Disability Support Services

Types of Disabilities and Documentation Guidelines


A person with a disability includes any person who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. A qualified person with a disability is defined as one who meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admission or participation in the education program or activity. The diagnostician for any disability must be impartial and not a family member of the student.


Types of Disabilities:
Visual ImpairmentLearning Disability
Cerebral PalsyPartial Vision Loss
Impaired Mobility
Hearing Impairment
Partial Hearing LossADD/ADHD
TBI/Closed Head InjurySpeech Impairment
Psychological/Psychiatric Disorder

Documentation Guidelines:
Documentation serves as a foundation that legitimizes a student's request for appropriate accommodations. Documentation must include very specific information regarding the individual's actual current functional limitations. DSSC does not base eligibility on what could/might occur or often occurs with those that have been given this diagnosis. Documentation should be current and answer the following the questions:

Does the individual have a physical or mental impairment?
Documentation must be current and include a mental or physical diagnosis made by a qualified professional. Sometimes students may be asked to provide updated comprehensive information if their condition is potentially changeable and/or previous documentation does not include sufficient information.

Does the impairment affect a major life activity?
Legal eligibility requires that the physical or mental impairment substantially affects a major life activity. A major life activity is a basic function of life. Disability laws list the major life activities as breathing, caring for self, hearing, learning, performing manual tasks, seeing, speaking, walking, working or other activities that are a basic function of life. Documentation must clearly state which major life activities are affected by the impairment. If an impairment interferes with certain functions that are not major life activities, although the individual is restricted, the individual is not eligible under disability laws.

Does the impairment substantially limit the individuals life?
Documentation must state what specific activities that individual is unable to perform or is significantly restricted in performing when compared with an average person in the general population. Documentation must state the nature and severity of the impairment, the duration or expected duration of the impairment, and the permanence or expected long term impact.