The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), revised in 2008, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, offer protections for students with diagnosed disabilities. The ADAAA defines “disability” as (a) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual; (b) a record of such impairment, or (c) being regarded as having such impairment. Under this legislation, students requesting University services for individuals with disabilities are required to submit current and comprehensive documentation of their unique learning disabilities.
Documentation for a sensory disability must be provided by a licensed medical professional, specializing in the disclosed disabling condition. An audiologist, certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association and/or a physician with a specialization in otolaryngology or otology would be appropriate professional sources for documentation. Documentation of this disability should include:
- Current medical diagnosis including appropriate medical reports (audiogram) with a clinical summary specifying the level of hearing loss.
- Current treatment, specifying assistive devices or services required for full participation in an academic setting must be included.
- Social Impact -Safety issues related to the hearing impairment should be identified.
- Educational Impact – a description of the functional impact in a college setting should be identified.
- Recommended accommodations, including the use of assistive technology and other devices, should be specified.
- Registration with support services, (Division of Deaf and Hard of Hearing) should be identified if services are obtained through such services.
- No accommodation can be implemented retroactively.