Individuals with disabilities who attend or plan to attend a post-secondary institution may need reasonable accommodations and/or auxiliary aids in order to have equal access to the programs and services offered. The laws that require post-secondary institutions to provide these services to otherwise qualified students include: Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). To receive accommodations in the post-secondary environment, a student must notify the institution's Disability Services Office and initiate the process for determining their eligibility for accommodations. The Office of Student Accessibility Services (OSAS) is the designated office at Oberlin College.
These documentation guidelines have been provided to assist students in obtaining appropriate documentation from qualified professionals. While appropriate documentation of a disability is only one part of determining eligibility for accommodations, the provision of this documentation assists the disability service provider to understand the impact of the disabilities, needs, and potential accommodations. Oberlin College and Conservatory also requests documentation for the following reasons:
- to verify the existence of a disability;
- to support the request for each specific accommodation;
- to review the nature of the disability or disabilities and its' impact in the post-secondary environment; and
- to assist in the collaborative determination of eligibility for auxiliary aids and services to minimize the impact of the disability.
An Individualized Education Plan (IEP), 504 Plan, or General Education Initiative from a secondary school may not provide thorough information for the documentation of disability and needed accommodations. Please refer to the institution's documentation guidelines for the required information. There are differences between high school and college documentation and accommodations. Please refer to the Differences Between High School and College form for more information.