Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Documentation Guidelines

General Guidelines for Disability Documentation


Students diagnosed with physical and/or mental impairments qualify as persons with disabilities when their conditions substantially limit them in one or more major life activities. F & M College provides reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities with consultation from their academic programs. Reasonable accommodations are adjustments to policies, practices, or procedures that facilitate equal access and opportunity for students with disabilities to the College’s programs, activities and services. In order to ensure that students’ needs are directly linked to these accommodations, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allow higher education institutions to require disability documentation to verify disability status and the need for reasonable accommodations.


Disability Services (DS) has established the following disability documentation guidelines

Documentation must:

1. Be recent enough in order to assess the current impact on learning or a major life activity. Please see disability-specific guidelines for more information. Please note that students requesting accommodations due to a chronic medical condition must submit documentation dated within 6 months of their request for disability accommodations. Updated documentation may be required to each semester to evaluate the continuing need for accommodations.

2. Be sufficiently comprehensive to establish clear evidence of a substantial impact on one or more major life activities.

3. Be sufficient to establish a direct link between the underlying impairment and the requested accommodations.

4. Include a description of what mitigating measures the student has used and whether with such use the student may still require accommodation in order to access College programs, activities and services.

5. Be issued by a medical or other qualified, licensed professional, unrelated by birth or marriage to the student, printed on letterhead, dated, signed, and including the professional’s licensing information. No information may be redacted. The College reserves the right to require that a certified copy of the report be transmitted directly from the evaluator to the College.

Documentation also must include:

1. The student’s history of receiving reasonable accommodations and academic adjustments, if such history exists.

2. Specific recommendations for accommodations as well as an explanation as to why each is recommended as necessary.

Please also note:

• If the original documentation is incomplete or inadequate to determine the extent of the disability or reasonable accommodation(s), DS has the discretion to require additional documentation.

• Unless the student demonstrates exceptional circumstances, the student must complete the application process and submit disability documentation before they may receive accommodations and services.

• Documentation written in a language other than English must be translated and notarized. All such documentation as well as documentation from outside the United States written in English must follow DS guidelines.

Please refer to specific documentation guidelines by disability category for type of information needed to document Psychiatric Disabilities, Sensory Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, and ADD/ADHD. 

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