Saturday, August 14, 2010

What Kind of Documentation Do I Need at College?

Documentation is the paperwork that you provide to the Disabilities Office to show that you have been diagnosed with a disabilty. The form of documenation that your college expects may be different from the required documentation of another college. You need to talk to the people at the Disability Office to get their documentation guidelines. Those guidelines will likely vary from school to school. Some colleges will not take an IEP (Individual Education Plan) from high school; some colleges will use an IEP for basic accommodations. Some colleges expect a current updated Psychological Evaluation with adult norms. For a diagnosis of ADHD, some colleges will take a 504 plan; some colleges will not. Some colleges will request a doctor's letter.

Colleges also provide accommodations for many other types of disabilities including physical and mental health disabilities as well as visual and hearing disabilities. If your diagnosis affects your ability to do the tasks you are given, you may be someone who needs an accommodation. Sometimes pain gets in the way, and you find it hard to concentrate or sit too long. Sometimes your vision makes it hard to read the text. Sometimes your depression makes it hard to focus. You should go talk to someone in the Disabilities Office to see if you qualify for help.

The bottom line is every college sets its own documentation standards, so you need to do your homework and find out the current quidelines at your college!! Colleges want you to be successful in class, but the real question is "Do you have equal access?"

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