Prove It! What is Disability "Documentation"?

Disability Services

Most colleges have a person or full office that makes arrangements for disability accommodations. They use different names, like Disabled Student Services, Disability Resource Center, or Accessibility Center, among others. Can't find it? Try using Google to search your college name and the term "disability services."

To get services and assistance from Disability Services (DS), you usually have to register with the office. They collect information about you, your disability, and accommodations, and are required by law to keep that confidential unless you give them permission to share it.

That information they collect is the "documentation" (finally!)

Because not all disabilities are easy to see or understand, the documentation explains your disability and helps you and DS figure out what accommodations or services you might need.

Documentation of your disability also helps protect your rights under disability laws. If you've provided documentation of what you need, the college needs to provide services and accommodations.

There are three kinds of documentation:

  • Self-Report
  • Observation & History
  • Clinical Evaluation Reports

You should try to have these ready when you see Disability Services. Your parents or high school might have these if you don't.

We'll talk about the 3 types in a little more detail on the next page...

Campus should only request enough to make informed decisions about accommodations. In Canada, college students and the Human Rights Commission are fighting for the right to provide documentation without specific diagnoses .

AHEAD published guidelines for campuses to improve the documentation process. Show these to your disability services office if you're having trouble.

Types of Documentation