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Documentation Guidelines

Disability Resources for Students

Documentation serves three purposes:

  1. To establish that the student can be considered a person with a disability, and therefore eligible for protection against discrimination on the basis of disability.
  2. To supplement information from the student regarding the impact of the disability.
  3. To inform the development of reasonable accommodation (auxiliary aids and services) designed to facilitate equal access to UW environments on a case-by-case basis.

Documentation should include:

  • A diagnosis of the disability/health condition
  • A description of the current impact/limitations of the disability/health condition with specific focus on barriers to the educational and/or housing environment
  • A discussion of whether the disability/health condition is permanent or temporary
    • If temporary, please provide information on the expected duration of the disability/health condition and timeline for re-evaluation.
  • Identification from a qualified healthcare provider, containing:
    • Contact information
    • License number
    • Signature or electronic signature

Documentation may be submitted in, but is not limited to, one of the following formats:

  • DRS Healthcare Provider Form (except for learning disabilities and traumatic brain injuries)
  • Qualified provider’s professional letterhead
  • Official visit summary, such as emergency department discharge papers
  • Neuropsychological assessment
  • Other information from a qualified healthcare provider that can provide insight into the student’s limitations and/or provide support for any requested accommodations

Frequently Asked Questions

Where should my documentation be submitted?

Students can submit documentation directly to their myDRS application, or students or their health care providers can email it to uwdrs@uw.edu, fax it to 206-616-8379, or drop it off in-person to DRS in Mary Gates Hall 011.

What if my existing documentation does not meet the above guidelines?

Students are encouraged to submit what they have for review by a DRS Coordinator. Provisional accommodations may be established while additional documentation is being obtained. If additional documentation is needed the DRS Coordinator can work with the student and diagnostician to clarify what information is needed. If the student does not currently have a health care provider that can update documentation the DRS Coordinator can help the student identify local providers who may be of assistance.

What if I do not have any documentation for my disability and/or health condition?

Students who do not have documentation are encouraged to schedule a meeting with a DRS Coordinator to learn more about relevant assessments and where to obtain them. DRS Coordinators are glad to offer advice on what assessments may be helpful.

Where can I get documentation for a learning disability or traumatic brain injury?

When working with any diagnostician, keep in mind that the UW does have specific requirements regarding the qualifications of diagnosticians and the type of diagnostic testing to be done. Please refer to the DRS website for a copy of the Documentation Guidelines for Learning Disabilities or Documentation for a Traumatic Brain Injury prior to seeking your assessment. We recommend that you share these guidelines with your diagnostician before initiating the evaluation.

What is the privacy requirement for health information provided to DRS?

All information and documentation submitted to the DRS office is kept separate from academic records and is considered private under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). HIPAA privacy and confidentiality guides do not apply to documents submitted to DRS, as they are not being used for medical treatment. Under FERPA guidelines, DRS cannot guarantee complete confidentiality as they may be times when sharing some information with other UW staff/faculty with an educational need to know is necessary in the facilitation of the accommodation process.

(Updated 1/2020)