Disability Resources and Support

At Mary Baldwin University, we value diverse experiences and identities. Disability is an important facet of human diversity. We partner with students, faculty, and staff to reduce barriers and continuously improve accessibility for our community. 

While we maintain our standard admission and degree requirements for all students, we’re committed to being supportive and accommodating to those with identified and documented disabilities.

Documentation Requirements

Documentation Requirements

To ensure proper accommodations, students must provide up-to-date documentation of their disability. This documentation should be completed within three years of admission to post-secondary school. It must include an evaluation conducted by a qualified medical professional outlining the current impact of the disability as it relates to the accommodation request. While Mary Baldwin University does not offer disability testing, we can provide information on local testing services. 

The documentation should cover the following elements:

  1. A specific, definite diagnostic statement (per DSM-V/ICD-11), including symptoms and fluctuating conditions related to the student’s disability or condition, along with the dates of the most recent evaluation and original diagnosis.
  2. Description of the diagnostic tests, methods, or criteria used.
  3. Explanation of the current functional impact of the disability, including specific test results and the examiner’s interpretation.
  4. Details of any prescribed treatments, medications, assistive devices, or services currently used.
  5. Information on the expected progression or stability of the disability’s impact over the next five years.
  6. Credentials of the diagnosing professional (psychologist, psychiatrist, physician) if not clearly indicated on letterhead or forms. Please note that the diagnosing professional cannot be a family member.

The following information/documentation is not adequate for determining accommodations:

  1. A brief note from a physician or health professional that simply requests an accommodation or provides a diagnosis without offering supporting documentation. This includes information or notes written on a prescription pad, as well as aftercare instructions issued to the patient. 
  2. Evaluation reports of a learning difficulty that are not comprehensive or that identify “problems or challenges” but do not specifically diagnose a learning disability.

Accessibility Services Program

Accessibility Services Program

Students should submit the aforementioned medical documentation to Dr. Stephanie Hutchinson, director of the Academic Resource Center. Working together, students and the director will complete accommodation forms that will be shared with the students’ instructors at the beginning of each semester. These accommodations will remain valid until the completion of final exams.

In addition to providing documentation, students requesting accommodations are encouraged to discuss their needs with their instructors. They must also follow the protocol outlined by the Academic Resource Center for special circumstances testing unless alternative arrangements have been made.

Contact Information

For more information about accommodations at Mary Baldwin University or the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences, please contact Dr. Stephanie Hutchinson at sdhutchinson@marybaldwin.edu.

For more information about your rights and responsibilities, contact:

Customer Service Team
Office of Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
Washington, DC 20202-110
ocr@ed.gov
www.ed.gov/ocr
800-421-3481; TDD 877-521-2171

Emotional Support Animals

Emotional Support Animals

Students requesting an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) as an accommodation should contact The Office of Accessibility Services.

As of November 2019, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been asked to investigate websites that purport to provide documentation from a healthcare provider in support of requests for an ESA. The websites in question offer documentation that is not reliable for purposes of determining whether an individual has a disability or disability-related need for an ESA because the website operators and health care professionals who consult with them lack the personal knowledge that is necessary to make such determinations. 

Emotional Support Animal (ESA) documentation should include statements specific to:

  1. ​The existing and continuing diagnostic and therapeutic relationship you have with your provider;
  2. Your provider’s specific diagnosis of the condition and its severity;
  3. The methodology used to arrive at this diagnosis;
  4. ​The functional limitations resulting from this diagnosis and a clear articulation of how the animal will mitigate these functional limitations;
  5. The observations, evaluations or means by which the provider has determined that an ESA would be a reasonable accommodation, and;
  6. The provider’s confirmation that the ESA has been prescribed for treatment purposes and as part of a care or treatment plan and is necessary to help alleviate symptoms associated with your condition and how it will be critical in allowing you to use and enjoy university housing services. 

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