New Registering Students

Tufts University provides reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities such as impaired hearing, speech, mobility, or vision and students with learning disabilities, attention differences, and chronic health disabilities. We also provide assistance to students coping with serious medical and mental health conditions. Student Accessibility Services (SAS) coordinates academic accommodations for students and works with students and families to coordinate non-academic accommodations when needed.

How Do I Register for Services?

To be eligible for SAS services you must:

  1. Be accepted or currently enrolled as a Tufts University student
  2. Self-identify as having a disability by completing the SAS Registration Form.
  3. Provide current diagnostic documentation that clearly identifies evidence of your disability.* See the guidelines and forms below based on disability. If you have more than one disability, SAS asks that you provide documentation that includes both or documentation for each type of disability. Please have all of your documentation sent directly to SAS. 
  4. Meet with a SAS professional to review your experience with your disability and determine what accommodations are appropriate.
  5. Remember to request your accommodations each semester that you are at Tufts and would like to use them.

*For information on what types of documentation you might need based on your disability, please contact us

What Type of Documentation Do I Need?

SAS must be able to substantiate why each requested accommodation is needed to achieve equal opportunity and how it relates to the student’s disability. SAS considers the student’s experience with their disability, documentation of their disability, and the legitimate requirements and standards of classes, programs, and activities for which our services are authorized. SAS asks each student to provide substantial, clear, and convincing evidence that supports the need for accommodations. Below is a list of recommended types of documentation depending on the nature of a student’s disability. 

Attention Deficit Disorder

- Neuropsychological or psycho-educational report that includes client history, DSM diagnosis, level of severity, symptoms, functional limitations, diagnostic procedures, treatment plan (if any) and recommendations for accommodations in higher education. Cognitive assessments should include full scale scores, verbal, performance and index scores. Sub-test scores preferred.

- Written diagnostic report that includes:

  • the credentials of the evaluator;
  • a clear diagnostic statement;
  • the diagnostic methodology;
  • current functional limitations;
  • expected progression or stability of the disability;
  • current/past accommodations, services and/or medication(s);
  • recommendations for accommodations in higher education.

- If available, include information regarding cognitive or academic testing, and any prescribed medications.

-If you do not have this report, please contact SAS for documentation information.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

- Neuropsychological or psycho-educational report that includes client history, DSM diagnosis, level of severity, symptoms, functional limitations, diagnostic procedures, and recommendations for accommodations in higher education. Cognitive assessments should include full scale scores, verbal, performance and index scores. Sub-test scores preferred.

- Written diagnostic report that includes:

  • the credentials of the evaluator;
  • a clear diagnostic statement;
  • the diagnostic methodology;
  • current functional limitations;
  • expected progression or stability of the disability;
  • current/past accommodations, services and/or medication(s);
  • recommendations for accommodations in higher education.

- If available, include information regarding cognitive or academic testing, and any prescribed medications.

- If you do not have this report, please contact SAS for documentation information.

Learning disabilities/ speech and language-based disabilities

- Neuropsychological or psycho-educational report that includes client history, DSM diagnosis, level of severity, symptoms, functional limitations, diagnostic procedures, and recommendations for accommodations in higher education. Cognitive assessments should include full scale scores, verbal, performance and index scores. Sub-test scores preferred.

Written diagnostic report that includes:

  • the credentials of the evaluator;
  • a clear diagnostic statement;
  • the diagnostic methodology;
  • current functional limitations;
  • expected progression or stability of the disability;
  • current/past accommodations, services and/or medication(s);
  • recommendations for accommodations in higher education.

- If you do not have this report, please contact SAS for documentation information.

Head injury, concussion or traumatic brain injury

- Medical report that includes client history, severity of injury, symptoms (including expected duration), functional limitations, treatment plan and recommendations for accommodations in higher education.

- If you do not have this report, please contact SAS for documentation information.

Hearing impairment

- Copy of most recent audiogram.

- Diagnostic statement from a licensed clinical professional that includes etiology, type and severity of the hearing loss with and without assistive device, functional limitations, and recommendations.

- If available, include information regarding speech recognition threshold and use of amplification devices.

Visual impairment

- Evaluation report from a licensed clinical professional including all measurements, data, visual fields, and visual acuity for each eye, with or without correction, if worn.

- Diagnostic statement including etiology, diagnosis, symptoms, prognosis, and treatment.

- If available, include phorias, fusional ranges, depth perception, and visual accommodation measurements.

