Documentation: What Is It? When Is It Required? Why Should I Consider Assessment or Reassessment?

What is Documentation?

Documentation is the report that is generated by the professional who has diagnosed an individual’s disability. It provides the official basis of the student’s claim that he or she is a person with a disabling condition.

This report usually discusses:

  • testing used to diagnose the condition
  • the diagnosis
  • the student’s strengths and weaknesses
  • the impact if the disability on affected major life activities
  • recommendations for reasonable accommodations.

The law allows the college to request this documentation when the student requests accommodations. However, at SUNY Empire State College, proof of a disability is not required for most accommodation requests. Typical accommodations include requests for extended time, note taker support for residencies and study groups and sign language interpreters, among others.

The following accommodations require documentation:

  • Reader's Aid Funds application
  • ADA Part-Time TAP eligibility
  • alternatively formatted text books, i.e., e-text from the publishers or audio books.

In addition, the office may determine that more information is needed when reviewing your request for accommodations.

The office will request that you forward documentation of your disability to process the request.

If you have not been diagnosed with a disabling condition and suspect you have one, or if your current documentation is old, you may want to be (re)tested for the presence of a disability.

  • While SUNY Empire State College does not require documentation of a disability for most accommodation requests, proof of a disability may be required for certain accommodation requests at other institutions, by future employers or for participation in a specialized program for individuals with disabilities.
  • The law does not require the college to identify and evaluate students who may have disabilities; nor does it require the college to compensate students for money spent on testing for the presence of a disability. It is the student's responsibility to determine whether or not a disability is present.

Read about information about resources for testing for a disability and obtaining documentation in this student handbook.

Acceptable Documentation Guidelines

When requested, students must submit documentation that meets the following criteria:

  • is recent for that disability (typically no more than five years old)
  • is prepared by an individual qualified to make the diagnosis and includes the diagnostician’s credentials
  • includes the manner used to evaluate the student, including any standardized testing measures and scores obtained
  • provides a diagnosis
  • discusses the diagnosis and the student’s ability to perform major life activities
  • recommends reasonable accommodations.

Return to Student Handbook or continue to Recordkeeping and Confidentiality.

Contact us

If you have any questions related to disability services, you can find additional information on the community resources and frequently asked questions pages, or you may contact the accessibility resources staff at:

Andrea Piazza, Disability Specialist
Office of Accessibility Resources and Services
Phone: 800-847-3000, ext. 2244
Fax: 518-584-3098
NYS Relay Service 800-421-1220

Melissa Zgliczynski, Director
Office of Accessibility Resources and Services
Phone: 800-847-3000, ext. 2244
Fax: 518-584-3098
NYS Relay Service 800-421-1220