Ophthalmologists are the primary professional involved in diagnosis and medical treatment of individuals who are blind or who experience low vision. Optometrists provide information regarding the measurement of visual acuity as well as tracking and fusion difficulties.
Learning-related visual disabilities include, but are not limited to, the following disorders: ocular motility dysfunction/eye movement disorders, vergence dysfunction/inefficiency in using both eyes together, strabismus/misalignment of the eyes, amblyopia/lazy eye, accommodative disorders/focusing problems, visual sensory disorders, and motor integration. Professionals conducting assessments and rendering diagnoses of these disabilities must be qualified to do so and have experience assessing the needs of adult learners. The qualified professional in this field is licensed to practice as an optometrist and is a Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. The diagnostician must be impartial and must not be a family member.
Documentation serves as a foundation that legitimizes a student's request for appropriate reasonable accommodations.
Documentation should include the following:
1. A clear statement of vision-related disability with supporting numerical description that reflects upon the current impact the blindness, vision loss or other learning-related visual disability has on the student's functioning. (The age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the disabling condition, the current status of the student, and the student's request for accommodations.)
2. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis and a summary of evaluation results including standardized scores.
3. Present symptoms that meet the criteria for diagnosis.
4. Medical information relating to the student's needs, the status of the individual's vision (static or changing), and its impact on the demands of the academic program.
5. Narrative or descriptive text providing both quantitative and qualitative information about the student's abilities that might be helpful in understanding the student's profile including functional limitation, the use of corrective lenses and ongoing visual therapy (if appropriate).
6. A statement of the functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activity and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.
The Rights of the University and the Campus Access Services Office
The University of New Haven reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of documentation submitted and requests for accommodation(s) on a case-by-case basis, using the professional judgment of the Campus Access Services staff and/or the Housing/Dining/Parking Modification Committee. Additional information may be requested to determine eligibility.
Relevant information regarding the student's disability may be shared those who have a legitimate educational interest.
Diagnostic information regarding the student's disability may be shared with the Housing/Dining/Parking Modification Committee.