Documentation Guidelines

A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Students must demonstrate through documentation that the disorder/impairment meets the definition of a disability under Title II of the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

The Office of Disability Services, along with the Board of Regents, has established guidelines for documenting conditions that qualify for accommodations. These guidelines help provide comprehensive and current information regarding the functional limitations caused by the condition as well as any appropriate and reasonable modifications in an academic setting.

Basic Documentation Requirements

In order for the Office of Disability Services to determine if a student's condition meets the standard defined by the law, the disability documentation must contain all of the elements detailed below.

  1. All documentation submitted must be typed on official letterhead. Handwritten documentation or notes on prescription pads will not be accepted as official documentation.
  2. Documentation should provide a diagnostic statement identifying the disability, describe the diagnostic criteria and methodology used to diagnose the condition, and detail the progression of the condition if its impact on the student's functioning is expected to change over time.
  3. Documentation should provide an adequate representation of the student's current functional abilities. In most situations, documentation should be within three (3) years of the student's application for services. Professional judgment, however, must be used in accepting older documentation of conditions that are permanent or non-varying, or in requiring more recent documentation for conditions for which the functional impact may change over time.
  4. Documentation should include specific recommendations for accommodations and the rationale for the accommodations. Accommodations should be linked to functional limitations.

Specific Documentation Guidelines

Documentation guidelines are broken down into categories, based on the type of disability. These guidelines can be shared with evaluators.

The Office of Disability Services follows the documentation guidelines of the Board of Regents. More information can be found in the Academic and Student Affairs Handbook (Section 3, Appendix D) on the Board of Regents website.

Please note: Secondary education eligibility reports, Individualized Educational Plans, Summary of Progress reports, or previous provision of special education services may not be sufficient documentation for college-level accommodations.

For your benefit, please maintain a copy of all documentation submitted to the Office of Disability Services. Documentation that has been submitted cannot be released back to you (except where permitted or required by law.)

Documentation guidelines vary among institutions and standardized testing agencies (i.e. ETS, MCAT, LSAT, etc.) There is no guarantee that documentation accepted by Georgia Tech will be accepted by other institutions or testing agencies.