Physical disabilities

- Diagnostic statement from a licensed clinical professional that includes diagnosis, level of severity, symptoms, expected duration, functional limitations (be as descriptive as possible), treatment (types and frequency) and recommendations for accommodations in a higher education environment.

- If available, include information about their mobility support device (What is it? Is it electric?), and any prescribed medications.

Chronic health disabilities (For example: diabetes, asthma, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, allergies, migraines, sleep conditions, cancer, etc.)

- Licensed clinical professional may fill out the SAS Form for Medical Providers Verification of Chronic Health Disability(ies)

Or

- Diagnostic statement from a licensed clinical professional that includes diagnosis, level of severity, symptoms, expected duration, functional limitations (be as descriptive as possible), treatment (types and frequency) and recommendations for accommodations in a higher education environment.

- If available, include information regarding cognitive or academic testing, and any prescribed medications.

Mental health disabilities (For example: anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, multi- personality disorder, eating disorders, etc.)

- Licensed clinical professional may fill out the SAS Form for Medical Providers Verification of Mental Health Disability(ies)

Or

- Written diagnostic report from a licensed clinical professional that includes client history, DSM diagnosis, level of severity, symptoms, functional limitations (be as descriptive as possible), diagnostic procedures, treatment plan (types and frequency) and recommendations for accommodations in higher education.

- If available, include information regarding cognitive or academic testing, and any prescribed medications.

Temporary disabilities (For example: broken bones, recovery from recent surgeries, concussions, etc.)

- Licensed clinical professional may fill out the SAS Form for Medical Providers Verification of Temporary Disability(ies)

Or

- Written diagnostic report from a licensed clinical professional that includes client history, DSM diagnosis, level of severity, symptoms, functional limitations (be as descriptive as possible), diagnostic procedures, treatment plan (types and frequency) and recommendations for accommodations in higher education.

- If available, include information regarding cognitive or academic testing, and any prescribed medications.

Graduate student documentation

- Neuropsychological or psycho-educational report that includes client history, DSM diagnosis, level of severity, symptoms, functional limitations, diagnostic procedures, and recommendations for accommodations in higher education. Cognitive assessments should include full scale scores, verbal, performance and index scores. Sub-test scores preferred.

- Written diagnostic report that includes:

  • the credentials of the evaluator;
  • a clear diagnostic statement; the diagnostic methodology;
  • current functional limitations;
  • expected progression or stability of the disability;
  • current/past accommodations, services and/or medication(s);
  • recommendations for accommodations in higher education.

- If this information is not readily available, please use The Form for Disability Service Providers at Institutes of Higher Education Verification of Previously Used Accommodations

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t have any documentation?

SAS encourages any student who thinks that they might have a disability to get in touch with us. We can help determine whether or not documentation is needed, and if is needed, we can help students find an outside evaluator.

Who is responsible for providing documentation of a disability?

Any Tufts student seeking accommodations provide documentation of their disability. Once we have that documentation, SAS will meet with each student individually to determine what accommodations are best for them.

What is disability documentation?

There are three sources of documentation that SAS takes into consideration:

  1. The interactive process that the student completes with an SAS representative.
  2. Recommendations of qualified professionals familiar with the student.
  3. Documentation from outside sources, such as a professional diagnosis, observations by educators, and documentation noting past use of services (including services provided under and IEP or Section 504 Plan).
When must a student provide additional disability documentation?

Documentation is necessary to inform our consideration of individualized accommodations. It is through the interactive process that Student Accessibility Services (SAS) informs each student on a case-by case-basis when updated or additional documentation is necessary.

Is disability related information shared?

Diagnostic documentation is kept in a confidential file maintained by SAS, and is not part of the student’s academic transcript.

While your diagnostic documentation is kept confidential in our office, as university officials, the SAS staff are mandatory reporters when it comes to sexual assault or recent suicidal attempts or plans. This means that any explicit references to either of these topics that we read about in your documentation or discussed in our meetings at SAS requires us to connect you with confidential support resources on campus. If you have already reached out to these resources, or would prefer not to disclose, we encourage you to discuss the relevant diagnosis and symptoms/impact without disclosing details to the event that you’d prefer to keep confidential. If in the future, you would to be referred to the resources available on campus, we can help connect you.

Why does SAS need documentation of disability?

SAS needs sufficient information to determine eligibility and effective accommodations for each student. The process of verifying eligibility should not be burdensome to students.

How recent must documentation be?

Documentation must allow SAS to understand how a student is currently impacted by disability. The documentation should provide substantial clear evidence that supports the need for higher education accommodations. If a disability fluctuates or is progressive, updated documentation may be required.