Documentation Guidelines

It is the college's policy to provide, on an individual basis, academic adjustments to students with disabilities that may affect their ability to fully participate in program or course activities or to meet course requirements. The Access and Equity staff members are available to work with students with physical, learning, psychological, or other disabilities to help them better understand the nature of their disability, to develop self-advocacy skills, and to determine appropriate access plans.

Students should schedule a meeting to discuss their adjustment needs as soon as possible. Our first priority is to get to know each student individually. No student should delay meeting with the Access and Equity Office out of concern for not having appropriate documentation. Determinations on individual documentation needs will be made during the initial meeting with the student. 

Any documentation information students can share before or during the first meeting is helpful. Documentation can include:

The purpose of the third party documentation is to add to the professional staff’s background information so that a reasonable outcome, including acceptance or denial of request, can be obtained. Documentation also supports the need for academic adjustments and auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Third party documentation can also help build conversation with the student rather than directing the conversation and the outcome. All information provided concerning a disability is confidential and is released only as allowed by law or with consent. 

The documentation should both identify a physical or mental impairment, which substantially affects a life function, and supply information identifying current functional limitations that require academic adjustments in order to assure equal access to the college's programs and services.

The documentation must be prepared by a person, not a family member of the student, qualified by professional training and practice to diagnose and treat the impairment leading to the disability and typed or word processed onto letterhead of the practitioner or agency employing the practitioner. Handwritten notes on prescription pads may be subject to authentication.In all cases, the student's personal accounts concerning his or her functional limitations will be considered as part of the documentation review.

With that said, the submission of documentation does not activate services or adjustments. We will use all information we obtain through our conversation and paperwork to coordinate reasonable adjustments and services with the student. Providing as much information as possible before or during the first meeting will save the need for additional meetings with Access and Equity Services. 

As appropriate to the disability, documentation should include:

  • Diagnostic Statement
  • A diagnostic statement identifying the specific disability, including identification of how the condition substantially impairs a life function, the date of the current evaluation, and the date of original diagnosis. Psychiatric diagnoses, including ADD/ADHD, must include the DSM-IV diagnosis and a summary of current symptoms. Clear identification of a disability is necessary. Language indicating individual learning styles or difficulties or the possibility of a disability or diagnosis is not sufficient.
  • Diagnostic Criteria and Tests
  • A description of the diagnostic criteria or diagnostic tests used. All test and subtest scores must be included as standard scores and the norming population identified. Diagnosis of a Learning Disability must include comprehensive psycho educational assessment of aptitude, academic achievement, and information processing. Brief measures and estimates based on selective subtests will generally not be sufficient. Where appropriate and relevant, psycho educational or neuropsychological testing measures may also be required to support requests based on limitations of cognitive or perceptual functioning, e.g., AD/HD, psychiatric, and some medical disabilities. Testing must be of sufficient recency to allow determination of the current impact of the disability in a college environment.
  • Functional Impact
    A description of the functional impact of the disability. The current functional impact on physical, perceptual, and cognitive functioning should be described.

  • Treatments
    Currently prescribed treatments, medications, assistive devices, and services should be described. Description should include all currently in use and their estimated effectiveness in ameliorating the impact of the disability. Significant side effects that may affect physical, perceptual, or cognitive functioning should be identified and described.

  • Recommendations
    Recommendations for accommodations, academic adjustments, and auxiliary aids or services should be supported by objective evidence of a substantial limitation to learning in a postsecondary environment. Prior use of academic adjustments and level of benefit should be identified. If no academic adjustments have been used in the past, a rationale for current use should be included.

  • IEP
    Secondary school Individual Education Plans (IEPs) may serve as documentation at the postsecondary level- some IEPs provide more information than others. Depending on the information contained, an IEP may provide a portion of the necessary documentation and may serve to identify previously utilized modifications and auxiliary aids or services.


Disability documentation is considered confidential information and does not become part of a student's permanent educational record. In accordance with federal and state law, the college shall maintain confidentiality of student records. All documentation and records will be maintained in the Office of Access and Equity Services and may include electronic records.

Documentation and questions should be addressed to:

The Office of Access and Equity Services 
SUNY Delhi
454 Delhi Drive, 221 Bush Hall Delhi, NY 13753
Phone: 607-746-4744 Fax: 607-832-7593