Requirements for Reports Documenting the
Accommodation Needs of Students with Vision Impairment
Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Student
Disability Services (SDS) protects qualified students enrolled at The University of Iowa from discrimination on the basis of disability and assures provision of reasonable accommodations. To determine that a student is protected by the two laws, SDS requires documentation that diagnoses a disability and describes how the condition directly and substantially limits a major life function such as learning. The following documentation guidelines establish that a student is eligible for protection and services on the basis of disability, demonstrates that the disability produces a significant, functional impact on a major life activity, and support the student’s request for accommodations.
A student who plans to request accommodations must first disclose his or her disability to SDS by submitting a
report that documents his or her disability and needs. After the report has been submitted and reviewed, the
student will be contacted and notified whether he or she may proceed to schedule an appointment to begin
services, or whether more information is yet needed.
The most helpful documentation reports are type-written and signed on professional letterhead bearing the professional’s address, phone and clinical affiliation.
Professional Qualifications of the Evaluator:
The professional’s license number certifying his or her status as a practicing medical doctor (M.D.) or optometrist (O.D.) and any additional information about specialty credentials should be contained in, or accompany, the report. The physician must hold qualifications that are recognized by the State of Iowa as affirming his or her eligibility to render a medical diagnosis.
Diagnostic and Treatment Information:
The report should describe the type and severity of the individual’s visual loss and state the approximate date of their onset. It should describe the subsequent progress and treatment of the condition.
The report should contain a description of the extent of visual fields and the degree of visual acuity.
The report should detail any currently prescribed or recommended treatment, care, or assistive devices.,
Current Functional Impact of the Disability:
The report should describe the manner and level of severity with which the disability and any related
treatment currently impacts the student’s general functioning.
The report should describe the manner and level of severity with which the disability currently impacts academic functioning, e.g., reading, memorizing, writing, note-taking, test-taking, one-to-one communication, etc.
The report should indicate any types of activity that might be a typical part of a college program that are specifically contraindicated by the student’s disability.
Recommendations for Student’s College Program:
The report should contain recommendations for specific reasonable accommodations that are needed to address the current and substantial impact of the disability on the student’s academic functioning.
The report should contain recommendations for reasonable accommodations pertaining to the individual’s campus board, room, or transportation needs.
If you have any concerns about necessary documentation, please speak to the Coordinator for Academic Support and Advising. A personal interview may clarify the student's needs better than existing paperwork.