Documentation

Roger Williams University provides reasonable accommodations to help ensure that eligible students with disabilities experience equal opportunity and participation in programs and services. We welcome you to speak with us at any time about any aspect of your experience at RWU.

Eligible students with disabilities are asked to present documents that demonstrate evidence of a current condition that impacts one or more major life functions as defined by ADAAA 2008. 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. 

Please provide all documentation to Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at least two weeks in advance of the requested accommodations so that we have adequate time for evaluation of documents and timely recommendations to faculty and administrators.  In urgent cases, the SAS staff may use case-by-case determination and professional judgment to make decisions about exceptions.

The documentation should establish the formal diagnosis, based on the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) or the International Classification of Functioning (ICF), describe the nature and severity of the disability, and document the current functional needs in the academic or physical environment.  

Documentation may be official psycho-educational reports, detailed letter from the provider, and/or the Provider Verification Form that is provided below as an option for the provider.   

Accommodation Recommendations:  Although a practitioner's suggested accommodations are welcome, these recommended accommodations shall not be binding on the institution; rather accommodations shall be determined by RWU Student Accessibility Services, in collaboration with the student and, at times, their faculty, on a case-by-case interactive basis for each course or activity.  

Accommodations cannot alter the central elements of a curriculum, nor will they reduce the requirements of the curriculum.

(Students with temporary conditions should follow the same accommodation procedures as for all other students; adjustments will be determined on a case-by-case basis.). Accommodations will be time limited in relation to the temporary condition.
    
In most cases, the date of the documentation should be current, 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 their time at RWU. However, with 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 current functional need for accommodation.  The final determination for current status of the documentation rests with the institution.
    
The SAS staff assume responsibility to maintain confidentiality of the evaluation and will not release any part of the documentation without the student's informed and written consent.    

 

Please contact us for general questions at:

Student Accessibility Services 
Jeremy Warnick Center for Student Accessibility
Main University Library, 1st Floor
Roger Williams University
One Old Ferry Rd.
Bristol, RI 02809
sas@rwu.edu
401-254-3841 

Documentation can be mailed to us by USPS, or it can be scanned and emailed to us.

(The information herein was adapted from AHEAD (Association of Higher Education and Disability) and from the University of Rhode Island's Disability Services for Students )

(adapted from the AHEAD-Association for Higher Education and Disability best practices)

 

Elements of Quality Documentation

Roger Williams University follows best practices of documentation guidelines.  In brief, the essential elements are:

  • Licensed or credentialed evaluator, with specific certification or expertise related to the condition being diagnosed, and who is not related to the individual. (ex. hearing disability diagnosed by certified Audiologist (CCC-A) or by an Ear, Nose, & Throat M.D.)
  • 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.)
  • 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 limitedby providing evidence of frequency and pervasiveness of the conditions(s).
  • Description of the progression or stability of the disability over time and in context.
  • (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.

We suggest the following practitioners, categorized by type of condition, as qualified to provide particular documentation needed to determine eligibility for disability-related accommodations and supports.

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD and subtypes)
    • Neuropsychologist
    • Clinical Psychologist
    • Psychiatrist
    • Neurologist
    • Neurodevelopmental Physician
  • Chronic Illness or Health Conditions (physician with specific expertise to the condition) such as:
    • Gastroenterologist
    • Rheumatologist
    • Endocrinologist
    • Internal Medicine
    • Pediatrician
    • Other: physician with expertise about the particular condition
  • Developmental Disability (such as Autism Spectrum Disorder)
    • Neuropsychologist
    • Psychiatrist
    • Clinical Psychologist
    • Neurodevelopmental Physician
  • Head Injury/TBI
    • Neurologist
    • Neuropsychologist
  • Hearing
    • Certified Audiologist
    • Otolaryngologist
  • Learning Disabilities
    • School Psychologist
    • Clinical Psychologist
    • Neuro Psychologist
    • Neurodevelopmental Physician
  • Mental Health or Psychiatric
    • Psychiatrist
    • Clinical Psychologist
    • Licensed Social Worker (LICSW)
    • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Mobility/Physical
    • Physical Therapist
    • Orthopedic Surgeon
    • Other physician with expertise about the condition
  • Speech and Communicative Conditions
    • Speech Language Clinician
    • Otolaryngologist
  • Vision
    • Optometrist
    • Ophthalmologist
  • Temporary Conditions
    • Practitioners as above with expertise about the particular temporary condition

As an option to busy medical or mental health providers, we offer the Provider Verification Form below.  Receiving an electronic or online version of the Provider Verification Form is preferred, because that is the most reliable and comprehensive way to keep a record of your provider's information.

Providers may also submit a letter on their clinic letterhead, or an official report with provider information and contact information included.

You may  give your provider the "Download Verification Form" link below; or you can download and forward the form to your provider.  Preferably, completed forms are saved, attached and emailed to sas@rwu.edu.

Please ask the provider to complete the fillable PDF-Verification of Disability Form or submit a letter/report with as much detail as possible. 

Completed forms, letters or reports may also be mailed to:
Student Accessibility Services
Main Library, First Floor
Roger Williams University
One Old Ferry Road
Bristol, RI 02809

Download Verification Form