Disability Documentation Guidelines

Documentation

Documentation is needed to help determine the disability impact and reasonable accommodations. While the student is a primary source of information regarding institutional barriers they may experience on the basis of a disability, when the disability’s impact is not readily observable, documentation is typically necessary.

In general, documentation should include the qualifications of the healthcare provider; diagnosis and history of the disability; current impact of the disability on daily functioning, including academics; any treatments, medications, and/or assistive devices/services currently prescribed or in use; a description of the mediating effects and potential side effects from such treatments; and recommendations. The Disability Documentation Form is designed for the treating healthcare provider to include this information.

Generally Insufficient Documentation

Disability Services does not diagnose impairments, assess severity, or identify current impact and/or functional limitations of a disability. For this reason, office medical records, medical chart notes, X-rays, and prescription pad notations generally are not sufficient for determining eligibility, and submitting these could prolong the decision process.

Additionally, high school IEPs, 504 Plans, and/or Summaries of Performance often lack the detail needed at the college level, and additional documentation is necessary.

Classroom Accommodation Requests

Use the Disability Documentation Form​ (PDF)

The treating health care provider should complete the Disability Documentation Form for any type of disability except learning disabilities. Students with learning disabilities should submit their most recent psycho-educational evaluation supporting the diagnosis, including the diagnostic test scores.

Documenting a Learning Disability

Generally, documentation should include the most recent full-scale psychological/psycho-educational evaluation supporting the diagnosis, including the results of the diagnostic tests, the tools used to make the determination, and the recommendations. For cognitive disorders, evaluations should use adult norms. Additional documentation or more recent documentation is sometimes needed in order to evaluate the current impact of a disability. Students with learning disabilities (i.e., specific learning disabilities in reading, written expression, and/or math) should *not* use the Disability Documentation Form.

Housing and Dining Accommodation Requests

Use the Disability Services Housing & Dining Accommodations Request Form (PDF)

For our team to make a determination about the impact of a disability in a residential setting, students requesting disability-related housing or dietary accommodations need their treating health care provider to complete the Housing & Dining Accommodations Request Form. Submit the complete form to Disability Services for review once you have made the decision to apply to on-campus housing. Visit the Housing Accommodations and/or Dining Accommodations webpages for more information and related deadlines.

Emotional Support Animal Requests

Use the Guidelines and Request Form for an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) in On-Campus Housing (pdf)

ESAs in On-Campus Housing

An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is an animal prescribed to an individual with a disability by a healthcare or mental health professional to play a significant part in a person’s treatment process. Students must follow general procedures to request on-campus housing, including relevant applications through Housing and Residence Life. The Guidelines and Request Form for an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) in On-Campus Housing, linked below, details the process. Students requesting an ESA must submit the completed Student Section and the completed Provider Section (completed by their treating health care provider).

Generally, documentation acquired from websites or health care professionals who have had no contact with the student except for limited encounters that were specifically intended to produce an ESA letter are not considered to be reliable.

Deadlines: Requests for Housing accommodations, including requests for ESAs, must follow deadlines. ESA documentation should be submitted to Disability Services as follows:

  • Fall semester requests: submit to DS by May 1st
  • Spring semester requests: Submit to DS by Nov 1st

Personal Attendant Form

Personal Attendant Form (PDF)

Some students require a personal attendant for activities of daily living and to manage their disability while on campus. Contact Disability Services early if you plan to use a personal care attendant while on campus. The student has the sole responsibility of obtaining and employing a personal care attendant. It is important that the use of a personal care attendant be included on the documentation forms submitted to Disability Services. If you plan to live on campus and your personal care attendant needs access to your residence hall, you will also need to inform Housing and Residence Life because of the requirements to allow the attendant access to a residence hall. Early planning with both Disability Services and Residence Life is essential to making the transition to living on campus with a personal care attendant.

In addition to providing appropriate disability documentation, students requiring personal care attendants must also submit the completed Personal Attendant Form to Disability Services.

Visiting Students with Accommodation Requests

Visiting students taking a class at UNC Charlotte may provide documentation of their current accommodations or diagnosis from their current home institution. Often visiting students are enrolled in summer courses, and this allows the student to get connected to Disability Services in a timely fashion for documentation review, registration, and discussion of accommodations needs.

Next Steps

Documentation we receive is reviewed by a DS staff member. This process can take several business days. Once a determination of eligibility is made, students are notified via their University email regarding eligibility status and next steps.

Questions? Contact the Office of Disability Services at 704-687-0040 or disability@charlotte.edu.