Visual Disabilities

Students requesting accommodations for a visual disability are asked to submit documentation that meets the guidelines listed below.

1. A Qualified Evaluator

A licensed ophthalmologist would be considered qualified to render a medical diagnosis, and make recommendations for appropriate accommodations. Documentation must meet the following criteria:

  • include the name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator
  • be presented on professional letterhead, typed, dated, signed, and legible
  • the evaluator may not be an immediate family member.

2. Current Documentation

Reasonable accommodations are based on the current impact of a disability, so the documentation must describe an individual's current level of functioning and need for accommodations. The currency of documentation is dependent upon the nature of the vision loss. Thus, if the condition that leads to the loss of vision is progressive, DRC will request documentation that is within the last two years. Documentation for non-progressive visual impairments should be no older than five years, if applicable.

3. Comprehensive Documentation

Documentation must be thorough, giving a full picture of the individual, not simply a diagnosis; a diagnosis alone is not a basis for accommodation. Documentation must include:

  • A clear statement of a visual disability with supporting data. Should not include wording such as "seems to indicate" or "suggests."
  • A summary of present symptoms, which meet the criteria for diagnosis of a visual disability.
  • Medical information relating to the student’s needs and the status of the student’s vision (static, improving or degrading) expected progression of the condition over time
  • Functional limitations should be determined WITHOUT consideration of mitigating measures (i.e. corrective lenses, etc..
  • Narrative or descriptive text providing both quantitative and qualitative (i.e. visual acuity exam) information about the student’s abilities which might be helpful in understanding the student’s profile, including the use of corrective lenses and ongoing visual therapy (if appropriate).
  • Suggestions of reasonable accommodation(s), which might be appropriate at the post-secondary level, are encouraged. These recommendations should be supported by the diagnosis.

4. Supporting Documentation

The qualified evaluator’s report, while necessary, is by no means the only documentation we can use to better understand and accommodate the student with a communication disability. Other helpful documents include records of previous accommodation, high school 504 plans or IEPs, and previous medical evaluations. Please see the DRC 102 General Medical and/or Mental Health Documentation Form [PDF], should you wish to add this to your supporting documentation.

*Please note the on-campus DRC office is currently closed. Students must submit documentation as an attachment to [email protected] prior to their scheduled appointment.

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