Eastern Michigan University

Documentation Guidelines

The DRC encourages students to meet with an advisor without the need for external documentation in hand at the time of the first conversation. No student should delay meeting with the DRC out of concern for not having the appropriate paperwork. Determinations on individual documentation needs will be made during the initial meeting with the student, which may or may not involve the need to provide additional documentation. Our first priority is to get to know each student individually.

With that said, any documentation information students can readily share during the first meeting, such as IEP/504 Plans, recent evaluations, letters from doctors or psychologists, hospital reports, etc., is helpful. We will use all information we can obtain through conversation and paperwork to coordinate reasonable accommodations with the student. Providing as much information as possible during the first meeting can save the need for repeat trips to the DRC.  

The purpose of the third party documentation is to add to the advisor's pool of information so that a reasonable outcome, including acceptance or denial of a request, can be identified. Third party documentation supports or builds on the conversation with the student and the advisor's assessment and related variables rather than directing the conversation and the outcome. Certain accommodations, such as course substitutions, are more likely to require documentation for consideration of the request. Ultimately, documentation is seen as a bridge between what the student reports and the advisor's professional assessment. When there is a gap in understanding, third-party documentation is very often needed to determine reasonable accommodations.

Please note that reasonable accommodations do not and should not:

  • substantially alter the educational standards or mission of Eastern Michigan University: ;
  • fundamentally alter the nature of the program, course, service, activity, and/or practice/policy as written and applied;
  • allow access to a program when a student is not otherwise qualified (with or without accommodations) to meet the academic and technical standards required for admission or participation in an education program, course, service and/or activity;
  • cause undue financial or administrative hardship (college-wide);
  • be of a personal service in nature (personal aid, study coach, individually paid tutor, etc.)
  • pose a direct threat to the health or safety of the student with a disability or others as a result of accommodation implementation.

Accommodation requests that appear reasonable and logical based on a diagnosis/condition but fall under one of the categories listed above will often be denied. The decision of whether or not an accommodation request falls under one of the above categories will be made by the DRC, often with input from relevant university staff and faculty.

Subsequent meetings with the student may require a need for additional documentation above what was determined necessary during the initial meeting as dictated by evolving personal and environmental variables. The advisor's role is always to work with the student to determine what accommodations, if any, would be reasonable given each situation presented.

It should be noted that documentation policies differ from one institution to another. The Disability Resource Center documentation policy is designed to fit the Eastern Michigan University campus climate and does not consider documentation requirements external to Eastern Michigan University. If a student will attend another institution after attending Eastern Michigan University or take a standardized test (GRE, MCAT, etc.) administered by an outside agency, the student is responsible for researching those documentation policies and should investigate requirements at least six months prior to an anticipated start date or test date. Due to these documentation differences and depending on the student's documentation on file with the Disability Resource Center, it may not be appropriate for Disability Resource Center staff to complete the required supporting paperwork to certify eligibility for standardized testing. In such cases, the staff member will explain the reasons why completing the supporting paperwork is not appropriate.

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