Blind/Visual Impairment Documentation Guidelines

You must provide medical documentation of your specific disability in order to verify accommodation eligibility under Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Documentation needs to be current in order to reflect present functioning. Additional documentation may be requested based upon your current status and his/her request(s). All documentation is confidential and is on file at the disability services office.

You are responsible for making an appointment with a disability counselor to discuss your documentation and eligibility for accommodations, which are determined each semester. Disability services will make the final determination of eligibility for accommodations. Disability services cannot review an accommodation request until documentation is complete. Please contact disability services if you have any questions.

Ophthalmologists or optometrists can provide information regarding diagnosis and treatment of those individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Please be advised disability services does not accept a Certificate of Blindness from the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind as appropriate documentation, as it does not provide description of an individual's strengths, weaknesses or whether or not the disability is progressive. Disability services must have this detailed information on file in order to determine what accommodations are appropriate.

Documentation must include:

  • A detailed summary of vision-related disability. 
  • A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis and a summary of evaluation results including standardized scores.
  • Present symptoms meeting the criteria for diagnosis, e.g. visual acuity as well as tracking and fusion difficulties, including but not limited to eye movement disorders, inefficiency in using both eyes together, misalignment of the eyes, lazy eye, focusing problems, visual sensory disorders, and motor integration. 
  • Medical information relating to the student's needs and the status of the individual's vision (static or changing) and its impact on the demands of the academic program.
  • A summary of appropriate treatment, e.g. corrective lenses or ongoing visual therapy. 
  • Suggestions of reasonable accommodations that might be appropriate at the postsecondary level are encouraged. These recommendations should be supported by the diagnosis. Please note that disability services will make the final determination of eligibility for accommodations. 
  • Name, address, phone number, and title and/or credentials of the specialist.