Welcome to the Office of Disability Services

The Office of Disability Services (ODS) provides equal access for students with disabilities to all curricular and co-curricular opportunities offered by Barry University. In addition, the office provides leadership and guidance to the campus community to ensure compliance with legal requirements for equal access, while enhancing understanding and support of students with disabilities.

The Office of Disability Services (ODS) provides equal access for students with disabilities to all curricular and co-curricular opportunities offered by Barry University. In addition, the office provides leadership and guidance to the campus community to ensure compliance with legal requirements for equal access, while enhancing understanding and support of students with disabilities.

ODS provides reasonable accommodations to those students attending Barry University with a documented disability. Accommodations are provided on a case-by-case basis in compliance with all federal and state laws.


To be eligible for accommodations with the Office of Disability Services, you must be enrolled at Barry University and provide appropriate documentation of your disability demonstrating a substantial limitation to one or more major life activities.


  1. Fill out an ODS intake form
  2. Provide a copy of your current class schedule
  3. Provide appropriate documentation (see documentation guidelines inside)
  4. After the above items have been submitted, you will be required to set up an intake appointment with an ODS counselor. At this meeting, you and your counselor will develop an individual accommodation plan based on your current documentation and disability. Should your accommodations need to be adjusted at any time, you will need to set up an additional meeting with your counselor. If you require additional accommodations, you may be asked to provide additional documentation to substantiate the request.

Once you have registered with the ODS, you will need to fill out an update form before each semester to continue your approved accommodations. The following guidelines are provided to assist you in making sure that your documentation appropriately substantiates eligibility for support services. The ODS reserves the right to discretion in awarding accommodations.


  • Diagnostic reports must be printed on letterhead and include the diagnostician’s name, title, professional credentials, date, and signature.
  • Licensure/certificate information, area of specialization and employment in which provinces and state should be included.
  • Professionals conducting the assessment must be qualified, not related to the student, and have experience working with the adult population.
  • The specific diagnosis of the disability must be clearly stated and explained. The ODS will not accept any diagnosis that is vague, nonspecific, or inconclusive.
  • Current symptoms meeting diagnosis must be addressed.
  • The diagnostic report must specify the degree of current functional loss and/or the functional limitations of the disability.
  • The diagnostic report must include anticipated effects of the functional limitations within the specific academic setting and curriculum.
  • The diagnostic report may include suggested recommendations of accommodations or auxiliary aids for the student, including information about the conditions under which they might be used.
  • If medications are taken, these and their potential side effects should be listed.
  • A doctor’s handwritten letters or prescription pad notes will not accepted.
  • An IEP does not meet Barry University’s Documentation Guidelines.
  • Documentation should be within the last three years.

Hearing Impairments and Deafness

  • Documentation must be in the form of a medical report or physician’s letter. An audiological report must be submitted. Professionals conducting assessments, rendering diagnoses, and making recommendations for appropriate accommodations must be qualified to do so. The name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license or certification, shall be included. All reports shall be on letterhead, typed in English, dated, signed, and otherwise legible.
  • An audiologist or other appropriate medical physician should make the medical diagnosis.

Medical Condition and Physical Impairments

  1. 1. A qualified professional must conduct the evaluation.
  2. 2. Documentation must be current. Because the severity and manifestations of a condition may change over time, documentation must be recent enough to determine the functional impact of the disability on current academic performance
  3. 3. Documentation must be comprehensive. The following information shall be included in the evaluation:
    1. Specific diagnosis, history and onset of symptoms, cause of condition (if known), duration and severity, and prognosis
    2. A description of the current functional limitations in the academic and physical environment
    3. Relevant information regarding medication and any anticipated impact/side-effects from the medication where applicable
    4. Relevant information regarding current treatment, where applicable
    5. A rationale must be established for each requested accommodation
    6. Any further relevant information that may be helpful in assessing appropriate, where applicable.
    7. Accommodations may include evidence that rules out alternative diagnoses or specific testing measures that were not yet addressed.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Students applying for services and academic accommodations on the basis of a head injury/traumatic brain injury should submit documentation completed by practitioners who have been trained in the assessment of head injury or traumatic brain injury. Recommended practitioners include physicians, neurologists, licensed psychologists, neuropsychologists, and psychiatrists.

Documentation should address the following:

  1. Clear statement of diagnosis of the head injury or traumatic brain injury
  2. Date of diagnosis, along with prognosis that specifically states if the condition is expected to improve over time or if it is permanent
  3. Summary of cognitive and achievement measures used and evaluation results including standardized scores or percentiles used to make the diagnosis as well as a summary of present residual symptoms that meet the criteria for the diagnosis
  4. Medical information that includes the impact of any medication and side effects of how the medication will affect the student’s academic performance
  5. Recommendations for reasonable academic accommodation that are supported by the diagnosis and functional impact of the disability

Psychological and Psychiatric Disabilities

  • Documentation must be in the form of a psychological or neuropsychological report.
  • A psychologist, psychiatrist, or licensed mental health practitioner should make the diagnosis.
  • There must be specific diagnostic criteria found in the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5).

