Disability Services

Physical Disability & Systemic Illness Guidelines

Physical Disabilities and Systemic Illnesses:

Documentation should be current (e.g. within one year). Doctor’s notes on prescription pads are not sufficient for documentation of a disability. Documentation will be kept confidential and will be utilized only to determine the student’s eligibility for accommodation or services, and the type of accommodations or service required.

Documentation may include the following as relevant to the request:
  • Qualified impartial professional (physician; neurologist; psychiatrist; other medical specialist with experience and expertise in the area for which accommodations are being requested; not a family member)
  • Letterhead (name, license/certification/degree, area of specialization, employment, address, phone). Signature and date.
  • Dates of initial testing/diagnosis and most recent evaluation (the age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the condition, the current medical status, and the accommodation request; disabilities or conditions that are in the diagnosis phase, sporadic, or degenerative, may require more frequent evaluation)
  • Medical, developmental, and educational histories
  • A clear diagnostic statement of the disability/illness and degree of severity, including a discussion of how the condition substantially limits the student’s performance in an academic setting or impedes his or her full access/participation in a residential setting.
  • Summary of evaluation instruments/procedures and results which meet diagnostic criteria, especially information that may assist DSO staff in understanding the student’s need for accommodation.
  • For nutritionally-related petitions, attach a detailed outline of a proposed therapeutic diet which is inclusive of foods that are recommended for medical nutrition therapy.
  • Prognosis for the student’s condition
  • Description of current symptoms and their frequency, duration and severity.
  • Statement of positive/negative effect of medication on the student’s functioning in the post-secondary environment
  • Specific recommendations for accommodations and services that would facilitate the student’s reasonable and appropriate access to the College’s academic programs and residential life settings, including rationale for each accommodation.
  • Emerson College reserves the right to determine the adequacy of the documentation provided and the right to require additional or other information as determined necessary by Emerson College to complete its consideration of the request.