Disability Resources for Students

Documentation for Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and other Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI), can range in severity and impact, from concussions whose affects can be felt for days, to lesions that result in chronic physical and/or cognitive symptoms.  For students requesting services, the Disability Resources for Students (DRS) office requires documentation from a qualified professional that describes the disability and its likely impact on the student’s academic experiences. This documentation serves three purposes:

  • 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.
  • To supplement information from the student regarding the impact of the disability.
  • To inform the development of reasonable accommodation (auxiliary aids and services) designed to facilitate equal access to University environments on a case-by-case basis.

Documentation Guidelines:

  • Documentation regarding a student’s disability should include a date of incident, and be signed and dated by a qualified professional licensed to diagnose and treat a TBI (i.e. physician, neurologist, licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or specialized ARNP).
  • Documentation should address the severity/frequency of symptoms, and indicate whether they constitute an impairment of a major life function.
  • Students requesting services during the first 2 years of recovery, are often approved for accommodations on a temporary basis as they recover.  In these cases, documentation is considered current if the assessment occurred within the past 6 months.
  • Assessments conducted 2 years, or more, post-incident may be considered for permanent accommodation.
  • To document the cognitive impacts of a TBI, documentation should include test results from general measures of aptitude and academic achievement.  Additionally, information regarding information processing, memory and a general psychological evaluation can be helpful in determining the impact of a disability.
  • To document motor and other physical impacts, documentation should include a diagnosis and describe presenting symptoms.
  • If applicable, identify any medications being used and their side effects.
  • DRS welcomes rationale and recommendations for accommodations.

What to do if your existing documentation does not meet the above guidelines?

Students are encouraged to submit what they have for review by a DRS counselor.  Provisional accommodations may be established, while additional documentation is being obtained.  If additional documentation is needed, the DRS counselor can work with the student and diagnostician to clarify what information is needed, and a list of service providers who may be of assistance.

What to do if you do not have documentation?

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