability Documentation Form

To help in determining what resources or accommodations should be granted, please have the student's treating professional (usually a medical doctor, psychologist or mental health counselor) complete and sign the SDS disability verification form (PDF; opens in a new window). The treating professional completing this form should be licensed in the field of expertise to make the diagnosis.

The form can be downloaded and emailed or printed and taken to the student's treating professional.

Student Disability Services (SDS) provides resources and reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities. In doing so, SDS staff enter into an interactive process in order to implement the most appropriate accommodation strategies in the classroom and University life.

Disclosure of a disability is always voluntary, however if you want to be considered for accommodations at Miami University you must identify yourself as having a disability and provide the required documentation.

Accommodations and/or Services for Diagnosed Students

Accommodations and/or services available to students are specific to campus access and academic requirements based on the student’s presenting concerns and identified barriers. Specific information contained in the documentation (i.e., SDS Documentation Form, formal report, psychoeducational evaluation, IEP, 504 Plans, etc…) is used in determining the reasonableness of accommodations and/or services. Accommodations and/or services are judged to be reasonable and appropriate when, without the accommodations or services, the student might not be afforded equal access to the curriculum or campus life.

Registration Policy for Diagnosed Students

Currently enrolled students may apply for accommodations and/or services by completing a New Student Application in the SDS online system SAM (Students Accessing Miami) at www.MiamiOH.edu/SAM. Select “New Student Application”, complete the brief questionnaire and upload documentation. If necessary, documentation may be uploaded later. Upon receipt and review of application and documentation, students are notified via MU email of their application status. The email will also indicate if documentation is missing. Documentation delivered directly to SDS by students or healthcare providers will be uploaded by SDS staff to the student’s record. Documentation that is 5MB or smaller should be uploaded as a part of the student's application to the online case management system at www.MiamiOH.edu/SAM. Any documentation larger than 5MB should be sent to: sds@MiamiOH.edu. Please note that disability documentation does not become part of your academic record.

Upon verification of sufficient documentation, students are notified via MU email of their assigned Accommodation Coordinator. This is a process that could take up to 10 days. Students must make an appointment to meet with their Accommodation Coordinator for an intake appointment. During this meeting, the accommodation coordinator and student will engage in an interactive process to identify accommodations and/or services. Upon registration completion, students are responsible for requesting accommodations each semester in SAM and communicating with faculty regarding their needs as outlined in the faculty notification letter.

Students are strongly encouraged to request accommodations prior to the beginning of the semester and are responsible for submitting requests in advance of the need for accommodation. Accommodation requests are not retroactive.

A school plan such as an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a “504 Plan” alone may not be sufficient to support a student’s eligibility for accommodations and/or services. While recognized as supporting evidence, at no time will a diagnosis and/or medication name written on a prescription form be acceptable to serve as the sole document for determination purposes. Although the diagnostician may recommend specific accommodations, the determination for providing appropriate and reasonable accommodations and/or services including academic adjustments rests with the institution.

It is the responsibility of the student to obtain his or her documentation and to upload documentation into SAM. If assistance is needed, please contact the Student Disability Services office on your campus. Any correspondence regarding the adequacy of the submitted documentation will be sent to the student’s MU email account. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain additional information or clarification if requested.

Quality Documentation

While the specific reporting format is left to the professional, the requested information must be clearly presented and easily discernable. The report must include an address, be typed on letterhead, signed, dated, and include the license number for the certifying professional, license type, and issuing state. Regardless of format used, quality documentation includes:

  1. a clear diagnostic statement that includes a description of the diagnostic criteria, evaluation methods used, and evaluation date (within last 5 years),
  2. information on the functional impact on the student in the academic and university setting,
  3. the typical progression or prognosis of the condition,
  4. information about the student’s presenting concerns, history (developmental, family, medical, psychological, education, employment), educational assessment, and psychological functioning, and
  5. a summary with recommendations that explains how each accommodation or service is tied to the disability.

Students with a primary diagnosis of AD(H)D, medical, psychiatric, physical (hearing, vision, mobility), neurological or autism spectrum disorder

To help in determining what resources or accommodations should be granted, please have the student's treating professional (usually a medical doctor, psychologist or mental health counselor) complete and sign the SDS disability verification form (PDF; opens in a new window) with input from the student’s treating professional. The treating professional completing this form should be licensed in the field of expertise to make the diagnosis. The fillable form can be typed in, downloaded, emailed, or printed to provide to the student's treating professional. This form is not appropriate for a learning disability diagnosis.

Students with a primary diagnosis of a learning disability

The documentation guidelines found here are adapted from Miami's Policy Statement for Students with Disabilities.

Documentation Criteria

Disability documentation (e.g., psychoeducational report) must adhere to the criteria established by the University for full consideration:

  1. Psychological assessment (minimally, an individual intelligence test such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale [WAIS], Woodcock Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities, or Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales) with subtest and composite standard scores included.
  2. Educational assessment (minimally, a test such as the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement or the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test [WIAT]) with subtest results for reading, writing and math, regardless of student background.)
  3. If the student also has a dual diagnosis of AD(H)D, additional behavioral measures may be helpful to support the diagnosis.
  4. In order to determine the most appropriate accommodation plan, The report should include the professional's credentials and contact information, standard scores, composite scores and a summary of the results which supports the clearly stated diagnosis, description of functional limitations impacting learning for each recommended accommodation.

Please note: Screening instruments such as the WASI (Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence) or WRAT (Wide Range Achievement Test) and child-normed tests such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children (WISC) may not be sufficient for full approval, but if available, may assist in providing provisional accommodations. A copy of an IEP or 504 Plan alone is also not sufficient to establish full eligibility unless it includes items 1-4 above.

*These guidelines have been revised using the 2012 documentation guidance from AHEAD (Association of Higher Educational And Disability).

Documentation Guidelines can also be accessed in the Student Handbook.

Rev. May 2016