For questions concerning Documentation Criteria contact our office Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Disability Resource Center
1200 W. Harrison Street
Suite 1190/ SSB, MC 321
Chicago, IL 60607
312-413-7781 (fax)
312-413-0123 (TTY)

Documentation Criteria

Students requesting disability-related accommodations through the Disability Resource Center (DRC) are required to provide current (within the last five years) diagnostic documentation from a licensed clinical professional familiar with the history and functional implications of their respective disabilities.  Disability documentation must adequately verify the nature and extent of the disability in accordance with current professional standards and techniques, and it must clearly substantiate the need for all of the student's specific accommodation requests.

All documentation must be submitted on the official letterhead of the professional describing the disability.  The report cannot be hand-written.  It should be dated and signed and include the name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license or certification.  In general, it is not acceptable for such documentation to include a diagnosis or testing performed by a member of the student's family.  Additionally, students requesting accommodations for the manifestations of multiple disabilities must provide evidence of all such conditions.

Disability documentation submitted to the Disability Resource Center should conform to the criteria listed on the following pages. 

Please note that IEPs are generally not considered appropriate documentation, but can be used as supplemental information. 

All Documentation Must Include:

  • An identification of the disability(s).
  • An assessment of how the disability(s) affect your functioning.
  • Suggestions as to how the disability(s) may be best accommodated.

Specific documentation required for certain Disabilities:

Deafness or hearing loss

  • An audiological evaluation and/or audiogram.
  • An interpretation of the functional implications of the diagnostic data and hearing aid evaluation, when appropriate.

Low vision or blindness

  • An ocular assessment or evaluation from an ophthalmologist.
  • A low-vision evaluation of residual visual function, when appropriate.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) or brain insult

  • A thorough neuropsychological evaluation (from a neuropsychologist) which assesses the impaired area(s), which may include attention, visuoperception/visual reasoning, language, academic skills, memory/learning, executive function, sensory, motor, and emotional status. Data should include subtest scores and percentiles.

Psychiatric disability

  • A specific, current psychiatric diagnosis as per the DSM-IV which indicates the nature, frequency and severity of the symptoms upon which the diagnosis was predicated. A diagnosis without an explicit listing of current symptoms is not sufficient.  Primary and secondary Axis I and Axis II diagnoses are required.  Documentation must be from a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, primary care physician or licensed clinical social worker. 
  • Prescribed medications, dosages and schedules which may influence accommodations.

Attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder (ADD/ADHD)

  • Evidence of alternative diagnoses being ruled out. The documentation must investigate and discuss the possibility of dual diagnoses and alternative or coexisting mood, behavioral, neurological and/or personality disorders that may confound the ADD/ADHD diagnosis.
  • An indication of whether or not the student was evaluated while on medication, and whether or not the prescribed treatment produced a positive response.

Learning disability

  • A comprehensive assessment battery must contain the following domains:
    • Aptitude/Cognitive Ability: An assessment of global intellectual functioning as measured by the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III (WAIS-III) with all subtests and standard scores.
    • Academic Achievement: A comprehensive achievement battery (e.g., Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery - Revised: Tests of Achievement) with subtest and standard scores, indicating current level of functioning in the academic areas of reading, math, oral and written language.
    • Information Processing: A comprehensive battery (e.g. Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery - Revised: Tests of Cognitive Abilities) with subtest and standard scores which addresses the specific areas of short and long-term memory, sequential memory, auditory and visual perception, processing speed, executive functioning, and motor ability.

Revised June 2010