DOCUMENTATION OF BLINDNESS AND LOW VISION
All qualified West Virginia University at Parkersburg students must provide appropriate documentation of the diagnosis of blindness or low vision prior to receiving accommodations based on that disability. Accommodations will be determined on an individual basis.
It is the student’s responsibility to initiate contact with the West Virginia University at Parkersburg Disability Services Office and to provide appropriate documentation of the disability and related functional limitations for which they are requesting accommodations. This process follows the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973*, and current case law and is designed to ensure that reasonable, appropriate accommodations are provided to all qualified students in a timely manner. A diagnosis of a disorder/condition/syndrome in and of itself does not automatically qualify an individual for accommodations.
All diagnostic evaluation reports submitted as documentation of blindness and low vision must include all of the following in order to receive disability-related accommodations:
1. Be in the form of a signed, and dated report on the official letterhead by a qualified and credentialed professional;
2. A clear statement of the diagnosis with supporting numerical description of vision limitations that is within five (5) years of beginning study at WVU;
3. A summary of the present symptoms used to meet the criteria for diagnosis of the specific condition;
4. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis, including a summary of evaluation results;
5. Current medical information relating to the student’s needs and the status of the student’s vision (static or changing), including the use of corrective lenses and ongoing visual therapy (if appropriate);
6. A description of the student’s functional limitations supported by the diagnostic data, and how they would relate to a significant impairment** in academic functioning.
*In order to meet the adult criteria of “disability” under these federal laws a person must provide documentation of how their significant impairment “substantially limits” their cognitive/academic functioning.
**A significant impairment means below-average functioning as measured by an objective evaluation. An IEP or 504 Plan from the public school system is not sufficient documentation of a disability for accommodations at the college level.
Contact the WVU at Parkersburg Office of Disability Services for more information or see our web site at http://www.wvup.edu/ADA/INDEX.HTM.
Voice: (304) 424-8378
TDD: (304) 424-8337
Fax: (304) 424-8372
Alternative formats are available upon request.
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