General Documentation Guidelines

The Abilities Office requires students to submit documentation in support of their specific accommodation requests.

Documentation serves two primary purposes:

  • It establishes that the individual is entitled to legal protections under the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
  • It helps to determine what, if any, course design/environmental adaptations are necessary for the individual’s equitable access to courses, programs, services, and activities at Chicago State University.

These guidelines are not meant to be a replacement for direct communication with the Assistant Director of the Abilities Office.  Determining reasonable accommodations is an iterative process that considers the individual nature of a request.  Please contact the Abilities Office directly if you have documentation that does not meet the requirements outlined here.


Documentation Criteria

Understanding the exact documentation, assessments and healthcare providers required to demonstrate your need for accommodations can be a difficult task.  The criteria outlined below are the general requirements for ALL disability-specific documentation presented to the Abilities Office.

Provider—the healthcare provider completing your documentation must:

  • demonstrate expertise within scope of practice for given diagnosis
  • be identified by name, title, and professional credentials
  • provide current license/certification number as well as the state of practice
  • provide information about relevant areas of specialization

Diagnosis—the diagnosis must:

  • include the appropriate diagnostic codes (ICD-10, DSM-5, SNOMED)
  • be assigned by a qualified professional
  • be supported by relevant evaluation(s), assessment(s), standardized criteria, clinical summaries, etc.
  • be dated

Current functional impact of the condition(s)—the provision of accommodations is based upon an assessment of the current impact of the student’s disability. Documentation:

  • must be clearly relevant to the requested accommodation(s)
  • be timely and dated within the specific guidelines outlined in the Abilities Office policies
  • describe the current functional impact on physical, perceptual, cognitive and behavioral abilities
  • address severity, variability, impact of medication, triggers, periods of exacerbation, etc.

Medication—list current medications the client is taking

Treatment—describe current treatment plan, last date of contact and next appointment/review

Assistive Devices—list all assistive devices, augmented devices, controls, adaptations, etc. that are currently in use

Prognosis—estimated progression or stability of diagnosis over time

Recommended accommodations—the provider should list all suggested academic accommodations and services and connect their relevance to the diagnosis


Acceptable Forms of Documentation

Unacceptable Forms of Documentation

 (call the Abilities Office to discuss options)

  • IEP/504 Plans (without additional documentation)
  • Unsigned/Incomplete Documentation
  • Illegible documentation
  • Documentation completed by a relative of patient
  • Professional expertise outside of scope of practice
  • Outdated documentation


Returning Students

Students of the Abilities Office who are returning for subsequent terms/semesters will receive a review of their student file.  Disability documentation will be reviewed for the following criteria:

  • relevance of accommodation request to diagnosis indicated in documentation on file
  • timeliness of current documentation as compared to current policy and guidelines

Returning students will be promptly informed of any deficiencies in documentation.  Deficiencies must be resolved by the term that occurs after notification is received.

Conditions Subject to Change—for conditions that are subject to change over time (including health-related disorders, learning disabilities and psychological disabilities, the student may be asked to provide updated documentation for the student’s file on an on-going basis in order for accommodations to be continued.

Please note:

*Students described as experiencing test anxiety or difficulties with organization, memory, or concentration in specific situations may not have an impairment that rises to the level of a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  However, students experiencing academic difficulties are welcome to visit The Abilities Office for referrals to campus or outside resources or to discuss their situation to see if accommodations might be appropriate.

*If you have submitted your online Accommodation Request Form, you will soon receive an email from the Abilities Office at abilities@csu.edu*

For all other students, please see the Accommodation Request Process found here.