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Disability Documentation Guidelines

Any Providence College student (Undergraduate, Graduate, School of Continuing Education, etc.) with a disability is entitled to reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Disabilities may include, but are not limited to, learning, ADHD, chronic illness, medical, physical, visual, hearing, and mental health. Academic accommodations are determined through a process that is both interactive and supportive.

To receive academic accommodations at Providence College, students must provide documentation of a disability. The documentation must verify that the disability substantially limits a major life activity, such as the learning process.

Documentation may be submitted as an attachment to the Application for Academic Accommodations, or emailed directly to to accommodations@providence.edu.

Documentation Overview

two people working on writing instruction with computers open

Documentation must include:

  • The professional’s diagnosis (including DSM V diagnosis), evaluation, recommendations and other information that are typed on the professional’s letterhead. The information should include the name, title, dates of treatment, signature, license number and/or certification number. 
  • The professional providing the documentation has the necessary qualifications to diagnose and treat the student for the specific disability
  • The diagnosis of the disability is clearly stated, explained, and specific
  • Documentation should not be more than three to five years old.
  • Documentation prepared by professionals must provide a diagnosis of the medical/mental health condition, explain any functional limitations the condition will impose for the student in a post-secondary academic setting and provide recommendations for reasonable accommodations. 
  • Students may seek documentation from on campus resources, if appropriate. These resources may include the Personal Counseling Center, the Student Health Center, or Sports Medicine.

A student is responsible for providing documentation that supports his/her request for academic accommodations. It is important that the documentation clearly establishes that the student has a disability as defined by federal regulations and that the documentation clearly supports the individual’s request for academic accommodations. 

Please note: IEPs and Section 504 Plans may be useful but are not sufficient to substantiate eligibility for accommodations. 

All information provided by the student will be shared with others at the College only on a “need-to-know” basis and otherwise will be kept strictly confidential unless disclosure is authorized by the student or required by law. 

Student in wheelchair with guide dog

A Note on Temporary Disabilities

Providence College recognized that individuals with temporarily disabling conditions that are a result of injuries, surgery, or short-term medical conditions may need access to services and resources similar to individuals with permanent disabilities. Examples of temporary disabilities may include but are not limited to the following: broken limbs, hand injuries, concussion, or short term impairments following surgery, or medical/mental health treatments. A temporary impairment, which does not qualify as an ADA disability, may nonetheless still be a “serious health condition” requiring reasonable accommodations. A temporary impairment caused by an injury may also be a covered disability under the ADA Amendments Act if it is sufficiently severe to substantially limit a major life activity.

Documentation should address:

  1. Type of temporary impairment
  2. Severity
  3. Functional limitations affecting academic performance
  4. Prognosis
  5. The estimated duration of the impairment
  6. Recommendations for accommodations

If you have any questions pertaining to these guidelines, please call the Office of Academic Services at 401.865.2494.