Disability Services

Documentation Guidelines

Students seeking accommodations for a diagnosed disability, are responsible for providing documentation that supports a need for requested accommodations. To best coordinate and expedite appropriate accommodations, it is recommended that students submit documentation either before or at the initial intake meeting with Disability Services.

All documentation should be sent to:
Mary Balaski, Director of disability Services
Northeast Community College
P.O. Box 469
Norfolk, NE 68702-0469

Documentation may be faxed to 402-844-7412. Students should retain a copy of their documentation as documentation from a third party source will not be rereleased to them or to another party. All documentation is treated as confidential and secured in a locked file cabinet in the DSC office.

Costs incurred for obtaining documentation is the student’s responsibility.

Note: Submission of documentation is not the same as the request for accommodations and services; these are two different steps in the process of determination and provision of appropriate accommodations through DS. Students may submit documentation and not complete the application process with Disability Services or obtain Letters of Accommodation(s) and take to faculty for signature and not return them to DS office; until all steps are completed accommodations are not initiated.


Documentation of a disability is used to:

  • Verify the existence of a disability.
  • Assist in the collaborative determination of eligibility for accommodations that include auxiliary aids and services to minimize the impact of a disability while attending Northeast.

Northeast has adopted the recommendations of AHEAD (Association on Higher Education and Disability) for documentation requirements and practice. Acceptable sources of documentation for substantiating a student’s disability and request for particular accommodations can take a variety of forms:

Primary Documentation: Student’s Self-report

The student is a vital source of information regarding how he or she may be "limited by impairment." A student’s narrative of his or her experience of disability, barriers, and effective and ineffective accommodations is an important tool which, when structured by interview or questionnaire and interpreted, may be sufficient for establishing disability and a need for accommodation.

People with medical and psychiatric conditions should have documentation not more than 6 months old reflecting current limitations and impact of treatment on major life activities such as learning. How current the documentation needs to be relates to the nature and stability of the condition. Disabilities that are sporadic or degenerative may require updated documentation to support changes in accommodations.

Secondary Documentation: Observation and Interaction

The impressions and conclusions formed by higher education disability professionals during interviews and conversations with students or in evaluating the effectiveness of previously implemented or provisional accommodations are important forms of documentation. Experienced disability professionals should feel comfortable using their observations of students’ language, performance, and strategies as an appropriate tool in validating student narrative and self-report.

Tertiary documentation: Information From External or Third Parties

Documentation from external sources may include educational or medical records, reports and assessments created by health care providers, school psychologists, teachers, or the educational system. This information is inclusive of documents that reflect education and accommodation history, such as Individual Education Program (IEP), Summary of Performance (SOP), and teacher observations. External documentation will vary in its relevance and value depending on the original context, credentials of the evaluator, the level of detail provided, and the comprehensiveness of the narrative. However, all forms of documentation are meaningful and should be mined for pertinent information.

Documentation from External or Third Parties that includes the following information is most beneficial:

  • A clearly stated diagnosis from a qualified professional.
  • Diagnostic criteria and evaluation methods used to include procedures, test with scores, clinical narratives, and date evaluation and diagnoses was completed.
  • Functional limitations of the disability and side effects of treatments on academia. A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activities and the degree to which it impacts the individual in physical and program/instructional access for which accommodations are being requested.
  • Recommendation for accommodations, adaptive equipment and services, and compensatory services in the post-secondary setting with rationale.
  • Testing and assessments used for diagnosis recent enough to reflect the impact of the disability on current life functioning and or age appropriate.

Recent high school graduates should provide a copy of their IEP, MDT, Psychological Test reports.

People with medical and psychiatric conditions benefit from providing documentation not more than 6 months old reflecting limitations and current impact of treatment on major life activities such as learning. A typed note on a piece of paper with very limited information such as diagnosis only may not be adequate documentation to support approval for requested accommodations. A medical verification form is available to provide to health care providers from the DDS.

Inadequate Documentation

Northeast has the right to request additional information to determine eligibility and the appropriateness of requested accommodations.  When a student does not provide helpful documentation, and the DDS cannot determine that a disability exist based on primary and secondary documentation, the DDS will provide the student information on resources to aid in getting assessed/evaluated to obtain adequate documentation to verify a disability exists requiring accommodations.

Northeast reserves the right to deny services or accommodations while the receipt of appropriate documentation is pending, if no documentation provided to the DDS suggest there is a disability requiring requested accommodations.

Disclosure and Confidentiality

Student disclosure of a disability is voluntary. Northeast considers disability-related information as confidential material, and it will not become a part of a student’s academic record. Information pertaining to the student’s disability will be released only under the following conditions:

  • if required by law
  • with the student’s written consent
  • on a need-to-know basis


Other institutions, agencies and/or programs (e.g. testing agencies, licensure exams, certification programs) might not accept documentation accepted at Northeast.. When working with other institution and/or programs, please check with them to determine their documentation requirements.

Need help or additional information?

If you need assistance or more information, please contact:

Director of Disability Services

Phone: (402) 844-7343
Toll-Free: (800) 348-9033, Ext. 7343
Fax: (402) 844-7412
Office: CWC 1263