Speech Impairments

  • Documentation must be in the form of a report or physician’s letter.
  • A speech pathologist or other appropriate medical physician should make the diagnosis.

Visual Impairments and Blindness

  •  Documentation must be in the form of a report or physician’s letter.
  •  An ophthalmologist or other appropriate medical physician should make the diagnosis.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder/Attention Deficit Disorder

  • Show evidence that anxiety disorders, disorders of depression, mood disorder, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, dissociative disorder, or substance-related disorders are not the primary disability and are not the primary cause of ADHD/ADD
  • Standardized assessment measures should be utilized in the diagnosis of ADHD/ADD, e.g., TOVA, Continuous Performance Test, neuropsychological evaluation.
  • Report should include a history of ADHD/ADD symptoms by the age of 7, corroborated by another independent source.
  • Corroboration of current ADHD/ADD symptoms across multiple settings by one or more adults with knowledge of the client’s functioning should be documented.
  • Documentation on two rating scales of ADHD/ADD behaviors/symptoms that have appropriate age norms, e.g., rating scales for childhood and adult behavior.
  • Show evidence of interference of ADHD/ADD with appropriate academic or social functioning.

Learning Disabilities

Every report submitted to the Office of Disability Services (ODS) for a learning disability must meet the following guidelines:

  1. The report must be recent (within the past three years).
  2. The report must provide adequate information about the student’s current level of functioning. If such information is missing and/or outdated, the student may be asked to provide a more recent or complete assessment.
  3. 3. Documentation must be in the form of a Neuropsychological or Psychoeducational Report and include the following:
    1. Diagnostic interview summary
    2. Required neuropsychological and/or psychoeducational tests
    3. Clinical summary, recommendations, accommodations, and diagnosis

Diagnostic Interview Summary

The interview should focus on the student’s developmental and educational history, including any persistent academic or emotional problems. Comorbid conditions should be discussed and there should be a statement explaining whether the learning disability or the other condition is the primary diagnosis.

Required Neuropsychological and/or Psychoeducational Tests

  • Tests used to document eligibility must be normed, standardized, and otherwise technically sound (e.g., statistically reliable and valid) and should be standardized for use with an adult population.
  • There should be a discussion of all tests that were administered and observations of the student’s behavior during testing. Actual test scores must be provided. Standard scores are required; percentiles and grade and age equivalents are not acceptable unless standard scores are also included. In addition to actual test scores, interpretation of results is required.
  • Test protocol sheets or scores alone are not sufficient; some form of narrative must accompany scores.
  • If time constraints for exams are an issue, tests should be administered both timed and untimed, and scores for both testing conditions should be reported. Non-standardized, non-normed measures (such as informal reading inventories or writing samples) may supplement standardized testing, but are insufficient documentation by themselves.
  • Documentation must state a specific diagnosed learning disability, not a “learning difficulty” or “learning deficit.”

Appropriate tests include:

  1. Aptitude tests (also known as tests of cognitive ability, intelligence testing, IQ testing or a psychological evaluation). Examples include the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales (WAIS) and the Woodcock-Johnson-III - Tests of Cognitive Ability.
  2. Academic achievement tests (sometimes called an educational evaluation or academic testing). Examples include the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test III (WIAT III) and the Woodcock-Johnson-III - Tests of Achievement. Screening assessments or brief batteries do not constitute a complete measure of achievement.
  3. If applicable, additional supplemental tests, such as the Nelson-Denny Reading Test for both normal and extended time conditions, Test of Written Language-3, Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests-Revised.

Clinical Summary, Recommendations, Accommodations, and Diagnosis

  • Clinical summary: The clinical summary should integrate the elements of the battery with background information and observations of the client during the testing situation.
  • Recommendations: The recommendations should explain how the student’s performance demonstrates a need for accommodation(s) at the post-secondary level. This report should present evidence of a substantial limitation to learning and explain how the patterns of strength and weakness are sufficiently significant to substantiate a learning disability diagnosis.
  • Accommodations: The rationale for a recommended accommodation as expressed in the assessment report must be clear and convincing as to the necessity of the accommodations to achieve equal access. Further, reasonable adjustments, support services, and auxiliary aids are those which 1) do not constitute fundamental alteration of the nature of the course or of essential course requirements and 2) are not items or services of a personal nature.
  • Rule out other factors: The report should demonstrate that the evaluator has ruled out alternative explanations for the learning problem. Individual learning styles and learning differences in and of themselves do not constitute a learning disability. If social or emotional factors are believed to contribute to the pattern of observed scores, they should be discussed.
  • Diagnosis: The report must clearly state a diagnosis of a learning disorder. The components of and criteria for a diagnosis of learning disorders are outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition (DSM-V).

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Miami, FL 33161
P: 305.899.3488 or 800.756.6000, ext. 3488
F: 305.899.3056


Barry University does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, familial status, marital status, pregnancy, age, disability status or veteran status. Barry University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Barry University.