Guidelines for documenting physical dexterity/mobility disabilities
A qualified evaluator
Professionals using assessments to determine the diagnosis of physical dexterity or mobility disabilities must be qualified to do so. This should be a treating or diagnosing healthcare professional with expertise related to the individual’s condition. The documentation must meet the following criteria:
- Include evaluator’s name, title and professional credentials.
- Be typed, dated and signed on the professional’s letterhead.
- Evaluator may not be a family member.
Must be current: Reasonable accommodations are based on the current impact of a disability. It is critical that documentation describe an individual’s current level of functioning and need for accommodations. A full report from a treating healthcare professional completed within the past twelve months is considered current unless the condition is permanent/unchanging. The documentation may need to be updated annually in order to best accommodate the student.
Must be comprehensive: Many conditions are changeable in nature. Documentation must therefore be thorough, giving a full picture of the individual, not simply a diagnosis. A diagnosis alone is not a basis for accommodation. Documentation must include:
- A discussion of:
- History of presenting symptoms and relevant medical history.
- Description of current impairment.
- Summary of assessment and evaluation instruments.
- Severity of disorder
- Treatment and medication history, including medication side effects.
- Discussion of any assistive devices and technology used.
- Status of the individual’s condition (i.e. static, improving or degrading).
- Expected progression of the condition over time.
- A clear diagnosis of the physical dexterity/mobility disability.
- The current limitations of the individual in an academic environment.
- Appropriate and specific recommendations for accommodations in the academic environment.
May include supporting information: In addition to a qualified evaluator’s report, other helpful documents include:
- Records of previous accommodations.
- Previous medical evaluations.
- Teacher or employer reports can also assist in better understanding and accommodating the student with a physical dexterity/mobility disability.