Disability Resources & Services (DRS) is the designated department to determine reasonable accommodations on the basis of disability at the University of Pittsburgh.
Refer to How does DRS determine reasonable accommodations? for more information.
Submitting documentation is a necessary part of the application process. Documentation helps DRS establish that a student has a disability, understand the unique functional impact of a disability, and ascertain how and why a requested accommodation may be reasonable to ensure nondiscrimination and equal access as outlined under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008.
The following forms have been created by DRS to assist with gathering documentation. Your provider may complete these individually or use them as a guide to provide comparable documentation, as outlined in the sections below:
- Academic Accommodation Request Form (PDF)
- Housing/Dining Accommodation Request Form (PDF)
- Request for Support Animal in University Housing (PDF)
- Notification Regarding Service Animal in University Housing Form (PDF)
Documentation can be uploaded with the online application, emailed to DRSrecep@pitt.edu, faxed to 412-624-3346, or provided in person to DRS in the William Pitt Union, Room 140.
Documentation can be submitted by a student or sent directly from a provider’s office.
Documentation of disability will be treated in a confidential manner and shared only on a need-to-know basis consistent with state and federal laws and regulations.
Though DRS will review all records submitted, comprehensive documentation typically includes the following:
1. Credentials of the evaluator
a. A qualified provider or evaluator is one whose credentials demonstrate expertise in the type of disability evaluation being provided.
b. Documentation should indicate the certification, licensure, and/or the professional training and experience of individual(s) conducting the evaluation.
c. Documentation should be signed and include the evaluator’s title, license number, address, and phone number.
d. The documenting professional must be unrelated to the student.
2. Diagnostic statement
3. Description of the methodologies utilized to reach clinical understanding/diagnosis(es)
4. Description of the current functional impact of the disability, particularly as it relates to academic participation and other aspects of campus life, as applicable
5. Description of the plan of care and treatment history, e.g., current and past accommodations, services, and/or medications
Relevant assessments, when available, can be very helpful, and may include but are not limited to:
- Psychoeducational/neuropsychological evaluations
- Vision Examination Reports
- Individualized Education Plans and/or 504 Plans*
- *An IEP or 504 plan may not be sufficient documentation alone. Consult with DRS for more information.
For diagnosis and documentation of a learning disability:
Formal evaluations, such as psychoeducational/neuropsychological evaluations, that include aptitude, achievement, and information processing tests, are necessary to establish that a student has a history of a learning disability. Any student testing should be administered at the adult level, standardized, and individually administered. Testing should be current, typically administered within the past five years. However, DRS recognizes the barriers that can exist with obtaining assessments. Students who are unsure if their testing may meet guidelines are encouraged to contact DRS and/or submit all relevant testing and records for feedback.
Housing/Dining & Emotional Support Animal Accommodation Requests
Documentation should be completed by a qualified provider and include relevant assessments that describe the current impact of a student’s condition as it relates to the student’s need for a housing, dining, or support animal accommodation.
- A qualified provider or evaluator is one whose credentials demonstrate expertise in the type of disability evaluation being provided.
- Documentation should indicate the certification, licensure, and/or the professional training and experience of individual(s) conducting the evaluation.
- Documentation should be signed and include the evaluator’s title, license number, address, and phone number.
- The documenting professional must be unrelated to the student.
Refer to the Housing and Dining Accommodations page for additional information about the housing/dining and ESA accommodation request process.