It is the student’s responsibility to provide notice to the University of the nature of the student’s disability and to assist the University in identifying appropriate and effective accommodations and auxiliary aids.
Purpose of documentation
The University may require documentation of the student’s disability and the need for the requested academic adjustment. Documentation should be provided by a licensed professional qualified to assess the disability.
The guidelines are based on standard documentation guidelines used by many private colleges and universities throughout the state of Washington, and those available from the Washington Association on Postsecondary Education and Disability (as set forth in its position papers). These guidelines have been put in place to help verify the existence of a disability, to understand the specific needs of the student, and to help determine the appropriateness of the requested academic adjustments.
Students who wish to request accommodations based on a disability must meet with the assistant director for DSS to provide documentation and do an intake. The purpose of the intake is to:
- Meet the student.
- Receive and review the documentation together to make sure all necessary information is provided, to identify any missing information, and to clarify any vague information or documentation.
- Discuss previous accommodations the student received in other educational settings and their effectiveness.
- Allow the student to request accommodations.
- Inform the student about University procedures for requesting and receiving approved accommodations.
Students should fill out an intake form to be kept on file in the DSS office. They should be informed about issues of confidentiality. Once reasonable accommodations have been determined and approved, students should receive a letter listing their accommodations.
At the end of the intake interview (assuming proper and adequate documentation has been provided) the student should receive the following:
- A document listing their approved accommodations
- Procedure guidelines for each arranged accommodation with information on how to request and receive the accommodation
In some cases, additional documentation may be required before reasonable accommodations can be identified. Approved accommodations may change and may be adjusted based on the student’s changing needs. For example, if accommodations are no longer required, the student shall not be entitled to those accommodations.
To the extent reasonably possible and as required by law, DSS protects information submitted by students. Information contained in documentation or discussed during appointments should be treated with as much confidentiality as reasonably possible. This information may be shared with other University employees (to the extent permitted by FERPA) by the assistant director for disability support services on a need-to-know basis so that employees can fulfill their professional responsibilities to provide approved academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and other accommodations. Disability-related information should not be shared with persons outside the University without the student’s written permission unless the student becomes a danger to self or others, by court order, or as otherwise allowed or required by law.