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. For visual disabilities, licensed doctors of optometry or ophthalmology are appropriate sources of documentation. Documentation of a visual disability should include information helpful in determining access to visually presented information in a college classroom:
- Current diagnosis, including the date of the most recent medical examination , name of provider and scope of impairment
- Specific functional limitations of the vision impairment, especially with respect to full participation in a college classroom, library and science laboratories
- A description of treatment, assistive devices and augmentative services that minimize the impact of the visual impairment (prescriptive lenses, magnification, technology used for computer access)
- Registration with support services, such as the Commission for the Blind, and types of services received from the agency