Disability Services

Disability Documentation Guidelines

Cleveland State University requires a written report prepared by an appropriately licensed professional that clearly diagnoses a disability and/or provides records showing the history of the disability. Medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and school psychologists are among the professionals who routinely evaluate, diagnose, and treat disabilities. This list is not intended to be exhaustive or to restrict assessment in other pertinent and helpful areas such as vocational interests and aptitudes. The following guidelines are provided to assure that evaluation reports are appropriate to document eligibility.

Documentation Should contain the following.

  • Clearly state diagnosis or condition you are requesting accommodation related to
  • State expected duration of the condition
  • State symptoms and severity
  • State functional limitations and barriers the student experiences related to the diagnosis
  • Have clear rationale for any recommendations made in the documentation
  • Be document prepared by the licensed professional and not a copy of online medical chart information.

If documentation does not contain the above information, it may be rejected, or accommodation’s may be provided provisionally while students get appropriate documentation.

If you have recently graduated from high school and received official accommodations, ODS requires that the Evaluation Team Report (ETR) be provided. Individualized Educational Program (IEP) or 504 plan paperwork on its own is usually not considered adequate documentation. The document would need to have clearly stated the condition or diagnosis, results of diagnostic testing, symptoms, and functional limitations associated with the educational plans for it to be accepted.

There is online fee based or free screening tools that are available for fees which claim to diagnose and produce documentation. These sources are not valid sources of documentation for registering with Cleveland State’s Disability & Testing Services for requesting accommodations. If the tools claimed to be used for diagnosis do not involve directly working with a therapist and are not issued by order of a therapist or doctor, you should be suspect of the service that you are purchasing. Results from online screening tools like ADHD Online or online QbChecks are not accepted as documentation by our office. Neither are letters from online service animal or ESA registries. The professional working with you should be able to draft a letter or complete a form from their evaluations for you to provide to us which includes the diagnosis, symptoms, functional limitations, and often recommendations that are provided to our office for determining eligibility for accommodations.

  • Hearing and speech disabilities - Qualified personnel include: ear, nose, and throat specialist; audiologist; speech therapist; psychologist; family physician; or other qualified medical specialist.
  • Learning disability and attention deficit disorder - Qualified personnel include: licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, school psychologist, family physician, or other qualified licensed medical personnel. A recent Multifactor Evaluation (MFE) or Educational Testing Report (ETR) from the student’s K-12 school district may also suffice. An IEP, while helpful, is not considered documentation of disability.
  • Mental or psychological disabilities - Qualified personnel include: psychologist, psychiatrist, licensed counselor, hospital record, family physician, or other mental health professional.
  • Mobility, coordination, traumatic brain injury, HIV and AIDS, and health disabilities - Qualified personnel include: family physician, orthopedist, neurologist, cardiologist, rehabilitation specialist, or other medical professionals. Medical records must clearly document, diagnose, and discuss the condition.
  • Visual disabilities - Qualified personnel include: ophthalmologist, optometrist, family physician, or other medical specialist.
  • Covid Vaccine Requirement Exceptions - Qualified professionals would be MD, DO, NP, or PA-C. The documentation would need to clearly spell out the duration of the exception and a recognized clinical contraindication must be identified for each vaccine before a medical exemption is approved.

Documentation Guidelines and forms

The following PDF documents give guidelines for what will be accepted by our office. Most of these documents include a form that must be filled out to register with the Office of Disability Services at Cleveland State. The forms need to be completed by the appropriate healthcare professional and sent to our office either by fax 216-687-2343, ods@csuohio.edu, or by uploading to your online application. Do not mail your documentation to our office.

New Documentation Packets Available

We recommend that students requesting accommodations, have the professional they are working with, complete the below documentation packets to make sure that the information we need is being provided. Each of the following .pdf forms can be downloaded and are fillable.

International Students

Students are responsible for presenting documentation to the Office of Disability Services in English. Original documents not currently in English must be either translated by a certified translator or the disability condition and the functional limitations that result must be verified by a qualified professional who can provide written documentation in English. Translations completed by family members or peers will not be accepted.