Criteria for Documenting Disabilities

General Information

The Center for Disability Services/SNAP at the College of Charleston is committed to providing accommodations for students with disabilities in order to ensure a comprehensively accessible college experience.  We engage in an interactive process with each student and review requests for accommodations on a case-by-case basis.  In determining reasonable accommodations, we consider each student’s condition(s), history, experience, request(s).  While students are a vital source of information, in order to determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations, we request information from other sources in order to establish the presence of a disability and the impact it has on living and/or learning in a postsecondary environment. 

  • Students are encouraged to submit any prior assessments and/or evaluative reports conducted by evaluators, physicians, medical professionals, etc., which may assist in determining appropriate accommodations. Documentation should be current and relevant to the requested accommodations.
  • Prior receipt of accommodations (e.g., in high school or in another college setting) will inform the process of determining appropriate accommodations at the College of Charleston; however, they do not guarantee receipt of the same accommodations.
  • While an Individualized Education Program (IEP), 504 Plan, and/or a Summary of Performance (SOP) provide helpful information, these documents alone may not provide sufficient information to determine appropriate accommodations in the postsecondary environment.
  • Reasonable accommodations are determined based on the nature of the condition(s) and resulting impact in the postsecondary environment. A student’s program of study and the courses a student is enrolled will also inform the types of accommodations that are appropriate.
  • While the law requires that priority consideration be given to a specific accommodation requested, it does not imply that a specific accommodation must be granted if it is deemed unreasonable or a suitable alternative accommodation is available.
  • Professionals (e.g., physicians or other medical professionals) conducting assessment, rendering diagnoses of specific conditions and making recommendations for appropriate accommodations must be qualified to do so. 

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. Typically, documentation is processed and the student will be notified within ten business days of receipt.

NOTE: Students who have readily observable disabilities (e.g., wheelchair user, white cane user) do not need to submit documentation to the Center for Disability Services. Instead, we ask that you contact the office at 843.953.1431, or stop by the office during walk-in hours, to schedule a meeting with a SNAP administrator.

If students have questions regarding whether or not their disability-related documentation is appropriate, please contact the Center for Disability Services to discuss.



The following guidelines are provided to assist students in identifying the type of information and documentation that will inform the process of determining reasonable and appropriate accommodations.  Documentation from a current treating provider should be on letterhead, be signed and dated, and should include the following information: 

  1. Existing Condition(s) 
    •  Information regarding the student’s current condition(s) including any relevant history
  1. Presenting Concerns 
    • Information regarding the student’s presenting concerns (ongoing difficulties and behaviors) that substantially impact functioning in a postsecondary setting
  1. Background History
    • Information regarding the student’s history of any prior accommodations received (e.g., high school, another post-secondary institution, etc.) (if applicable)
  1. Medications/Treatment 
    • Information regarding the student’s current medication(s) including dosage(s) and frequency (if applicable)
    • Discussion of any known adverse side effects due to medications (if applicable)
    • Description of the student’s current treatments or other interventions including frequency (e.g., psychotherapy, medication management, allergy injections, chemotherapy, etc.)
    • Description of any auxiliary aids used by the student (e.g., hearing aids, assistive listening devices, visual aids, etc.)
  1. Recommendations and Evaluator Qualifications 
    • Specific recommendations regarding academic and/or residential accommodations, auxiliary aids and/or services based on the impact of the condition(s) in the postsecondary environment
    • Name and title, license number with state (if applicable), address, telephone number, fax number, e-mail address and signature of evaluator or medical professional 
    • The professional must be an impartial individual with no relationship to the family


Additional Information for Specific Conditions

Please visit the specific conditions listed to learn more about additional required documentation criteria.