Documenting a Disability
You may present current evidence of a disability to Messiah College Disability Services. We prefer the documentation to be within the last three years, but we encourage students to send the documentation they have available to help us determine if a new evaluation is prescribed. Acceptable documentation might come from physicians, psychologists, or other licensed professionals knowledgeable about the condition.
Documentation must include certain elements:
- Diagnosis (DSM IV, IDEA, medical or other)
- Statement of severity
- Statement that identifies how the condition creates a "substantial impairment" and in which life activities.
- List of accommodations that will be needed by the student in order to benefit from the program or service
Generally, acceptable documentation would include current medical reports or a recent IEP or 504 plan in combination with a Comprehensive Evaluation Report. The documentation you provide may require further support and/or additional evaluations for determination of eligibility. Any costs incurred for additional evaluations are the responsibility of the student.
A prescription pad diagnosis is not acceptable, since the documentation must also address severity, impairment, and accommodation necessary.
Your documentation will be reviewed, and if adequate for determining eligibility, a plan of accommodation will be worked out with you. Disability Services staff will help you identify accommodations needed in various classes and campus services and programs. They will assist you in communicating your needs to instructors and campus personnel as needed.