Documentation Guidelines

The Disability Access Office (DAO) conducts individualized assessments of accommodation requests that include the review of relevant documentation. We emphasize the value of the student’s experience, history, and perspective in conjunction with the review of supporting medical documentation, and therefore meet with every student before finalizing accommodation plans.

When submitting documentation, the following elements are requested universally:

  1. dated, typewritten narrative provided on letterhead with the signature of the licensed treating physician, therapist, or other qualified care provider supplying the documentation. (Documentation typically takes the form of a letter.)
    • Qualified care providers should be unrelated to the student, and do not include parents, siblings, relatives, or close family friends outside of their treatment role.
    • Personal narratives from other third parties, including IEPs/504 plans may be included in conjunction with, but not independent of, medical documentation.
  2. Description of current disability and history of diagnosis (We do not set a limit on the age of the documentation, but must still be accurate to the student’s current diagnostic profile.)
  3. Information regarding the functional impact of diagnosis (walking, learning, seeing, concentrating, etc.) and current treatment plan (if relevant to accommodation planning).
  4. Recommendations or strategies that will mitigate the impact of described limitations.

In order to safeguard the confidentiality of individuals with disabilities, evaluators may withhold or redact any portion of the documentation that is not directly relevant to the University's criteria for establishing a rationale for the requested accommodations as long as the remaining information substantiates the presence of a disability and all documentation criteria are met.

Uploading Documentation

We ask that you scan and upload documentation to our registration portal. The second page on the application includes a link to upload documentation. 

Scanning Documentation on the iPhone

The iPhone "notes" application allows you to scan documentation for upload right on your phone. Here are the steps to do so:

1. On your iPhone, open the notes application.

2. Create a new note.

3. Touch the camera icon and select "scan documents".

4. Take a picture of your document. The iPhone should automatically align the corners with the document, but if it doesn't, you can manually adjust it to fit the paper. 

5. Once completed, your phone will say "Ready for next scan". Click the "save" button on the bottom right corner of the screen and your scan will appear in your notes folder. 

Here is a linked video tutorial of how to complete this process.

Scanning Documentation on the Andriod

1. Open the Google Drive application. 

2. In the bottom right, tap the "+" sign.

3. Tap the camera icon to scan.

4. Take a photo of the document you'd like to scan (to adjust scan area tap "Crop";  to take the photo again tap "Re-scan current page"; to scan another page tap "Add").

5. To save the finished document, tap "Done". The document is now saved in your Google Drive account. 

Additional Considerations

Students may be asked to provide updated information if their condition is potentially changeable and/or previous documentation does not address the student's current condition and its impact. 

IEP/504 Plans contain valuable historical information about accommodations in K-12. However, most of these plans do not include diagnostic information, and we therefore may request additional documentation in order to make accommodation decisions.

Please note, sharing diagnostic or medical information with DAO is not equivalent to sharing the information with Harvard University Health Services (HUHS). Students are strongly encouraged to report their health information and any updated health information directly to HUHS.