Appropriate Documentation

In order to establish eligibility for accommodations, you must provide documentation that identifies that you have a condition that substantially limits your performance in one or more major life activities. Claremont McKenna College utilizes the “Seven Essential Elements of Quality Documentation” as developed by AHEAD, the Association of Higher Education and Disability. Documentation that responds to these elements provides the Dean of Students Office with the information needed to establish eligibility for appropriate and reasonable accommodations. Click here to review AHEAD’s Seven Essential Elements of Quality Documentation.

Documentation must be completed by a qualified professional, a licensed or otherwise properly credentialed professional who has undergone appropriate and comprehensive training, has relevant experience and has no personal relationship with the individual being evaluated. A good match between the credentials of the individual making the diagnosis and the reported condition is expected (e.g., an orthopedic limitation might be documented by a physician but not a licensed psychologist).

  • Verification of the student's diagnosis
  • Explanation of the diagnosis' impact on one or more of the student's major life activities
  • Recommends and affirms accommodations that will provide equal access to the CMC student experience. The accommodations must relate to the impact of the student's diagnosis. 
  • Includes the name, license number, contact information, address, signature, and date of documentation from the licensed professional.
  • Should not be provided by someone who is related to the student, even if an appropriately licensed professional.
  • Be current (Testing and evaluation should have been conducted within the past five years for learning disabilities and ADHD or ADD and within the last 6 months to a year for physical and mental health-related disabilities). In some cases, documentation may be accepted beyond five years if the student has been evaluated as an adult. If the most recent evaluation occurred more than five years ago, please feel free to submit the documentation and we will review it to determine if we can use it to determine eligibility for accommodations. If the documentation submitted does not support a current need for accommodations and/or is out of date, the student will be promptly notified that they should receive new documentation and move through the rest of the request process.
  • If you are asked to submit updated documentation, it will be processed when it is received. Failure to provide updated documentation in a timely manner can limit or delay your access to accommodations. Updated documentation should conform to the same elements required for your original documentation; a simple letter confirming ongoing treatment is not sufficient.
  • The documentation must contain specific recommendations for accommodations that are tied to the current functional limitations of the student. Each accommodation recommended by the evaluator must include a rationale. Recommended accommodations should be pertinent to the anticipated academic environment.
  • Students who wish to submit a request for an Emotional Support Animal documentation must have their provider complete the ESA Provider Form. The form can be found in the CMC Policy Regarding Animals. Any student requesting an ESA should read the CMC Policy Regarding Animals prior to starting the request process. The student should email to ask any questions regarding the process for requesting an Emotional Support Animal.
  • ESA Provider Form
    • Due to the nature of an emotional support animal accommodation, there are more factors to consider during the process. These include, but are not limited to, the capability of the student to care for an animal, adherence to residential life policies regarding the animal, and appropriate temperament, registration, and vaccine status of the animal. In order to make the process as swift as possible, the ESA provider form asks several questions of a student's mental health provider that are necessary when we are reviewing the request.
  • The same review timeline of approximately 15 business days applies to a complete request for an Emotional Support Animal, with one addition. Due to the animal coming to live on campus, there will be further review of the student's living situation, including where their room is located and if they have a roommate(s). Circumstances such as registered animal allergies in close proximity may necessitate a need for other logistical arrangements to be made should the student be approved for the accommodation.
  • The ESA accommodation must be requested for each new academic year. Updated documentation and support from a provider is necessary to make a new request. Students with an ESA accommodation are expected to be in regular contact with their mental health providers to support a comprehensive treatment plan which includes an ESA.
  • Students are able to request housing accommodations based on a direct impact of a diagnosis, so that they may have equal access to the CMC residential experience. Students are able to request accommodations such as single room occupancy, flooring type, air-conditioning, building level, etc. CMC will provide housing accommodations based on demonstrated medical need and within the capability of the campus housing environment.
  • Housing accommodation requests are reviewed on an individual basis. It is important to note that students are not making a request for a specific housing assignment, but rather a request for accommodation.
  • Requests for particular housing assignments based on a student's preference, rather than need, for a particular type of living environment, such as a certain type of room or location or desire for a quiet place to study, will not be honored. Single rooms represent a small portion of available housing options and are granted as accommodations only in necessary circumstances. Such requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
    • Single rooms are not available to first-year students without accommodation.
    • It is not common for a single room accommodation to be granted due to a diagnosis of anxiety. However, all requests are reviewed individually and will be determined based on demonstrated need, not on a specific diagnosis.
  • If a student is making a request based on a diagnosis of a sleep disorder, including but not limited to Insomnia, the documentation provided must include a formal sleep study that illustrates the diagnosis and impact.
  • Once a student is approved for a housing accommodation, it will be executed at the first available opportunity per the available housing stock. This is true for all times except during Room Draw when accommodations are made ahead of the housing selections for the study body.

There are many different types of learning disabilities. Your documentation must provide clear and specific evidence and identification of a learning disability. General terms such as learning difficulties or learning differences are not equivalent to a diagnosis of a disability. It is preferred that a DSM-V diagnosis and code be included. Generally, documentation for a learning disability and/or ADD/ADHD should include the following:

  • The length of time the diagnostician has treated you and the date of the most recent contact.
  • A diagnosis.
  • A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis.
  • The results of the evaluation instruments used. Generally, the following tests are recommended: a full, adult-normed aptitude test, an information processing test, and an achievement test assessing current functioning in reading, math, and written language.
  • A description of the expected progression or stability of the disability.
  • A description of current and past accommodations, services and/or medications.
  • Recommendations for accommodations in the post-secondary educational environment.
  • The length of time the diagnostician has treated you and the date of the most recent contact.
  • A clear diagnostic statement describing the disability.
  • A description of the diagnostic methodology used, including a description of the diagnostic criteria, evaluation methods, procedures, tests and dates of administration, as well as a clinical narrative, observation, and specific results.
  • A description of the current functional limitations resulting from the disability.
  • A description of the expected progression or stability of the disability.
  • A description of current and past accommodations, services and/or medications.
  • Recommendations for accommodations in the post-secondary educational environment.