Skip to main content


General Guidelines Regarding Documentation of Disabilities

Villanova students with disabilities are eligible for protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADA AA) of 2008 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (as amended). The ADA Amendments Act 2008 retains the definition of a "disability" as physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment.

Students must complete the disability determination process as a prerequisite to any decisions about accommodations, auxiliary aids, and services. Policies regarding disability documentation are consistent with the standards and guidelines of Villanova University Office of Disability Services and the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) Best Practices Principles.

The diagnostician who evaluates the student must be a licensed or otherwise properly credentialed professional who:  

  1. is qualified/ certified to evaluate and diagnose the disability, 
  2. is familiar with the challenges and functional requirements of a college environment
  3. is an impartial evaluator or diagnostician who is not a family member nor in a dual relationship with the student.

The documentation submitted for the purpose of seeking a determination of disability at the post-secondary level must be detailed, comprehensive, and include the following components as appropriate to the area of disability being disclosed:

  • ‌Narrative report format, on letterhead, signed by evaluator(s), and includes title and credentials
  • ‌Evaluations/documentation must be current (please see specific Documentation Guideline sheet for currency standard for that condition--- generally between six months and three years of starting college)
  • ‌Clearly stated diagnosis (DSM  V, as appropriate)identifying the condition
  • ‌History of disorder including age of onset, past treatment(s)
  • ‌A statement of the current, significant impact of the disorder on a major life activity, and the professional’s assessment if the condition rises to the level of a disability
  • ‌Description of the level of severity, expected progression or stability of the condition (critical in the determination of chronic or progressive conditions)
  • ‌Description of current/ past accommodations, services and/or medications (if prescribed)
  • ‌Diagnosticians recommendations for reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids, and services for the post-secondary experience must be clearly linked to the testing and evaluation data
  • Each student’s request for a determination of disability and accommodations/services is evaluated and considered individually.
  • It is the responsibility of the individual seeking a determination of disability, (and who will be requesting accommodations), to provide appropriate documentation before a determination of disability can be made and accommodations can be discussed and implemented.
  • Prior use of accommodations and services is considered in the process of deliberating accommodations and services at the post-secondary level. It should be noted that some accommodations and services provided in high school may not be determined reasonable in the post secondary environment.

Dear Diagnostician:

Your patient, _________________________, is in attendance at Villanova University and is requesting a special housing accommodation.  The student has been informed and agrees that the Special Housing Request process at the University requires the student to provide a letter from a Diagnostician which documents a current evaluation of the student and the medical necessity of the requested housing accommodation(s).  The student has also been informed that the Diagnostician must practice in the medical specialty specific to the condition(s) presented in the application.  The Diagnostician should be an impartial individual who is not a family member nor in a dual relationship with the student.

The letter from the Diagnostician should include the follow information and be submitted on business letterhead:

·        Your name, signature, professional credentials, license number, and contact information.

·        A diagnostic statement including the date of the most recent evaluation.

·        The current impact of (or limitations imposed by) the condition(s).

·        The expected duration, stability, or progression of the condition(s).

·        Treatments, medications, devices, or services currently prescribed or used to minimize the impact of the condition(s).

·        A detailed description of the recommended housing accommodation.

·        A clear connection between the impact of the condition and the recommended housing accommodation.

·        A statement of the level of need (or consequence of not receiving) the recommended housing request.

You are welcome to reach out to the Office of Disability Services at with any questions.  Thank you.

Special Housing Request
Office of Disability Services
Residence Life Office
Villanova University 800 Lancaster Ave. Villanova, PA 19085