Documentation Standards

Documentation is required as part of the accommodations process at Mount Holyoke. This is an essential component of the process to verify that a disability is protected under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended. Clinical documentation is useful in providing necessary information to support accommodation requests and anticipate future accommodation needs.

The student’s documentation should be based on a recent evaluation by an appropriate credentialed and licensed professional that makes evident the current impact of the disability as it relates to the accommodations and services requested. In general, documentation should not be more than three years old. For more information about the age of acceptable documentation, please see the Disability-Specific Documentation Standards below. Documentation should be in the form of either an AccessAbility Services Clinician Form or a letter on official letterhead.

Since disabilities vary, the required documentation also varies, however all documentation should contain the following items:

  • Be written in English and otherwise legible
    • Any translated documentation must be translated by a certified translator
  • The name and the title of the clinician and the date(s) of evaluation
  • The signature of the originator of the document or other similar verification
  • A diagnostic statement identifying the disability
  • A description of the diagnostic methodology
  • A description of the functional limitations caused by the disability
  • A description of the expected duration and progression of the condition, if relevant
  • (Optional) A description of past and current treatment
  • (Optional) Recommended accommodations, along with a rationale and justification

Important Notes

Documentation is to be provided by qualified professionals who are currently treating or have treated the student. Qualified professionals cannot be family members. Please note, most Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and 504 Plans, in and of themselves, do not meet our documentation standards.

If the original documentation provided is incomplete or inadequate to determine whether the student qualifies as having a disability or is eligible for the accommodations requested, AccessAbility Services has the discretion to require additional documentation.

Transfer Students

Along with the above information, transfer students may submit documentation from a previously attended school, which includes the dates of service and the accommodations used; however, accommodations received at another institution are not guaranteed to be provided at Mount Holyoke College.

Non-Traditionally Aged Students

The sufficiency and currency of documentation for students who do not enter college directly or soon after completing secondary school (e.g., students who are Francis Perkins Scholars or veterans) will be evaluated on an individualized basis in light of the student's identified disability and requested accommodation. Disability documentation that is more than three years old may be accepted if: a) the documentation indicates the condition is static; b) if a psychoeducational evaluation is submitted, it is scaled for adults.

Documentation Standards by Disability

In addition to the bulleted list above, there are individualized standards for different disabilities. Please click below to learn about the specific standards for your disability.

ADD/ADHD

  • A specific diagnosis per the DSM-5 or ICD-10
  • A comprehensive, age-appropriate psychoeducational, psychodiagnostic, or neuropsychological assessment (for most students, this would mean adult-normed testing measures and the report should include standard scores, standard deviations and percentiles) or an in-depth, well-rounded evaluation composed of a clinical interview, self-test, normed rating scales, etc.
  • An appropriate credentialed and licensed professional might include: clinical psychologist, neurodevelopmental physician, neurologist, neuropsychologist, psychiatrist, school psychologist
  • Information on side effects of medications, if relevant to an accommodation request
  • (Optional) Recommended accommodations, along with a rationale and justification

Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • A specific diagnosis per the DSM-5 or ICD-10
  • A comprehensive psychoeducational, psychodiagnostic, or neuropsychological examination that is scaled for adults (report should include standard scores, standard deviations and percentiles)
  • An appropriate credentialed and licensed professional might include: a clinical psychologist, neurodevelopmental physician, neurologist, neuropsychologist, psychiatrist
  • Information on side effects of medications, if relevant to an accommodation request
  • (Optional) Recommended accommodations, along with a rationale and justification

Blind or Low Vision

  • Assessment or evaluation from an ocularist, ophthalmologist or optometrist detailing the functional limitations of the disability, could be in the form of AccessAbility Services Clinician Form
  • The age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon whether the disabling condition is static or changing
  • (Optional) Recommended accommodations, along with a rationale and justification

Deaf or Hard of Hearing

  • Audiogram with summary detailing the functional limitations of the disability or completed AccessAbility Services Clinician Form by an otolaryngologist, otologists, otorhinolaryngologists, or licensed audiologist
  • The age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon whether the disabling condition is static or changing
  • (Optional) Recommended accommodations, along with a rationale and justification

Learning Disability

  • A specific diagnosis per the DSM-5 or ICD-10

  • A thorough neuropsychological or psychoeducational evaluation scaled for adults. Areas to be assessed:

    • Aptitude

    • Achievement

    • Information Processing

  • An appropriate credentialed and licensed professional might include: a clinical psychologist, neurodevelopmental physician, neuropsychologist, school psychologist

  • (Optional) Recommended accommodations, along with a rationale and justification

Physical Disability or Chronic Medical Condition

  • The age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon whether the disabling condition is static or changing
  • Information on side effects of medications, if relevant to an accommodation request
  • Documentation may take the form of a letter or AccessAbility Services Clinician Form
  • An appropriate credentialed and licensed professional might include: a cardiologist, doctor of internal medicine, endocrinologist, gastroenterologist, oncologist, orthopedic surgeon, physical therapist, rheumatologist
  • (Optional) Recommended accommodations, along with a rationale and justification

Post-Concussive Syndrome or Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Neuropsychological evaluation containing assessments of visual, auditory, intellectual, and language competence
  • An appropriate credentialed and licensed professional might include: neurologist, neuropsychologist, specialist in neurotrauma
  • The age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon whether the disabling condition is static or changing
  • Information on side effects of medications, if relevant to an accommodation request
  • (Optional) Recommended accommodations, along with a rationale and justification

Psychiatric Disability

  • A specific psychiatric diagnosis per the DSM-5 or ICD-10
  • Documentation may take the form of a letter or AccessAbility Services Clinician Form
  • An appropriate credentialed and licensed professional might include: a clinical psychologist, licensed counselor, psychiatric nurse practitioner, psychiatrist, social worker
  • Information on side effects of medications, if relevant to an accommodation request
  • (Optional) Recommended accommodations, along with a rationale and justification