Office of Student Life

Disability Services

Documentation Guidelines

Update on COVID-19 and SLDS Registration / Operations

In light of community directives to promote social distancing as a way to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19, we understand it may be difficult for you to obtain disability documentation for registration.  Please know that this is no cause to delay reaching out to our office. We are here to work with you.  Please contact SLDS if you have documentation concerns. 

SLDS is still operating Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. All appointments and services will be conducted via phone or virtually until further notice. SLDS Exam Services will not be proctoring exams while virtual instruction is in place at Ohio State. The Assistive Technology Computer Lab will be closed.   

Please note: Transient Illnesses, such as the cold or flu, do not typically rise to the level of a disability nor would they qualify a student for services with SLDS. Students who are exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19 should follow official guidance from health experts and work individually with their instructors to discuss any impacts to coursework. If your situation has unique circumstances, such as an interaction with pre-existing condition or requires prolonged hospitalization, please call (Phone: 614-292-3307; VP: 614-500-4445) or email SLDS to discuss appropriate next steps.  

Disability Services will review and consider all pieces of documentation submitted. Documentation will assist Disability Services in understanding how the disability impacts the student in an academic setting and the current impact of the disability as it relates to the accommodations requested. Reviewing documentation is a collaborative process and is handled on a case-to-case basis. The eligibility determination process is not a same day process. Once documentation is uploaded via a New Student Application, it will be reviewed in order of receipt; therefore, it is recommended that documentation be submitted well in advance of any accommodation related needs. Typically, documentation is processed and the student will be notified within three business days of receipt.

NOTE: Students who have readily observable permanent disabilities (e.g. wheelchair user, white cane user) do not need to submit documentation. Instead, simply submit your application and then contact the office at 614-292-3307, or stop by the office during drop-in hours, to schedule a Welcome Meeting.

There are multiple ways to provide Disability Services with documentation of your disability. Documentation should provide proof of diagnosis and/or prior accommodations. Disability Services follows the guidance from the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) on documentation review and accommodation approval. 

Students should submit at least one of the following:

  • IEP/504 plan
  • Medical records / patient portal diagnostic summary
  • Letter from a healthcare professional, on letterhead, which confirms a diagnosis.
  • Disability Services Verification Form (Must be completed by a healthcare professional.)
  • Accommodation letter from previous postsecondary institution
  • Full evaluation/diagnostic report (e.g. ETR, MFE)

The following information is helpful, but not required, in order to determine the best possible accommodations and supports:

  • Severity of the disorder (mild/moderate/severe)
  • Medication or treatment currently prescribed
  • Recommended accommodations that may assist the student in minimizing the impact of the condition in an academic setting.

Temporary/Provisional Accommodations

Students with temporary injuries, such as a broken leg/arm, concussion or surgery recovery can register with and receive services through Disability Services on a temporary basis. Temporary students do not need to follow the formal registration process. Instead, students should visit or contact our office and ask to speak with an Access Specialist about registering for a temporary injury.

In unique situations, provisional accommodations may be approved for students who can provide evidence of actively engaging in the diagnostic process. These provisional accommodations are typically approved for 1 semester, and may later be approved on a permanent basis upon receipt of appropriate documentation.


If you would like to discuss the documentation review process, you may speak with a Disability Services Access Specialist so that your questions and concerns can be addressed. See our Contact Us page.