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Disability Services

Handbook - Documentation

MSU is committed to providing accommodations for individuals with disabilities based on the documentation provided. To fulfill this commitment, MSU has established the following guidelines and expectations:

  1. Disability Services for Students (DSS) at Minot State University looks to the national Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) for direction regarding disability eligibility. This includes who is entitled to accommodations, how those determinations are made, and by whom. The AHEAD guidance interprets the Amendments to the ADA, with the stated purpose ‘to make it easier for people with disabilities to obtain protection under the ADA.

    Documentation to support a request for classroom accommodations may take a variety of forms, formal and informal. It is part of an interactive, deliberative process to gather evidence to establish disability and identify barriers to learning with connection to the disability. It may include, but not be limited to student self-report, history of having used accommodations, observation and interaction with Disability Services professionals and records from medical and educational professionals.

    Federal legislation acknowledges that postsecondary institutions may request a reasonable level of documentation to support specific accommodation requests without requiring extensive evidence from medical/psychological professionals. The goal of documentation is to support a student's request for a specific accommodation in cases where other attempts to find evidence of disability fails to show connection between disability and the accommodation.

    1. Occasionally, the documentation a student provides may not be sufficient to make a determination regarding disability and/or "appropriate reasonable accommodation." Under these circumstances, the DSS Office may require that the student provide additional or more current information. This documentation should be from an appropriate credentialed professional and should clearly specify the existence of a disability, define functional limitations, and explain the need for reasonable accommodation. This documentation must demonstrate that the physical or mental disability creates a substantial limitation to a major life activity (e.g. learning, self-care, walking, speaking, working, etc.).

    2. MSU is not obligated to provide accommodations in the absence of appropriate documentation but will work with the student to obtain any needed documentation in a timely manner.

    3. Any costs related to MSU’s request for documentation will be the responsibility of the student.

    4. Any written documentation regarding a student’s disability should be sent to the DSS Office where it will be placed in a secure file for purposes of confidentiality.

    5. Documentation will be kept on file in the DSS Office for seven years after which time all documents will be shredded, unless the file is still active.

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