Access Center

WSU Access Center Documentation Guidelines

To receive accommodations, students must submit documentation of a disability or limiting condition. Appropriate documentation establishes the individual as a person with specific functional limitations and provides a rationale for reasonable accommodations.

The most useful documentation is thorough enough to demonstrate whether and how a major life function (e.g. hearing, seeing, walking, speaking, thinking, breathing, learning, etc.) is substantially limited by providing a clear sense of the severity, frequency and pervasiveness of the condition(s). If you have a condition that is permanent and non-varying, then documentation that is many years old can be considered current. Conditions that fluctuate or progress or that are temporary may require more recent documentation in order to provide an accurate picture.

Your documentation must include:

A description of how your disability/medical condition limits your functioning in a university setting
Your documentation must include information on how your condition specifically limits your functioning in a university setting. For example, if you are diagnosed with ADHD, how does your condition limit you in the classroom (e.g. does it significantly limit your ability to concentrate or focus for extended periods of time)? If you take medication for your condition, it should also indicate side effects that you experience from medication &/or treatment. A general list of side effects is not useful.

Documentation should be provided by 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. Documentation must be on official letterhead, signed and dated. Typically, documentation is written by the health care professional who evaluated you or who provides you treatment. A good match between the credentials of the individual making the diagnosis and the condition being reported is expected (e.g., an orthopedic limitation might be documented by a physician, but not a licensed psychologist).

It is helpful if your documentation includes:

A diagnostic statement identifying the disability
In the state of Washington, a diagnostic statement is considered useful but not necessary. While diagnostic codes from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM) or the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) of the World Health Organization are helpful in providing this information, a full clinical description will also convey the necessary information.

A description of the expected progression or stability of the disability 
It is helpful to detail the typical progression or prognosis of the condition. Is the condition stable, cyclical or episodic in nature? It is also important to note if symptoms are triggered by environmental conditions.

It’s helpful if your documentation includes recommendations for accommodations, adaptive devices, assistive services, compensatory strategies, and/or collateral support services
Recommendations from professionals with a history of working with you provide valuable information for review and the planning process. It is most helpful when recommended accommodations and strategies are logically related to functional limitations. The Access Center may or may not approve the same accommodations you have received in other places, but knowing what you have used is very useful.

What if I have 504 Plans/IEP’s from high school, or incomplete or old documentation?

Please send whatever documentation you have to the Access Center for review. We do accept your IEP or and 504 plan from high school. The Access Advisor who reviews your documentation will be looking for several pieces of information, but primarily for functional limitations. Sometimes, we can ask the evaluator or treating physician to provide more specific information and that will be sufficient. Depending on the information you provide, we may be able to provide accommodations on a temporary basis while we are waiting for additional information.

How do I submit documentation?

Documentation can be sent to the Access Center via fax at 509-335-8511 or via mail to WSU Access Center, 217 Washington Building, PO Box 642322, Pullman, WA 99164-2322. It can also be emailed to Access.Center@wsu.edu or dropped off at our office in-person. The student’s name, student ID number, and contact info should also be included with the documentation.

WSU Access Center
217 Washington Building
PO Box 642322
Pullman, WA 99164-2322
Phone: 509-335-3417 Fax: 509-335-8511
Email: access.center@wsu.edu