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The University of Mississippi supports both the letter and the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. As such, the documentation requirements used by Student Disability Services (SDS) are holistic in nature and value the unique experiences and history of each individual student. Accommodations are provided based on the impact of a disorder, not only on the diagnosis of a disorder.
Types of information considered include, but are not necessarily limited to, student self-report, doctor’s letters and medical reports, psycho-educational evaluations, SDS staff member observations, IEPs, 504 Plans, and other educational/teacher generated reports.
In general, we are looking for the following information:
- A diagnostic statement that identifies the student’s disorder or disability.
- A detailed narrative that describes the impact of the diagnosed disorder(s) on the student’s functioning in the classroom and other environments.
- A summary of diagnostic procedures used to diagnose the disorder, including but not limited to, evaluations, questionnaires, and other diagnostic instruments.
- Description of expected prognosis or progress of diagnosed disorder (stability, fluctuations, etc).
- Information recent enough to show the student’s current functioning. Recency will be determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the individual disorder, the history of the disorder and other factors as may be determined by SDS staff members.
- Student’s age at initial diagnosis.
- Current medication use, if applicable, and impact medication may have on student’s functioning.
- History of accommodations used, academic adjustments and auxiliary aids, if applicable.
- Recommendations/requests for accommodations, academic adjustments and auxiliary aids.
- A clear connection between the recommended/requested accommodation(s) and the impact of the diagnosed disorder(s).
Additional information may be required on a case-by-case basis depending on the student’s diagnosis, accommodations requested by the student, the student’s academic program and other factors as may be determined by SDS. The need for additional, external documentation will be decided after SDS conducts an in-depth initial interview with the student and reviews all information initially submitted by the student.
External medical, psychological, and psycho-educational documentation must be completed by a licensed professional who is qualified to evaluate and diagnose the student’s disorder(s). The name, title and licensure or certification number of the evaluating professional should be included. In addition, all reports should be typed or printed on professional letterhead, dated and signed. Medical and/or psychological testing/documentation administered by a family member will not be accepted.
Examples of Documentation
- Psycho-Educational Evaluation (within the past 3-5 years)
- Recent Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
- Recent 504 Plan
- Letter from Medical Provider
- Neurological Report
- Language Evaluation
All Documentation Should Detail Current Disability-Related Impact.
Determination of Reasonable Accommodations
Accommodations are approved on a case-by-case basis depending on the impact of the student’s diagnosed disorder(s) and the reasonableness of the request. Reasonable accommodations are determined using the following analysis:
- The accommodation is directly related to the impact or functional limitations caused by the diagnosed disorder.
- The accommodation is not of a personal nature.
- The accommodation is necessary to provide equal access to the student.
- The accommodation does not lower academic or program standards.
- The accommodation does not fundamentally alter the essential elements of the course, program or activity.
- The accommodation does not present an undue financial or administrative burden on the university.
- The accommodation does not pose a threat to the health or safety of the student or others.
Examples of accommodations that may be considered unreasonable at the post-secondary level include, but are not limited to: transportation around campus, unlimited time on testing, ability to retake a test after the test has been graded, tutoring, and a decrease in the amount of work required in a class.
Please note that documentation acceptable for accommodations at the University of Mississippi may not be acceptable in other environments. The process and criteria used by the University of Mississippi to determine accommodations may be different than that required by another university or by a testing or certification agency. Please research carefully the documentation requirements of different schools and testing/certification agencies so you know, in advance, what information you may be required to submit before accommodations will be provided.
If you have any questions regarding our documentation guidelines, or need to submit documentation to us, please do not hesitate to contact Student Disability Services:
P.O. Box 1848
234 Martindale (Click for Map)
University, MS. 38677