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Documentation Guidelines

These guidelines outline what information is necessary in order to obtain accommodations for documented disabilities at Union University.

In determining eligibility for accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American's With Disabilities Act (ADA) the student must demonstrate that a qualified medical professional has established a formal diagnosis of a disability. The Professional must show evidence of a "substantial limitation" in a major life activity, such as walking, seeing, hearing, breathing, etc. These guidelines are provided to help the evaluating professional document his/her findings in a manner that meets requirements of the ADA and supports the request for accommodations.

It is the responsibility of the student to obtain his/her documentation and to present a copy to the Office of Disability Services. It is the student's responsibility to obtain additional information or testing when requested. The application process and documentation review will generate a list of potentially reasonable accommodations that will then be considered based on potential effectiveness, preferences of the requester, maximum level of integration, and with the essential elements of the course in mind.

General Guidelines for Medical Professionals

Please provide a type-written report, on official letterhead, that addresses the following seven elements:

  1. 1. A diagnostic statement identifying the disability, date of the most current diagnostic evaluation, and the date of the original diagnosis.
    • a. We encourage the use of the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of The American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV).
  2. 2. A description of the diagnostic instrument, methods, and/or criteria used. The assessment tool must meet best practices for the specific medical profession and specifically address the disability being diagnosed. We encourage (but are not limited to) the following assessments for specific disabilities:
    • a. Learning Disabilities
      • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale - Third Edition
      • Woodcock Johnson Test of Achievement - Third Edition
    • b. Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
      • Conner's Adult AD/HD Diagnostic Interview
      • Brown's ADHD Checklist
      • Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.)
    • c. Anxiety or Depression
      • Depression Anxiety Stress Scales
      • Beck Depression Inventory
    • d. Hearing Impairment
      • Audiogram, (not more than 5 years old)
    • e. Visual Impairment
      • Ocular Assessment (not more than 5 years old)
  3. 3. A description of the current substantial functional impact of the disability on a major life activity
    • This section should include a specific statement from the examiner stating what factors of the students disability impact the academic or social functions of a college setting.
  4. 4. Treatments, medications, and/or assistive devices/services currently prescribed or in use.
  5. 5. A description of the expected progression over time, particularly the next five years. In other words, will the impact of the disability improve or worsen?
  6. 6. The credentials of the diagnosing professionals if not clear from the letterhead or other forms.
  7. 7. Professional's recommendations for appropriate accommodations in a post-secondary environment.

Did you have an IEP or 504 Plan in high school?

For individuals who have been receiving accommodations from a secondary school system; you may have been provided with an IEP, 504 Plan, or Transition Plan. Please note, these documents are not sufficient documentation for accommodation request without supplemental documents from a qualified medical professional. A prior history of accommodations, without demonstration of current need, does not in and of itself warrant the provision of a like accommodation.

You must request this information separately from your high school or school system, which is not included in your transcripts. Please review your high school documentation against the outlined documentation guidelines to ensure you application is complete. Please contact the Director of the Office for Disability Services, Jon Abernathy, at jabernathy@uu.edu or call (731) 661-6520, if you have any questions.

Are you receiving services from a state vocational rehabilitation agency?

For individuals who are receiving services from a state rehabilitation agency; much of the requested information will be contained in the documentation regarding your eligibility for services and vocational plan. You are encouraged to talk with your rehabilitation counselor and show them Union's Documentation Guidelines.

Are you transferring from another college or university?

For individuals transferring from another college or university; information related to your disability will not be sent with a transcript request. You must request that information be sent to the Office for Disability Services separately.


If, after reading these guidelines, you have any questions, please contact the Director, Jon Abernathy, at jabernathy@uu.edu or call at (731) 661-6520.

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  • Jon Abernathy, M.S.Ed.Jon Abernathy, M.S.Ed.
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  • Office: PAC F-19
  • Phone: 731-661-6520
  • Fax: 731-661-5187
  • E-mail: jabernathy@uu.edu
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  • Penick Academic Complex, Hallway F, Room 19 (Between Union Station and the Library)
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