Guidelines for Providing Documentation of Disability to 911 Programs

Disability is defined as a permanent, longstanding significant condition that substantially or significantly limits one or more of the major life functions (including but not limited to: seeing, hearing, walking, breathing, learning, working, concentrating, etc).

Students who are eligible for accommodations will present documents to demonstrate evidence of a current condition that interferes with one or more major life functions as defined by ADAAA 2008.  Further, the documentation will present evidence that the student may have current functional needs and/or may currently experience accessibility barriers in the educational or physical environment.  

In most cases, the date of evaluation described in the documentation must be within the past three years and/or must describe adult-age testing.  The student, in most cases, will not be asked for a re-evaluation during matriculation.  However, in the case of some variable forms of disability (i.e. some psychiatric disabilities, some health conditions), a more recent date of evaluation or periodic re-evaluations may be required to verify the need for continued accommodation.  

The final determination for current status of the documentation rests with the institution.

All documentation must be presented in advance of the requested accommodation.

Documentation from a credentialed examiner, with clear expertise related to the condition, is required to substantiate the presence of a current disability and to establish the possible need for accommodations at 911 Programs. These guidelines are summarized below.

Most temporary conditions are NOT regarded as ADA eligible, however, depending on the nature of the temporary condition and on the availability of resources, environmental supports may be provided.

Essential Elements of Quality Documentation

911 Programs follows best practices of documentation guidelines.  In brief, the essential elements are:

  1. Licensed or credentialed evaluator, with specific certification or expertise related to the condition being diagnosed, and who is not related to the individual (see Recommended Practitioners below).
  2. Clear diagnostic statement, including diagnostic sub-types where relevant, that describes the condition and provides information on the functional impact of the condition.  A full clinical description will convey this information, as will diagnostic codes from the DSM (Diagnostic Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association) or the ICF (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health of the World Health Organization.)
  3. Description of the student’s current functional needs helps establish the possible disability and identify necessary accommodations. Quality documentation will demonstrate how a major life activity is significantly, amply, or substantially limited by providing evidence of frequency and pervasiveness of the functional needs in the environment.
  4. Description of the progression or stability of the disability over time and in context.
  5. (Optional) Recommendations  for accommodations, assistive devices, assistive services, compensatory strategies, and/or collateral support services.

Student Statement:  In addition to the above guidelines for documentation from providers, the student’s written statements describing impact of the condition and functional needs will be included as part of the overall documentation of disability and will be used when determining reasonable accommodations.

All determinations for accommodations and disability eligibility are made on a case-by-case basis by the DSS Staff in consultation with the individual student.

You may email your documentation to 911ProgramsRI@gmail.com

Recommended Practitioners for Accepted Documentation

The following practitioners are accepted to provide documentation on the respective disabilities or conditions (all must be appropriately credentialed and licensed in their respective fields):

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Neuropsychologist, Clinical Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Neurologist, Neurodevelopmental Physician
Chronic Illness/Health Gastroenterologist, Rheumatologist, Endocrinologist, Internal Medicine, or other physician knowledgeable to condition
Developmental Disability (such as Autism Spectrum Disorder) Neuropsychologist, Psychiatrist, Clinical Psychologist, Neurodevelopmental Physician
Head Injury/TBI Neurologist, Neuropsychologist
Hearing Audiologist (CCC-A), Otolaryngologist
Learning Disabilities School Psychologist, Clinical Psychologist, Neuropsychologist,
Neurodevelopmental Physician
Mental Health or Psychiatric Psychiatrist, Clinical Psychologist, Social Worker (LICSW), Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Mobility/Physical Physical Therapist, Orthopedic Surgeon, other physician knowledgeable to condition
Speech and Communication Conditions Speech Language Clinician
Vision Optometrist, Ophthalmologist