Guidelines for Disability Documentation
The laws guiding eligibility for accommodations in grades K-12 and post-secondary educational settings differ. Current documentation (generally within one to five years depending on the nature of the disability and the requested accommodation), including recommendations which correspond with the demands of college, will help to support your transition to Harvey Mudd College and/or will help us to understand the barriers you encounter in accessing your education in order to better inform what accommodations you may need and qualify for.
Documentation serves three purposes:
- To establish that the student can be considered a person with a disability, and therefore eligible for protection against discrimination on the basis of disability.
- To supplement information from the student regarding the impact of the disability.
- To inform the development of reasonable accommodation (auxiliary aids and services) designed to facilitate equal access to HMC environments on a case-by-case basis.
Students requesting academic accommodations must provide appropriate documentation of their disability in accordance with the guidelines listed below. Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.
Students who are unsure whether their documentation is sufficient, or are not sure how Disability Resources can address concerns, are encouraged to discuss with the Director of Educational Accessibility. The Director can help to determine what documentation may be useful based on the situation and or request(s) and can connect students with resources in the community.
The credentials of the evaluator(s)
Documentation must be provided by an appropriate, licensed (or otherwise properly credentialed) professional who has undergone comprehensive training in their specific field, has relevant experience, and has no personal relationship with the individual being evaluated.
A diagnostic statement identifying the disability
Documentation should include a clear diagnostic statement that describes how the condition was diagnosed, provides information on the functional impact, and details the typical progression or prognosis of the condition. While DSM and ICF codes are helpful in providing this information, a full clinical description will also convey the necessary information.
A description of the diagnostic methodology used in the evaluation
Documentation should include a description of the diagnostic criteria, evaluation methods, procedures, tests and dates of administration, as well as a clinical narrative, observation, and specific results. Where appropriate to the nature of the disability, having both summary data and specific test scores (with the norming population identified) within the report is recommended. Examples of assessment instruments for learning disabilities include: WAIS-IV, Woodcock-Johnson-IV, Stanford Binet, & WIAT-III.
A description of current functional limitations
Documentation should include information on how the disabling condition(s) currently impacts the individual, provides useful information for both establishing a disability and identifying possible accommodations. Documentation should demonstrate whether and how a major life activity is substantially limited by providing a clear sense of the severity, frequency and pervasiveness of the condition(s).
A description of the expected progression or stability of the disability
Documentation should provide information on expected changes in the functional impact of the disability over time and context. Information on the cyclical or episodic nature of the disability and known or suspected environmental triggers to episodes provides opportunities to anticipate and plan for varying functional impacts.
A description of current and past accommodations, services and medications
Documentation should include a description of current medications, auxiliary aids, assistive devices, support services, and accommodations, including their effectiveness in ameliorating the functional impact of the disability. Information on significant side effects from current medications that may impact the student’s academic performance is also helpful.
Recommendations for accommodations, services, and compensatory strategies
Documentation should include recommendations from professionals with a history of working with the individual. Each recommended accommodation should include a rationale that correlates with particular functional limitations which are supported by specific assessment results, clinical observations or some other professional measure. Students should understand that we will consider all recommendations but that the College will ultimately determine what accommodations are appropriate and necessary.
NOTE: If a disability is apparent and the need for requested accommodations can easily be established, additional documentation may not be needed.
Students seeking services from Disabilities Resources should review the following points:
- In granting accommodations, the Harvey Mudd College follows and abides by all applicable statutes and regulations.
- Accommodations are provided individually, not as a package, and are based on the student’s disability, the student’s individual needs, and the provided documentation.
- The Harvey Mudd College will not grant accommodations that fundamentally alter the nature of a course of study or that constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of the student or College community.
- The fact that other accommodations were granted at other institutions does not guarantee the same accommodation will be granted at Harvey Mudd College.
- Accommodations are not granted on a retroactive basis.
- Harvey Mudd College examines an individual’s needs on a case-by-case basis to provide reasonable accommodations to address those needs.
Privacy Information: All information and documentation submitted to Disability Resources is kept separate from an academic record and is considered private under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). HIPPA privacy and confidentiality guides do not apply to submitted documents as they are not being used for treatment. Under FERPA guidelines Disability Resources cannot guarantee complete confidentiality as there may be times when sharing some information with other HMC staff/faculty is necessary in the facilitation of the accommodation process.