Guidelines for Documentation of a Medical Disability
To qualify for services, a student must provide documentation of a diagnosed medical
disability. The guidelines that follow are provided to assure that evaluation reports
are appropriate to determine eligibility and to support requests for reasonable accommodations.
The Center for Academic Excellence is available to consult with students or diagnosticians
regarding the following guidelines.
Practioners Who Can Provide a Diagnosis
Licensed Physicians with expertise in the area of disability, (i.e. Neurologist, Orthopedist,
Recency of Documentation
If the physical disability or other medical condition is stable, then the original
diagnosis along with recent documentation of the current impact of the condition is
needed. If physical condition is unstable, it is best to provide documentation that
is as close as possible to the date that accommodations are requested, usually within
the last six months.
Contents of Documentation
A specific medical diagnosis.
Functional limitations on major life activities as a result of the physical or medical
condition. These may include but are not limited to:
Limitations on functional activity such as walking, sitting, reaching, etc., should
be as detailed as possible.
Ability to physically attend classes
Cognitive impact due to medical treatment
Evidence to support the functional limitations statements made in #2. This may include
but is not limited to:
Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy Evaluation or Report
Physician Evaluation or Report
Recommended Accommodations. All accommodations should be directly related to functional
limitations listed in #2. The rationale for each recommendation should be contained
in #3 above.
Recommendations for other supports, strategies or services that may benefit the individual
in a higher education environment. This includes suggestions for the use of adaptive
equipment and assistive technology. Also discuss how the use of medications may affect
impairments or functional abilities and how any side effects from medication may impact
the student's ability to perform adequately in the post-secondary setting.
Other pertinent diagnoses or recommendations for other evaluations that may be needed.
This should also include any anticipated changes in the student's condition.
This is not intended to be an exhaustive list or to restrict assessment in other pertinent
areas. Acceptable alternative evaluations may be determined by the Center for Academic
Students seeking qualified professionals for assessments may find referral sources
from disability services staff at a college or university, or from a physician. The Center
for Academic Excellence is available to assist with selection criteria for a qualified
All documentation is confidential and should be sent to:
Student Accessibility Services Center for Academic Excellence Franklin Pierce University 40 University Drive Rindge, NH 03461 Phone: 603-899-4107 Fax: 603-899-4395 Email: