Disability Documentation Guide

Our Commitment

Accessibility Services is dedicated to providing reasonable accommodations and support to Red River College Students with disabilities. Disability documentation that describes a student’s disability, gives a diagnosis, and outlines the potential impact of the disability is required to determine accommodation. This guide provides students with information to gather their disability documentation.

Obtaining Disability Documentation

Generally, the most current documentation available is the most helpful to determine accommodations and support. To obtain the most recent disability documentation available, you may want to contact:

  • A Registered Health Care Professional (RHCP)*. This can include a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, psychological associate, neurologist, ophthalmologist, etc. In the documentation table you will see specific RHCPs are required for some disabilities.
  • Your disability service provider if you are sponsored through an external referral/sponsoring source such as MarketAbilities or Workers Compensation Board.

* The student is responsible for paying any doctor’s fees related to the completion of the Medical Documentation Form or any other reports or documents. In some cases, in order to assess and adjust required accommodations, or as required by specific program licensing boards, new or returning students may be required to provide updated documentation (within the last six months).

Understanding Your Disability Documentation

It is important to understand what your disability documentation says about you. Consider the following questions as you review your documentation:

  • What is my disability diagnosis?
  • How recent is my disability documentation and does it accurately reflect my current level of functioning?
  • What is the potential impact of my disability within a college environment?
  • What accommodations and supports does my documentation say might be helpful?
  • Does my documentation indicate other professional or community supports that may be helpful while I am in college?
  • Is there additional information that I need that is not addressed in my disability documentation?

You may wish to consult your Registered Health Care Professional when answering these questions.

Unsure of Disability

If you experience academic challenges that you feel may be related to an undiagnosed disability, please book an appointment with an Accessibility Counsellor.

Disability Diagnosis and Documentation Required

The following outlines a variety of disability types and the documentation required in order to register with Accessibility Services at Red River College.

Mental Health Disability

Documentation from a RHCP which includes:

  • DSM-V diagnosis
  • Description of the potential impact of the disability within acollege setting
  • A list of any prescribed medications and side effects
  • Recommeded accommodations and supports

Note: A diagnosis of “Test Anxiety” is not sufficient to provide accommodations.

Learning Disability (Diagnosed)

A copy of your latest comprehensive psychoeducational assessment, completed by a registered psychologist or psychological associate, with a DSM-V diagnosis of learning disability (LD)

  • An assessment completed within the last 3-5 years, or at the age of 18 years or older.
  • The psychoeducational assessment should include recommendations for accommodations and support at the post secondary level.
  • Accessibility Services will work with students to update their psychoeducational assessment as needed (see below).
Learning Disability (Undiagnosed)

You may have documentation in the form of an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) or an Individual Transition Plan (ITP) noting an identification of a learning disability.

If documentation is an IEP or ITP, Accessibility Services will provide interim or temporary accommodations for one semester while an updated psychoeducational assessment is obtained from a registered psychologist. Interim accommodations may include staff tutoring, common exam accommodations and options for a reduced course load.

Medical Disability

Documentation from a RHCP which includes a:

  • Diagnosis
  • Potential impact of disability within a college setting
  • Medications and possible side effects
  • Recommended accommodations and support
Physical/Mobility Disability

Documentation from a RHCP that includes a:

  • Diagnosis
  • Description of strengths and limitations
  • Potential impact of disability within a college setting
  • Any use of assistive devices or specialized equipment
  • Environmental accessibility needs
  • Medications and possible side effects
  • Recommended accommodations and support
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

A copy of your latest comprehensive psychoeducational assessment, completed by a registered psychologist or psychological associate, psychiatrist or physician indicating a diagnosis of ADHD.

An assessment completed within the last 3-5 years, or at the age of 18 years or older, is more relevant for an adult student.

And/or:

A letter and/or formal assessment/treatment report from a RHCP that includes:

  • DSM-V diagnosis
  • Describes current level of functioning
  • Relevant personal and academic histories
  • Description of the nature of current symptoms and theirpotential impact of the disability within a college setting
  • Data from objective test results (if assessment is completedby a registered psychologist)
  • A list of any prescribed medications and side effects
  • Recommended accommodations and support linked to dataresults

Additional documentation may be required to determine the nature and range of appropriate accommodations and supports.

Blind and Low Vision

Documentation from a RHCP that includes a:

  • Diagnosis
  • Visual acuity (best corrected) and visual field limitations
  • Potential impact of disability within a college environment
  • Recommended accommodations and support including anyadaptive technology needs (i.e. JAWS, KURZWEIL, etc.)
Deaf and Hard of Hearing

A letter from a RHCP or copy of the most recent audiology report that includes a:

  • Diagnosis
  • Degree of hearing loss
  • Potential impact within a college setting
  • Recommended accommodations and support including technical supports (i.e. hearing aids, FM system, etc.)
Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)

A comprehensive report from a RHCP that includes:

  • Diagnosis
  • Medications and possible side effects
  • Potential impact of disability within a college setting
  • A copy of most recent neuropsychological assessment, asapplicable
  • Recommended accommodations and support
Temporary, Chronic or Other Medical Condition

Documentation from a RHCP which includes a:

  • Diagnosis or nature of illness
  • If the condition is temporary or chronic
  • Potential impact of condition within a college setting
  • Medications and possible side effects
  • Recommended accommodations and support
Autism Spectrum Disorders (Autism, Asperger’s, PDD-NOS)

A medical report from a RHCP which includes a:

  • Diagnosis
  • Potential impact of disability within a college setting especially in the areas of communication and social skills
  • Medications and possible side effects
  • Recommended accommodations and support

Additional documentation in the form of a recent psychoeducational report may be required to determine the nature and range of appropriate accommodations and supports at the post- secondary level.

An assessment completed within the last 3-5 years, or at the age of 18 years or older, is more relevant for an adult student.

Note: IEPs or ITPs do not meet documentation requiements.

Intellectual Disabilities

A copy of your latest comprehensive psychoeducational assessment, completed by a registered psychologist or psychological associate, who has training and experience in diagnosing intellectual disability and in recommending post-secondary academic accommodations.

  • An assessment completed within the last 3-5 years, or at the age of 18 years or older.
  • With an IEP noting an MID (Mild Intellectual Disability) identification, Accessibility Services will provide interim or temporary accommodations for one semester while an updated psychoeducational assessment is obtained. Interim accommodations may include staff tutoring, common testing accommodations and options for a reduced course load.

The psychoeducational assessment should include an assessment of adaptive funtioning and include recommendations for accommodations and support at the post-secondary level.

Additional Documentation Information

For most disability types, with the exception of learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities and ASD students, can choose to have their physician or RHCP complete the Medical Document Form.

For students in need of a psychoeducational assessment, Accessibility Services will work with students to update or obtain this documentation. Options for funding a psychoeducational assessment include:

  • Applying for a Manitoba Student Loan. If you are eligible for a student loan, the Canada Student Grant can cover the cost of a psychoeducational assessment.
  • Contacting any insurance plan under which you are covered to determine if psychological services are an eligible expense.
  • Paying for the assessment using your own funds.

If eligible for MB Student Loan, students who have privately funded an assessment completed within six months prior to start of their program may qualify to be reimbursed for the cost through the Canada Student Grant for Students with Disabilities (CSG).

If Your IEP Does Not Have an Identification

Some students may have an IEP or an ITP that states “Not Formally Identified”, or “Non- Exceptional”. If this is the case for you, please bring your most recent documents from school.

With this type of documentation Accessibility Services will provide extended time on tests and tutoring services for a maximum of one semester while an updated psychoeducational assessment is obtained.