Sources of information used for determining a disability and/or accommodations may include a student's self-report, direct observation and interaction with the student, and/or documentation from qualified evaluators or professionals.
Students should contact the Coordinator of Disability Services for guidance on the documentation needed for their individual situations. In addition to information the student provides on the accommodations intake form and in conversation with our staff, relevant documentation from external sources can help to substantiate the disability and establish the student’s eligibility for accommodations.
Documentation should include a description of the disability, including the diagnosis, history, significance, and expected duration when applicable. Documentation should also include the current impact of the disability in an educational setting, past use and effectiveness of accommodations, and recommendations for accommodations that are logically related to the impact of the disability. Please keep in mind, however, that Cornell College will make the final determination of reasonable accommodations.
The age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disability. While older documentation for conditions that are permanent or do not vary may be appropriate, changing conditions and/or changes in how the condition impacts the individual over time may warrant more current documentation.
Types of documentation that may be helpful include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Educational, psychological, or medical records
- Reports and assessments created by healthcare providers, psychologists, or the educational system (e.g., a psychoeducational evaluation)
- Documents that reflect education and accommodation history, such as an Individual Education Program (IEP), Summary of Performance (SOP), and teacher observations
Please keep the following in mind:
- Disability is defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act as an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Major life activities include, but are not limited to, seeing, hearing, walking, standing, lifting, speaking, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.
- The accommodation intake form and documentation should be submitted to Disability Services early enough to allow staff sufficient time to review the request and implement reasonable accommodations and services. For new students, documents that arrive by August 1 are preferred for fall enrollment.
- The Coordinator may ask the student to provide additional information if the submitted documentation is incomplete or does not support the student’s request for accommodations.
- Students who do not have documentation are encouraged to meet with our staff to explore options for support.
- Students should keep a copy of the documentation for their personal records. Disability Services destroys documentation and other disability-related information seven years after a student leaves the college.
- Documentation accepted by Cornell College might not be accepted by other institutions, agencies, and/or programs (e.g., testing agencies, licensure exams, and certification programs). Please check with the specific organizations and/or programs to determine their documentation requirements.
For additional information, please contact the Coordinator of Disability Services.
The Counseling Center does not administer evaluations/assessments required for documentation of disabilities. The Counseling Center can 'screen' for symptoms relating to ADHD but will refer students elsewhere for formal evaluation for ADHD and LD.
The Disability Services Coordinator will review the material and set up an intake meeting to discuss appropriate accommodations with the student.
At the beginning of each course, the student must take the initiative to request accommodations, either prior to the start of the block or within the first three days of the term. This process involves requesting an accommodation letter from the Coordinator of Disability Services to share with the instructor. This letter may be requested in person with the Coordinator or using the online form. The student then initiates a private meeting with the faculty member to discuss the accommodations and how they will be implemented.
The process is premised upon an open and productive dialogue between the faculty member and the student.
Documentation may be brought in or mailed to:
Coordinator of Disability Services
600 First Street SW
Mount Vernon, Iowa 52314-1098
Or e-mail as a PDF document
Fax number: 319-895-5502