A visual disorder is the result of a functional loss of vision. Some of the eye disorders seen among college students include albinism, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macular degeneration, muscular problems, retinal degeneration, and retinitis pigmentosa. The terms partially sighted, low vision, legally blind, and totally blind are used in the educational context to describe students with visual impairments.
Documentation of a visual disorder should come from an individual qualified to diagnose and/or treat these disorders, such as an optometrists or ophthalmologists. The following guidelines were developed to assist the professional in providing the information necessary to support reasonable accommodations.
- Prepare documentation on professional letterhead, with the dates of assessment, signatures, and license numbers or credentials of the diagnosing professional.
- State the diagnosis, date of the assessment and date of the original diagnosis.
- Provide a summary of present symptoms and severity, prognosis of condition, and current level of functional limitations (i.e., visual acuity with and without corrected vision, visual field, if condition is progressive).
- Describe medication prescribed and their effects on academic functioning, if applicable.
- Recommend academic accommodations and the rationale (i.e., treatments, assistive devices, and accommodations needed for learning).