Guidelines for Documentation

In order to seek academic accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, students with disabilities should register with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). Academic accommodations and adjustments are provided to students whose documentation provides evidence of a “substantially limiting” disability as defined by federal legislation. In accordance with these laws, our office is required to have appropriate documentation on file in order to provide the requested academic accommodations or adjustments.

In order for College of the Mainland to provide the appropriate accommodations for a student with a disability, we rely on appropriately trained evaluators to provide documentation of the presence and severity of the disability. We find that these guidelines provide the detailed information necessary to assess the appropriateness of the student’s request for academic accommodations. Given that the manifestations of a disability may change over time, the evaluation must reflect the student’s current status.


Download the Students with Disabilites Handbook (PDF)

The documentation must reflect the following:

  1. A specific diagnosis (including level of severity).
  2. The specific findings in support of this diagnosis including relevant history, observations of the individual, test administered, test results and the interpretation of test results.
  3. A description of the student’s functional limitations directly related to the stated disability.
  4. Specific recommendations for academic accommodations, including an explanation of why these specific accommodations are needed.
  5. The evaluator’s name, address, telephone number and professional credential relevant to the diagnosis.
  6. The documentation must be on letterhead, typed, dated and signed by a medical doctor or person otherwise qualified to make the diagnosis.

The following are general guidelines for documentation:

  1. Individuals with psychological disabilities may present a typed letter on official letterhead from a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist with an explanation of the disorder and educational recommendations.
  2. Individuals with sensory, physical or other health impairments are required to provide written documentation in the form of medical reports or a typed letter on official letterhead from a medical doctor detailing the disability and functional limitations.
  3. Individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder may present a typed letter on official letterhead from a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist or medical doctor.
  4. Individuals with learning disabilities may present a typed letter on official letterhead or report from a licensed psychologist, diagnostician or other professional knowledgeable in learning disabilities. This document must clearly state the presence of a learning disability and provide objective evidence of a substantial limitation to learning. A copy of a Comprehensive Individual Assessment from a high school diagnostician is also acceptable.

All documentation is reviewed on an individual basis, and the student and service provider jointly agree upon accommodations for students with disabilities.  Please allow 72 hours (three business days) to process requests for accommodations.

Steps for Students New to Disability Services

  1. Read over guidelines for documentation.
  2. Gather the required documentation based on your disability.
  3. Contact the Disability Services Office and make an appointment to request accommodations. Bring completed required documentation to that appointment.

Documentation Submission for Students New to Disability Services

If you have not received accommodations in past semesters, or have not submitted your disability documentation to our office, please complete this form.

The form along with your attached disability documentation can be automatically submitted to the Disability Services Counselor. You will then be notified of your next step.

If you are not sure of the documentation needed, please review the guidelines for documentation.

K–12 vs. College

Process Kindergarten through High School College
Identification Schools are responsible for identifying students. Students must self-identify.
Documentation Schools are responsible for testing students. Students must pay for their testing, if needed.

Schools are responsible for any needed services. Schools must provide whatever services will help students succeed in class, testing and any school-sponsored activity.

School must provide individualized tutoring.

*Students must seek out services

*Student allowed only certain accommodations in college classroom and testing.

*Students must seek out tutoring if needed, and must pay for it if college does not provide tutoring for non-disabled students.
Communication Schools must communicate with parents at regular intervals regarding a student’s progress. The college is not allowed to contact parents without student’s permission.
Accommodation Arrangements Schools must develop a formal plan, and it is the school’s responsibility to track a student. Students must request and qualify for services each semester, and the student is responsible for much of the accommodation process (such as notifying the office of test dates, etc.).
Accommodation Differences Reduced assignments (requiring student to submit less work than others), extended time on assignments, grading changes (counting daily work equal with semester tests), test format changes (take away two wrong answers and leave one right and one wrong answer), and/or repeated chances to make a passing grade.

*No reduced assignments.

*No grading changes.

*No test format changes other than providing equal access (such as providing extended time or providing a test in large print or Braille).

*No extra attempts at tests.