Physical Disability Documentation

Guidelines for Documentation of a Physical Disability

Students seeking support services from Whitman College on the basis of a diagnosed physical disability are required to submit documentation to verify eligibility. Documentation of a physical disability consists of a type-written letter/medical documentation which addresses specific academic needs of the student. The cost and responsibility for providing this professional evaluation shall be borne by the student.

The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that the letter is appropriate for documenting eligibility. All requests for accommodations will be considered, but the College will make the final determination on whether the requested accommodations are reasonable under state and federal guidelines for private colleges. Documentation presented to the Academic Resource Center will remain in a private confidential file in the Academic Resource Center.

  1. The letter must be prepared by a licensed professional (e.g. physician, audiologist, ophthalmologist, etc). Additional information may be necessary from other physicians or from other allied health care providers, such as, but not limited to, physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, speech pathologists, etc.
  2. The letter must be comprehensive. The documentation should provide sufficient data to support the particular academic adjustment(s) requested.
  3. The documentation must be current. Since the documentation provided constitutes the basis for determining reasonable accommodations, it is in a student’s best interest to provide recent and appropriate documentation to serve as the basis for decision making about a student’s need for accommodations in an academically rigorous environment.
  4. The letter must present clear and specific evidence, which identifies the individual’s disability/condition, present level of functioning and how the student’s education may be impacted.
  5. The letter must provide sufficient data to support the particular academic adjustment(s) requested. The documentation should demonstrate that the individual has a disability in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Requests which are not supported by proper documentation will not be approved.
  6. The letter must be on professional letterhead, signed, and include the licensed professional’s title, license number, address, and phone number.

Documentation of a Temporary Disability, which interferes in a student’s ability to participate in programs, services, and activities for an extended period of time, will be treated on an individual basis and the policy for disability documentation will apply. However, the documentation provided should be very current in order to support the need for accommodation.

All students with disabilities who would like to request accommodations must make an appointment to see the director of the Academic Resource Center at the beginning of each semester. Students are encouraged to contact staff in the Academic Resource Center by phone at (509) 527-5213 or via e-mail at for more information about accommodations for learning disabilities.