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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 needs to include:

  • A diagnosis of a traumatic brain injury and include a date of incident
  • A description of the current cognitive limitations with specific focus on barriers to the educational and/or housing environment. Documentation should address the severity/frequency of symptoms
    • 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 motor and other physical impacts, documentation should include a diagnosis and describe presenting symptoms
  • Information on any medications being used and their side effects.

Documentation needs to be from a qualified healthcare provider and include:

  • Contact information
  • License number
  • Signature or electronic signature

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

  • Qualified provider’s professional letterhead
  • Psycho-educational evaluation
    • Psychometric test results from general measures of aptitude and academic achievement
    • Information regarding information processing, memory and a general psychological evaluation can be helpful in determining the impact of a disability.

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, 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 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. Prior to seeking your assessment we recommend that you share these Documentation 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 an academic record and is considered private under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). HIPPA privacy and confidentiality guides do not apply to documents submitted to DRS for they are not being used for treatment. Under FERPA guidelines DRS can not guarantee complete confidentiality as they may be times when sharing some information with other UW staff/faculty is necessary in the facilitation of the accommodation process.