Documentation Guidelines

Documentation Process and Recommendations

Services for Students

The Center for Learning Assistance (CLA) is committed to creating a positive student experience at Bradley University and provides equal access to an educational experience through the provision of academic accommodations.  After submitting documentation, a student, with the Director, will create an accommodation contract and work on developing self-advocacy skills for requesting the approved accommodations.  Although the CLA cannot grant all personal requests, the office will use a collaborative approach to determine the accommodations based on documentation and functional limitations.    

Documentation Process and Recommendations

Center for Learning Assistance (CLA) provides academic services and accommodations for students with diagnosed disabilities.  The documentation provided regarding the disability diagnosis must demonstrate a disability covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.  The ADA defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.    

The CLA staff will review and consider all pieces of documentation submitted.  Documentation will assist the CLA 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 each piece of documentation is handled on a case-to-case basis.  The eligibility determination process is not a same day process.  Once documentation is received, it will be reviewed in order of receipt; therefore, it is recommended that documentation be submitted well in advance of any accommodation related needs.  The student will be contacted by an email to their BU email address once the documentation has been reviewed.  Upon receipt of this email the student is required to meet with the Director of the CLA for an intake appointment to be considered fully registered with the office.  If you would like to discuss the documentation review process, it is possible to directly speak with a CLA staff member so your questions and concerns can be addressed. 

There are multiple ways to provide the CLA with documentation of your disability.  The documentation should be completed or provided from a treating or diagnosing healthcare professional (psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, therapist, social worker, medical doctor, optometrists, speech-language pathologists, etc.).  The various methods are explained below: 

  1.  A full detailed evaluation or diagnostic report would provide the richest information to determine the best possible accommodations and supports.
  2. A report that provides proof of prior accommodations.
  • Individualized Education Plan/504 Plan/Evaluation Team Report. 
  • Documentation that illustrates past use of postsecondary accommodations.

   3.  CLA uses a Disability Verification Form that can be completed by the healthcare professional. 

   4.  A healthcare professional can submit a letter of their own.  Please provide the following information to the CLA on letterhead with the date and signature: 

  • A diagnostic statement identifying the disability (with the date of diagnosis). 
  • Severity of the disorder (mild/moderate/severe). 
  • Medication or treatment currently prescribed. 
  • An assessment of major life activities that are affected by the impairment.  (Concentration, memory, social interactions, class attendance, learning, reading, thinking, etc.). 
  • Recommended accommodations that may assist the student in minimizing the impact of the condition in an academic setting (examples: test taking, class attendance, taking notes, speaking, transportation, housing, etc.). 
  • Include test scores when applicable.  

Services for Students

The CLA offers a wide variety of legally mandated services to students with documented disabilities.  After reviewing documentation, the Director will determine appropriate academic services and accommodations specific to the student’s functional limitations in the academic setting and train the student in accessing the approved accommodations.  Students should request most accommodations in a timely manner and follow the CLA policies and procedures for accessing accommodations as outlined in this section. 

 There are four main service areas at the CLA: 

  1. Assessment Accommodations
  2. Alternative Media
  3. Assistive Technology
  4. Note-Taking Accommodations

Assessment  Accommodations

The CLA collaborates with students and their professors to provide approved assessment accommodations that ensure equal access.  In order to schedule assessments at the CLA, students are responsible for scheduling the exam in the CLA and speaking with each professor prior to each assessment.  Assessment accommodations can include (but are not limited to):

  • Extended time
    • Time and one half (50% extra time)
    • Double time (100% extra time)
  • Distraction-reduced environment
  • Assistive Technology
  • Screen-enlargement software
  • Screen-reading software
  • Electronic formats
  • Word processing
  • Reader and/or Scribe
  • Enlarged print

Alternative Media

The CLA provides authorized students with Alternative Media, the term applies to course materials converted to an accessible format.  Request must be made in a timely manner to aid in the production process.  The office can convert textbooks, electronic documents, assessments and other print materials into the following formats:

  • PDF with text
  • RTF (Rich Text Format)
  • DOC (Word Document)
  • MP3 (Audio Format)
  • Paper Enlargements

Assistive Technology

The CLA houses some assistive technology.  The staff can provide training with an appointment.  Additionally, the CLA offers a distraction-reduced environment and study area for students.  The CLA offers the following:

  • Scan-to-Speech and Text-to-Speech software that utilizes output via computer-generated voice
  • Screen-enlargement software
  • Printer access for note-takers
  • Large and flat-screen monitors
  • Carbonless notebooks

Note-Taking Accommodations

The CLA coordinates note-taking services for authorized students.  Notes can be obtained in two basic formats:

  • A volunteer classmate may provide a supplemental summary of class content either as an email attachment, a photocopy, or a carbon copy
  • The student may audio record the class. 

For more information go to the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD).

Documentation is confidential and kept in the office of the Director. Information from the file is only released with the student's written consent in keeping with FERPA. Please contact Lynne Branham at (309) 677-4356 or with additional questions.