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Documentation Requirements

Documentation of a Physical and Non-physical Disability

Requiring Reasonable Documentation

The University of Tampa fully supports the efforts and welfare of all its students. The University faculty and staff are mindful of the diversity of the student body and act in ways to promote the academic success of each individual. One such avenue of support lies in the provision of reasonable accommodations to eligible students who may have one or more disabilities as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). UT is fully committed to act in compliance with all ADA mandated requirements.
 
As such, UT has created a set of guidelines and criteria for documentation supporting the need for accommodations. UT requires that each student have the appropriate diagnostician conduct tests and offer recommendations in order to qualify for reasonable accommodations. Part of this compliance includes timely notification in order for the University to respond appropriately. In some cases, the disability may need to be re-documented periodically. A valid report must address the issue of accommodation for college level work. A high school IEP is NOT an acceptable form of documentation. In addition to the documentation, a student must also submit an Accommodation Request via Accommodate by Symplicity. All documentation must be typed, on provider's letterhead and have a signature from the student's treating provider.

The University appreciates your careful and timely compliance with these criteria. Students who do not have their diagnoses validated or do not have their accommodation recommendations specified and supported will not be given consideration for their requests. Students who are denied accommodations who wish to file a grievance may do so with the director of Academic Excellence Programs. 

Documentation For Physical Disabilities Requiring Accommodations

In order to provide adequate and appropriate accommodations to students with physical disabilities that substantially limit a major life activity, it is necessary to receive documentation regarding the nature of the impairment. Documentation submitted on letterhead by a qualified and appropriate physician should contain the following information:
  • Student's name
  • Diagnosis/disability
  • Last date patient was seen/treated
  • Whether the disability is temporary or permanent; if temporary, what is the predicted time frame of treatment
  • Is the disability ongoing or are chronic flare-ups expected
  • Medications and side effects
  • Functional limitations resulting from the disability
  • Recommendations/suggestions for accommodations appropriate to the college environment
In addition to the documentation from the physician, a student must also submit an Accommodation Request via Accommodate by Symplicity. Please submit the required documents in a timely fashion so that reasonable accommodations can be put into place. Request for accommodations must be re-applied for at the beginning of each semester. The associate director reserves the right to consult with relevant professionals for help in evaluating a request.

Specific or General Learning Disability

In order for a student to receive accommodations for a learning disability, the University requires, at a minimum, the following current and relevant psychological test data.
  • An individual intelligence test score (e.g., WAIS-IV)
  • A measurement of cognitive processing (e.g., Woodcock-Johnson cognitive scores)
  • Achievement test data (e.g., Woodcock-Johnson achievement scores)
  • A DSM-5 diagnosis
  • An evaluation of ability to function in a demanding college environment which requires independent social functioning
  • Recommended accommodations specific to the student and their learning disability 
A diagnosis cannot be accurately made without such data. Difference scores between the IQ and processing and/or achievement standard scores should be more than 1.5 standard deviations, as generally recognized in the American adult educational system.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder 

For ADHD, documentation must be both recent and relevant to the higher education environment to receive academic accommodations. All documentation must be typed, on provider’s letterhead and have a signature from the student’s treating provider. Documentation for ADHD must include the following:
  • A clear statement of ADHD with DSM-5 diagnosis including description of present symptoms;
  • Date of last contact. Accommodations are based on an assessment of the current nature and impact of the disability;
  • A statement of the functional impact or limitations on learning or other major life activities and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested; and 
  • A clear statement of specific recommendations, modifications or accommodations and how they relate to the disability. 

Psychiatric or Psychological Disability

In the case of psychiatric or psychological disability, the provider must document the specific clinical diagnosis and specify what accommodations the student will need. A checklist of typical accommodations follows at the bottom of this page. The diagnostician must document why the accommodation(s) is/are being recommended.
At a minimum, the following information related to diagnosis should be submitted:
  • A DSM-5 diagnosis
  • A summary report of supporting psychological test data
  • An evaluation of ability to function in a demanding college environment which requires independent social functioning
  • A summary of the current treatment status
  • Notification of any medications which would have side effects or other impact on academic or other school performance
  • The time period for which the accommodations are being recommended

Contact Information

Documentation regarding a disability should be submitted with the student’s request via Accommodate by Symplicity. If you have questions regarding documentation requirements, please contact the associate director of Academic Excellence Programs at (813) 257-3266 or disability.services@ut.edu.