Disability Documentation Policies

In accordance with the Americans and Disabilities Act (ADA), the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination and assured services and accommodations that provide equal access to the activities and programs of Northern State University (University). To establish that an individual is covered under the ADA, documentation must indicate that the disability substantially limits one or more major life activities. If academic or classroom-based accommodations are requested, learning must be one of the major life activities affected.

Documentation submitted must:

  • Be appropriate to verify eligibility,
  • Demonstrate a current substantial impact of one or more major life activities, and
  • Support the request for accommodations and or auxiliary aids

To qualify for disability services through the Office of Disability Services (ODS), students are required to provide diagnostic documentation from a licensed clinical professional familiar with the history and functional implications of the impairments. Disability documentation must adequately verify the nature and extent of the disability in accordance with current professional standards and techniques, and it must clearly substantiate the need for all of the student's specific accommodation requests. All documentation must be submitted on the official letterhead of the professional describing the disability. The report should be dated and signed and include the name, title and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license or certification. If the original documentation is incomplete or inadequate to determine the extent of the disability or reasonable accommodation, the University has the discretion to require additional documentation. Any cost incurred in obtaining additional documentation when the original records are inadequate is assumed by the student. If the documentation is complete but the University desires a second professional opinion, the University bears the latter cost. In general, it is not acceptable for such documentation to include a diagnosis or testing performed by a member of the student's family. Additionally, students requesting accommodations for the manifestations of multiple disabilities must provide evidence of all such conditions.

A student’s school plan such as an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan will not be sufficient documentation due to the difference between the ADA/ADAAA and laws governing K-12.

Students without appropriate documentation may receive services and accommodations for the remainder of the semester that they make initial contact with the ODS.

Accommodations may be provided for students with either permanent or temporary disabilities.

The Office of Disability Services will ensure that disability-related documents are kept confidential and shared only with NSU personnel on a limited and need-to-know basis.

NoteYou are strongly advised to give a copy of the guidelines to your treating clinician.  Disabilities have a wide range of severity and effect.  The more specific information we receive, the better we can determine appropriate accommodations for you.