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Disability Documentation Guidelines

For reasonable accommodations to be provided, current documentation from a qualified individual knowledgeable about the student’s disability may need to be submitted to our office prior to the start of your child’s program, or course, or CTY qualifying test (SCAT/STB). Requests made in an untimely manner may adversely affect our ability to provide accommodations and in certain circumstances may prevent a child from participating in our program or in testing (SCAT/STB) with accommodations in place. Documentation should be submitted at least four weeks in advance of the start of a program or desired test date if possible.

The guidelines for documentation of a disability have been established by the Johns Hopkins University Office of Institutional Equity, and are as follows (please contact CTY Disability Services with any questions as there may be alternatives to what is listed based on the age of your child and the duration of the CTY program your child is attending):

Johns Hopkins University acknowledges that once a person is diagnosed as having a disability the disability may be life-long. While the disability may continue, the severity of the condition and/or how it is impacts an individual in different settings may change over time. The purpose for requesting documentation is to consider each person individually and to understand if and how the individual is impacted by their disability in their given environment at CTY. This information is needed to make an informed decision about the need for accommodations and services.

In order to determine if a specific accommodation(s) is reasonable and appropriate, the following factors will be considered:

  • Disability
  • Accommodation history
  • Personal self-reported statement
  • Observations and Interactions with Disability Services/ADA Coordinator
  • Previous accommodations received
  • Accommodations being requested
  • Unique characteristics of course and/or employment
  • Any other documentation provided

Accommodation decisions generally cannot be made until, at a minimum, some written documentation is provided and an interview has been conducted.

Definition of a Disability

In order to receive accommodations, an individual must have a mental or physical condition that substantially limits a major life activity. Types of disabilities we serve includes (but are not limited to): Blind or Low Vision, Chronic health Conditions, Cognitive Disabilities (ADD, LD), Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Physical Disabilities and Psychological Disabilities.

Documentation from External Sources

Appropriate disability accommodations are determined based on documentation which may include educational or medical records, reports and assessments from health care providers and psychologists.

A 504 Plan, Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Summary of Performance (SOP) can be submitted as documentation so long as the information provided indicates the impact of the condition and helps the identify a connection between the disability and the appropriate accommodation(s) being requested.

The following information may need to be submitted:

For All Disabilities: A completed Disability Verification form or typewritten letter from an appropriate professional is needed. The letter must include:

  • History of the disability
  • Description of the current impact and functional limitations as it relates to:
    • Students: Meeting the various demands of higher education and residential living (academically, socially, emotionally, physically, etc.)
    • Employees: The limitations caused by the condition and how those limitations impact the employee’s performance of the essential functions of the job (please refer to the position description)
  • Expected progression or stability
  • Recommendations for accommodations or services
  • Implications of existing co-morbid conditions
  • Additional observations and/or recommendations

For All Cognitive Disabilities (Learning Disabilities, conditions or incidents impacting the brain, Attention Deficit Disorder, Asperger’s and other Pervasive Developmental Disorders):

  • A comprehensive neuropsychological or psychoeducational evaluation that includes aptitude and achievement (preferably one with measures normed for an adult) in order to determine current functional impact and to support accommodations requests
  • Rating scales and objective measure of attention (for ADD)
  • Standardized scales of symptoms related to Autism (Asperger’s and PDD)
  • Language learning related scales and interpretation (if student is requesting accommodations related to second language learning)

For Physical and Medical, Chronic Health and Psychological Disabilities

  • A completed Disability Verification Form from a qualified professional you are currently working with or a letter with the information noted above under “For All Disabilities.” in addition to a written letter that addresses the bullet points above. For severe food allergies, treating professionals can instead complete the CTY Food Allergy Documentation form.

For Sensory Disabilities (Blind, Low Vision, Deaf, and Hard of Hearing):

  • A recent report from your doctor, a completed Disability Verification Form from a qualified professional you are currently working with or a letter with the information noted above under “For All Disabilities.”

Accommodation needs can potentially change over time and updated information should be submitted so the most effective services and accommodations can be provided. Updates at reasonable intervals may be requested when needs are not considered ongoing.

Disability Services also reserves the right to request additional documentation in order to support specific accommodations. If additional information is needed, Disability Services may determine that it is appropriate to provide provisional accommodations in the interim. Provisional accommodations will be determined based on the information that has been provided and are typically limited to the current term for students.

These guidelines are provided so that Disability Services can respond appropriately to the individual needs of the student. Disability Services reserves the right to determine eligibility for services based on adherence to these guidelines and established policies and procedures.

Johns Hopkins Office of Institutional Equity has published these guidelines on their website as well.


Rolling Deadline Reminder! 

  • Summer Programs: Contact CTY Disability Services by MAY 15th to request accommodations!
  • Other Programs: Contact CTY Disability Services  as soon as you register for other programs to request accommodations!
  • Email CTY Disability Services
“This summer I saw my child more social than ever before. At school, he refuses to communicate with peers unless absolutely necessary. He was completely different at CTY. He participated in group activities and actually liked them! He got along well and [made] friends.  After this summer many of my fears about my child's future were gone. I now know that he will be OK when he goes to college, as long as he is with his academic and intellectual peers.”

Laura K. , CTY Parent of student with autism