Prospective DRS Students

Documentation Process (DRS)

The Documentation Process

In order to be considered for academic accommodations due to a disability, you must first provide Disability Resources for Students with documentation of that disability. Once we have received your documentation, we will be able to contact you for an intake appointment and make arrangements for accommodations.

To obtain documentation, you should contact your physician or licensed diagnostician. In most cases, your documentation must be written by an M.D. or Ph.D. level practitioner. You are welcome to bring the information listed here to him or her in order to ensure that the documentation provided includes the information we require.

If you believe that you will need special parking on campus because of your disability, please contact the DRS office for more information in regards to this accommodation.

Documentation Overview

The Disability Resources for Students (DRS) office requires students seeking services to provide documentation from a qualified healthcare professional that describes the disability and/or health condition and that shares the functional impact on the student’s academic experiences. This documentation serves three purposes:

  1. To establish that the student can be considered a person with a disability, and therefore eligible for protection against discrimination on the basis of disability.
  2. To supplement information from the student regarding the impact of the disability.
  3. To inform the development of reasonable accommodation (auxiliary aids and services) designed to facilitate equal access to UW environments on a case-by-case basis.

What the Documentation Needs to Include

Please note that your documentation should be presented on the physician's or diagnostician's letterhead. It must also be signed and dated by the physician or diagnostician. Please be sure to communicate that the documentation should not include any information that you, as the patient, should not have access to.

  • A diagnosis of the disability/health condition by a qualified health practitioner/licensed psychologist.
    • If you have a mental disorder, a DSM IV diagnosis should be presented by a qualified mental health practitioner.
  • A description of the current impact/limitations of the disability/health condition with specific focus on barriers to the educational and/or housing environment
  • A discussion of whether the disability/health condition is permanent or temporary. If temporary, please provide information on the expected duration of the disability/health condition and timeline for re-evaluation.
  • The severity of the condition/disability.
  • The date of assessment (DRS will not accept documentation if it is greater than five years old).
  • Basis for diagnosis (symptoms, test results).
  • An individual assessment of the disorder/disability and prognosis as to duration.
  • An individual assessment of medication side effects.

More specific requirements can be found according to the table below.

Documentation needs to be from a qualified healthcare provider and must include:

  • Contact information
  • License number
  • Signature or electronic signature

Documentation may be submitted in, but is not limited to, one of the following formats*:

  • DRS Healthcare Provider Form (except for learning disabilities and traumatic brain injuries)
  • Qualified providers professional letterhead
  • Official visit summary, such as emergency department discharge papers
  • Neuropsychological assessment

*When meeting with students during the Access Planning Meeting, DRS Counselors will inform students if more documentation information is needed based on the nature of the accommodation request.

Documentation Guidelines

To help you determine what documentation DRS is looking for, separate documentation guidelines have been created to better identify the kind of information our office needs to effectively help students. Click on each policy for more information.

Type Policy Examples (not limited to)
Learning Documentation Guidelines for a Learning Disability Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Dysphasia/Aphasia, Dyspraxia (Sensory Integration Disorder), Visual Processing Disorder.
Psychological / ADHD Documentation Guidelines for a Psychological / ADHD Disability ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, Bipolar disorder, Communication disorders, Depression, Phobias, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Social anxiety disorder.
Health Conditions Documentation Guidelines for Health Conditions AIDS/HIV, Back Conditions, Cancer, Cerebral Palsy, Chronic Fatigue, Diabetes, Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Migraines, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Parkinson’s Disease.
Traumatic Brain Injuries Documentation Guidelines for Traumatic Brain Injuries Head injury/trauma to brain from external or internal forces.