Under Section 504 of the ADA, disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment.
Major Life Activities?
Examples of major life activities include: caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, standing, sitting, lifting, sleeping, speaking, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and interacting with others.
Record of Impairment?
Documentation is required for a student to receive academic accommodations from an appropriate evaluator. Each disability category has slightly different requirements in regards to who should complete the required documentation.
In general, the documentation should meet these requirements:
• Be recent and comprehensive
• Demonstrate a substantial impairment to one or more major life activities
• Describe the specific accommodations necessary for the student as a result of their disability
• Completed by licensed clinical professional familiar with the impairment/condition
Students who do not provide appropriate documentation that outlines their specific functional limitations and need for academic accommodations based on their diagnosis will not be provided accommodations. Also, if a condition does not substantially impair one or more major life activities, it would be determined that the student does not have a disability, thus not eligible for accommodations.