Eligibility Requirements for Health and Physical Disabilities

Information from the Washington Association on Postsecondary Education and Disability Documentation Position Paper on Health and Physical Disabilities.

Students who are seeking support services from post-secondary institutions in the state of Washington on the basis of a health or physical disability may be required to submit documentation to verify eligibility. Documentation of disability and related information will be kept in a separate file in the appropriate office as designated by each institution. The cost and responsibility for providing this documentation shall be borne by the student.

Health and physical disabilities include but are not limited to:

  • mobility impairments
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • spinal cord injuries
  • cancer
  • AIDS
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Spina Bifida

Any health or physical disabilities are considered to be in the medical domain and require the diagnosis by a qualified medical professional. Information describing the certification, licensure, and/or the professional training of individuals conducting the evaluation must be provided.

Documentation should show current impact of the disability. The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that the evaluation and report are appropriate for documenting eligibility and identifying reasonable accommodations.

The documentation should include:

  1. a clear statement of the medical diagnosis of the physical disability or systemic illness;
  2. how the disability limits a major life activity, including but not limited to walking, breathing, seeing, hearing, performing manual tasks, caring for one's self, learning, or working;
  3. a description of the type and severity of current symptoms and functional impact of the disability;
  4. a summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis, including evaluation results and standardized scores if applicable;
  5. medical information relating to the student's needs to include the existing side effects of medication on the student's ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary environment (physical, perceptual, behavioral, or cognitive);
  6. a description of treatments, medications, assistive devices/services currently prescribed or in use;
  7. a description of the expected progression or stability of the disability over time.

Suggestions of reasonable accommodations with supporting evidence may be included. The final determination for providing appropriate and reasonable accommodations rests with the postsecondary institution.