Documentation Guidelines

If you have supporting documentation from a health professional, please user our online tool to submit documentation.

To protect the integrity of a rigorous academic environment, we require documentation verifying the existence of a disability from a regulated health professional who is operating within their scope of practice to identify a physical, cognitive or emotional condition that is disabling in an academic context.  This documentation must describe the functional limitations experienced by the student.  Examples of professionals who can complete this documentation include:

  • Physicians (medical doctors)
  • Psychologists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Registered Psychotherapists
  • Social Workers
  • Nurse Practitioners

If you suspect you might have a disability and you are in the process of being assessed, please contact us to inquire about possible interim assistance.

Accommodations can be made for both permanent and temporary disabilities. If you experience a disability that is not described below, please contact us for more information.

Functional Assessment Form

Our Functional Assessment form is used to provide information about most types of disabilities, with the exception of those that require a psycho-educational assessment.  Here are some of the general categories of disabilities covered in this area. You may also want to see the information below about Support/Service Animals (below).

  • Acquired brain injuries such as concussions, persistent post-concussion syndrome, strokes, aneurysms, and injuries caused by tumours, infections or lack of oxygen
  • Hearing-related disabilities
  • Medical conditions such as significant injuries, recovery from surgery, and chronic illnesses
  • Mental health conditions including those that are new or emerging, as well as chronic or long-standing
  • Mobility or dexterity-related disabilities
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders such as ASD and ADHD, though a complete assessment by a psychologist may be required (see below)
  • Vision-related disabilities, including blindness and low-vision

Note that a functional assessment rarely provides sufficient information to support a memory aid. If this is a consideration, please read the NOARC guidelines for when memory aids should be recommended.

Psycho-educational Assessment

For students who experience a learning disability, a psycho-educational assessment is required that describes details relating to the student's learning profile. In the case of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) an assessment by a psychologist is also considered best practice for determining academic accommodation. This gives us the most useful description of a student's abilities, and is frequently required in order to access funding or other resources from outside of the university. Here are some useful resources:

Letter to Clarify Functional Abilities

From time to time, Student Accessibility Services may ask for a letter from an appropriate regulated health professional to clarify the ways in which a student is affected by their disability/disabilities in an academic setting. The purpose of this request is for Student Accessibility Services to receive expert advice that can assist with the accommodation process. In most cases, SAS will pose specific questions where clarification may be helpful. Examples of where this may come up includes (but is not limited to):

  • complex disability-related needs with a significant impact on the student's academic abilities,
  • multiple disability-related documents where a synthesis of the information based on a clinical assessment would be helpful, or
  • documentation received by Student Accessibility Services that does not conform to established standards.

Support/Service Animals

Student Accessibility Services routinely receives inquiries about what kind of documentation is required for a service/support animal and so we created the Service Animal Recommendation form to help ensure we get complete information.

Individual Education Plan (IEP)

Unfortunately, we are not able to accept an IEP as documentation of a disability.  There are many differences in the approaches to teaching and learning at the high school level as compared to university.  The standards we are required to observe necessitate a psycho-educational assessment for Learning Disabilities and ADHD in order to put into place the appropriate accommodations for each student.