General Guidance for Disability Documentation
Students who believe they have a current and essential need for disability accommodations are responsible for requesting accommodations and providing appropriate documentation to the Accessibility Resources and Services office (ARS). ARS will make every effort to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified students with disabilities.
The following general guidelines may be used to assist in determining qualifying documentation. All documentation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
A Qualified Professional
Documentation should be provided by a licensed or otherwise properly credentialed professional who has undergone appropriate and comprehensive training, has relevant experience, and has no personal relationship with the individual being evaluated. Documentation completed by a family member, even when otherwise qualified, is not appropriate and will not be accepted. The name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator should be included on letterhead, typed in English, dated, and signed. Information about licensure or certification, including the area of specialization, employment, and the state in which the individual practices, should also be clearly stated.
A Clear Statement of the Diagnosis
Acceptable documentation includes a clear diagnostic statement that describes what the condition is along with present symptoms that meet the criteria for diagnosis. In most cases, this requires utilizing the current versions of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM) or International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Please note that a diagnosis does not automatically warrant approval of requested accommodations.
Current Functional Limitations
Documentation should reflect current functional limitations experienced due to the diagnosed condition. Information on how the condition(s) currently impacts the individual provides useful information for both establishing a disability and identifying possible accommodations. Documentation should be thorough enough to demonstrate whether and how a major life activity is substantially limited by providing a clear sense of the severity, frequency, and pervasiveness of the condition(s). Documentation should address the impact to the student’s ability to function in the academic environment (e.g., classroom lectures and discussions, lab activities, or test-taking situations). Although a history of accommodations, services and/or medications, bears some weight, without demonstration of current need, it may not by itself warrant the provision of similar accommodations.
Recommendations for Accommodations
The documentation should contain recommendations for accommodations as appropriate. A request for accommodation should be accompanied with a clear rationale for its necessity. Documentation should establish a clear link between the requested accommodation and the functional limitation it seeks to alleviate. While recommendations from professionals with a history of working with the student provide valuable information, the College has no obligation to adopt recommendations that would fundamentally alter essential requirements.
Entirety of Information
All information provided during the process will be considered when determining appropriate accommodations. This includes but is not limited to a self-report from the student regarding their limitation and impairments, corroborating documentation from external sources, and impressions and conclusions formed by the ARS Director during intake interviews with students. It is possible the student could be determined "disabled" but not qualify for any specific accommodations because there is no evidence of educational limitations as a result of the diagnosed condition. It will rest upon ARS to make the final determination regarding which accommodation(s) are appropriate to the academic environment of Pomona College.
Types of Documentation
ARS recognize that documentation of a student’s disability, history of experiences, and history of accommodations may come in a variety of forms. Please provide any available documentation that indicates a history of disability diagnosis. Please review our General Guidance for Disability Documentation for more information on appropriate documentation. Here is a downloadable version of our General Guidance for Disability Documentation [pdf] to share with your healthcare provider.
General Disability Documentation Form
Treatment provider letters should include a narrative report regarding the student’s diagnosed condition. Please submit your documentation to our office by uploading to the ARS Online Portal or by email at email@example.com. Documentation should be typed-written on letterhead and should adhere to the items listed on our General Documentation Guidelines [pdf].
ESA Disability Documentation Form
To assist you with gathering the appropriate documentation, you may download the ARS ESA Disability Documentation Form. Please authorize your treatment provider to complete this form and return to our office by uploading to the ARS Online Portal or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on ESAs, please visit our Support Animals Campus Policies and Procedures.
Learning Disability, Traumatic/Acquired Brain Injury Documentation
Please submit a comprehensive assessment and the resulting diagnostic report. This assessment should have been completed within the past five (5) years and include the following components:
- Comprehensive History
- Comprehensive Battery of Cognitive and Achievement Tests with Adult Norms
- Clinical Observations
- Interpretive Summary
- Specific Diagnosis/Diagnoses* At least one specific diagnosis based on the latest edition of the DSM or the ICD must be stated, including the level of severity.
- Recommendations for Specific Accommodations
For more information, please see the Additional Information for Learning Disabilities/Traumatic Brain Injury page.