While students provide essential information and are often experts at describing the impact of their disability, documentation from a qualifying professional is an important tool used to verify and understand the functional limitations imposed by the disability.
Functional limitations are those that impede or limit the student's ability to perform one or more major life activities. Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. Major bodily functions are also considered major life activities. Same examples include: functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions (U.S. Department of Labor listing of covered activities).
For the purpose of determining eligibility for disability services at NDSU, student are expected to submit documentation to Disability Services for review by a staff member. Students are not required or encouraged to submit disability documentation directly to their instructors. They are also not required to share diagnoses with instructors.
Documentation should include:
- A diagnosis or diagnostic impression/statement
- A description of how the diagnosis was determined
- A description of the functional limitations (symptoms/challenges) that interfere with a major life activity, impeding access to the educational environment
- The printed name, title, credentials, signature, and contact information of the qualifying professional
- The date of the most recent evaluation or treatment appointment
NOTE: NDSU Disability Services staff may provide a specific form to be completed by the student's qualifying professional to obtain relevant information about the impact the disability has on the student in a learning environment.