Blindness and Visual Impairment – Proof of Disability
Students who are blind or have a visual impairment and need support services while attending UK are required to submit current documentation (not more than one year old) verifying their disability. Evaluations or reports with the initial diagnosis‚ which are older than one year‚ may be provided to supplement the current documentation in providing important background information or history of accommodation in an academic setting.
Documentation of a disability is not provided by:
- Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)
- 504 Plans
- Transition Plans
These documents‚ however‚ are useful for documenting a history of accommodation and effective interventions for an individual with a disability.
Providing this information and having a history of the disability does not automatically guarantee that one will receive the requested services. The information is evaluated for validity by qualified University personnel who will determine whether criteria are met and to establish eligibility for services as a student with disabilities‚ according to University guidelines and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The following guidelines are being provided to ensure that the documentation is complete and appropriate for assessing student need and providing reasonable accommodations are:
- Documentation of visual disability must be provided by an ophthalmologist or optometrist on official office stationary or letterhead and include the clinician’s signature. Things to include in the documentation are:
- A clear clinical diagnosis (blind‚ partially sighted‚ etc.);
- Severity of the condition;
- Cause of visual impairment (states if the cause is congenital‚ injury or disease related‚ etc.);
- Date of onset;
- Visual field and acuity (does condition effect ability to discriminate in different levels light and darkness‚ see color‚ etc.);
- The functional limitation(s) or impact the condition may have on the person with particular emphasis on learning in higher education or on other major life activity (reading‚ mobility‚ seeing the blackboard‚ etc.);
- Lists any auxiliary aids and assistive technology that the individual employs to circumvent stated functional limitations.
Should individuals have additional functional limitations due to a multiple disability diagnosis or other chronic health issues‚ documentation is required to support the request for those accommodations. See documentation guidelines for more information.
disability resource center . university of kentucky . 2 alumni gym . lexington‚ ky . 40506–0029 . V/TDD (859) 257–2754 . fax (859) 257–1980