Documentation

Overview

All requests for accommodations must be based on documented need, in accordance with the Accommodations for Students with Disabilities policy. It is the responsibility of the individual requesting accommodations to provide the necessary and appropriate documentation to Accessibility Services (Blundon Centre).

Documentation acceptable to the university

Supporting documentation acceptable to the university must be obtained from the appropriate healthcare providers, or other professionals who have specific training, expertise, and experience in the diagnosis and treatments of conditions for which academic accommodation is being requested. In addition, all persons submitting documentation to support student requests for accommodation must be appropriately certified and/or licensed to practice their professions.

Supporting documentation should indicate that the student has a disability, outline the particular diagnosis (disclosing the actual diagnosis is voluntary) and the nature of the disability, along with an outline of of the functional impacts/barriers that the disability presents specifically as they relate to the pursuit of post-secondary education.  A diagnosis alone is not sufficient to receive accommodations nor is "For medical reasons".  

Supporting documentation may include recommendations for specific accommodations, but students and providers should be aware that staff within Accessibility Services (Blundon) will make the ultimate decision about which accommodations are appropriate, necessary and reasonable and whether or not the documentation is sufficient to support the accommodation request.

*NEW* To better support students and assist their healthcare providers with more specific documentation requirements, we are developing a comprehensive list of supporting documentation guidelines to assist with the provision of accommodations at Memorial University.  As we include additional disability categories to this guideline, we will add them to the following chart:

Learning DisabilitiesRecent psychoeducational assessment, preferably completed within the last five (5) years (in line with federal guidelines regarding learning disabilities).Additional supporting documentation may include: File Review, Record of Accommodations (RoA); an Individualized, Education Plan (IEP) from high school; Transition Plan.
ADHDA report or assessment by a medical expert with specific training in ADHD that: (a) identifies the permanent disability and list of specific impairments, (b) indicates how the impairments would negatively impact functioning of the student in a postsecondary academic setting, and (c) link requested accommodations to existing impairments of the student.Diagnosing of ADHD in Canada is most commonly done by one of the following: (a) developmental pediatrician (b) a psychiatrist, or (c) a psychologist.  A family physician (or general practitioner) with specific training in the process of diagnosing ADHD may be an acceptable source of documentation1
Autism Spectrum DisorderA report or assessment by a qualified healthcare provider that: (a) confirms an ASD diagnosis as well as lists the functional limitations and how those limitations will negatively impact the student's pursuit of postsecondary education.Additional documentation may include any or all of the following from high school: Record of Accommodations (RoA) and an Individualized Education Plan (IEP); a completed Transition Plan
Mental Illness/Health (depression, anxiety, etc.)Psychological assessment, medical assessment or report by a qualified provider that contains (a) the applicable DSM-5 or ICD category or code, (b) the functional limitations impacting the pursuit of postsecondary education and (c) how long the condition can reasonably expect to last.While qualified providers can outline recommended accommodations to address the functional limitations, Accessibility Services staff will ultimately be responsible for determining what accommodations are necessary, appropriate and reasonable.
Test AnxietyWhile anxiety in testing situations, or performance anxiety are features of certain mental health conditions, test anxiety itself is not a clinical diagnosis, condition or disability, therefore accommodations cannot be provided for students reporting test anxiety.If a healthcare provider feels the students has an underlying Anxiety Disorder (e.g., General Anxiety Disorder), or other mental condition that has an associated feature of anxiety in either testing or performance situations, the provider can follow the above documentation guidelines for Mental Illness/Health.
More disability categories and documentation requirements will be added in the coming weeks. If a specific disability category is not listed above, please refer to the section above for guidance.
1 Aligns with the CADDAC documentation recommendations for students with ADHD in postsecondary education
DisabilityDocumentationOther Information

Diagnostic Services

While the university does not assume the cost for any medical or psycholigical diagnostic services, including screenings or assessments, Accessibility Services (Blundon Centre) staff can provide information to students on methods or pathways for obtaining these services.  This can include services offered through the Student Wellness and Counselling Centre (SWCC) or in the community.  

Accessibility Advisors can also work with students to identify potential funding sources that might cover some or all of the costs associated with diagnostic testing (e.g., private health insurance programs and/or the Canada Study Grant/Canada Student Loans Program).