Best Practices Resources

** With the change in focus offered by the Amendments Act, AHEAD will be modifying its recommendations for best practices in documentation. While we anticipate a spring 2012 release of new information, we encourage you to view AHEAD’s Seven Components of Quality Disability Documentation as characteristics of the most complete external documentation NOT as elements that must be present in students’ documentation in order for them to request and receive reasonable accommodations.

In recognition of the importance of disability documentation to the AHEAD membership and other interested constituencies, AHEAD presents the following principles and documentation dimensions as best practice for disability service providers in higher education to use in developing and refining a comprehensive, consistent and responsive approach to disability documentation. The framework presented here is responsive to both the spirit and letter of legal mandates and is broadly designed so that it can be adapted to fit the individual contexts of a variety of institutions.

Nothing presented as “Best Practices” should be considered a legal treatise or legal advice. Institutions are encouraged to consult with their legal counsel before implementing policies on documentation and should include institutional stakeholders in policy review and development. Additionally, AHEAD recommends a review of documentation practices every 3-7 years in order to consider innovation in the art and instrumentation of disability evaluation, evolving professional practices, and changes in the legal landscape.

The Use and Purposes of Documentation

Foundational Principles of Documentation Review and Accommodation Determination

Seven Elements of Quality Disability Documentation

Recommendation for Creating Disability-Specific Documentation Guidelines

** AHEAD is interested in member feedback in all its practices and plans on-going refinement of its best practices information. If you have comments, suggestions, or concerns with the information presented here, please e-mail the Board at We are a stronger Association as a result of the collected wisdom of our membership.

Download a Word doc version of this information to print out. (Word doc, 80KB)