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Documentation Guidelines

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Deaf & Hard of Hearing Documentation Guidelines

The following guidelines are provided to assist Disability Services in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations. Documentation serves as a foundation that legitimizes a student's request for appropriate accommodations. Documentation should be provided by appropriate professionals qualified to provide the diagnosis and treatment of hearing disorders and may include physicians such as; otorhinolaryngologists and otologists.  Audiologists may also provide current audiograms and related information. The diagnostician should be an impartial individual who is not a family member of the student.

In determining eligibility for accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American's With Disabilities Act (ADA) the student must demonstrate that a qualified professional has established a formal diagnosis of a disability. However, the diagnosis alone is not enough to establish eligibility for accommodations under the ADA. There must also be evidence of a "substantial limitation" in a major fife activity, such as learning. These guidelines are provided to help the evaluating professional document his/her findings in a manner that meets requirements of the ADA and supports the request for accommodations.

All information obtained in diagnostic and medical reports will be maintained and used in accordance with applicable confidentiality requirements.

Documentation Guidelines

I. Diagnostic Statement
A clear statement of deafness or hearing loss, with a current audiogram that reflects the current impact the deafness or hearing loss has on the student's functioning, (the age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the current status of the student and the student's request for accommodations).

II. Diagnostic Criteria Used
A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis and a narrative summary of evaluation results, if appropriate.

III. Substantial Limitation Statement
A statement of the functional impacts or limitations of the hearing loss on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.

IV. Progression/Prognosis
Medical information relating to the student's needs, the status of the individual's hearing (static or changing) and its impact on the demands of the academic program.

V. Recommendations
A statement regarding the use of hearing aids, the use of, or recommended need for, assistive listening devices, accommodations or auxiliary aids as appropriate for the individual.  Recommendations from professionals with a history of working with the individual provide valuable information for the review process. The recommendations will be included in the evaluation of requests for accommodation and/or auxiliary aids. Where such recommendations are congruent with the programs, services, and benefits offered by JMU, they will be given deference. When recommendations go beyond services and benefits that can be provided by the university they may be used to suggest potential referrals to local area services providers outside of the university.

Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated.