Getting Started

Documentation Guidelines

Students who wish to make a first-time request for disability services at the University of Pennsylvania must complete the following steps:

  1. Complete a Self-Identification Form through the MyWeingartenCenter Student Portal

  2. Submit documentation of disability

  3. Schedule an initial appointment with a Disability Services staff member

Students are strongly advised to register with Disability Services upon matriculation into the University; it can take up to 4 weeks to review documentation and approve accommodations.

All disability documentation is reviewed by the Disability Services Documentation Review Committee to determine if the documentation meets both the Disability Services published disability documentation guidelines and the statutory requirements under Section 504 and the ADA. Accompanying documentation (e.g., accommodation memos from SAT, ACT, GRE, etc., IEPs/504 plans, letter from previous educational institution’s disability office) are welcomed to complement the medical documentation; however, the supporting materials alone do not substantiate the need for an accommodation.

Access the Weingarten Center Portal

Please select the documentation guidelines that pertain to your medical condition:

Referrals for Educational Evaluations

Disability Services maintains an updated list of local providers who can conduct educational evaluations as a reference for students. This list is not exhaustive, and Disability Services does not endorse the providers listed here. Please contact the providers directly for more information regarding anticipated charges.

Referral List for Neuropsychological and Psychoeducational Testing [PDF]

Guide to Completing the Registration Process

How to Complete a Self-Identify Form to Register with Disability Services

How to Schedule an Initial Appointment with Disability Services

  • For Type select Student Disability Services, then SDS Initial Appointment.
  • Note: You will not be able to schedule an appointment until you have been assigned to a Disability Services Specialist.
A person wearing a cast on their hand

Temporary Injuries

The University of Pennsylvania is committed to supporting the academic success of all students, but recognizes that certain life events may inhibit this progress. Students who suffer a temporary injury (e.g., a broken arm or leg) and require assistance are encouraged to immediately contact the advising office of their respective school. In the event the injury occurred while the student was participating in an intercollegiate athletic event, the student should also notify the Department of Athletics.

While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not recognize temporary injuries as a disability for which accommodation is legally mandated, the advising offices, and when appropriate, the Department of Athletics, make concerted efforts to provide support. Students wishing to seek such support should inform these offices about injuries promptly so that parties can effectively collaborate and coordinate reasonable support efforts. In particular, contact should be made with the advising office about any injury that will impact a student’s academic responsibilities, so that they may collaborate with the student to develop a management plan for the convalescent period.

The Office for Students with Disabilities may be available to assist students who have a temporary injury or condition which results in a functional impairment. These may include broken bones, injuries requiring surgery and other acute illnesses. Appropriate temporary accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis and may include: assistance with obtaining class notes, assistance with taking exams and/or quizzes if the student is unable to write as well as referral to use the Penn Access Transportation (PAT)  to assist with on-campus transportation.

It is required that a diagnosis be made by a licensed physician with credentials in the area of the injury in question. The following guidelines are provided to assist Disability Services in collaborating with each student to determine appropriate accommodations:

  • All documentation reports must be typewritten and signed on professional letterhead bearing the physician’s address, phone, and clinical affiliation. The physician’s license number certifying his or her status as a practicing medical doctor and any additional information about specialty credentials should be listed.

  • The report should describe the type and severity of the individual’s symptoms at the time of first diagnosis, and give the approximate date of their onset and expected recovery time. Subsequent progress and treatment of the condition should also be given.

  • A description of the individual’s current symptoms should be reported.

  • The report should detail any currently prescribed or recommended treatment, such as medical treatment, physical therapy, dietary requirements, assistive devices, etc.

  • Specific substantial limitations related to the injury should be listed, especially those that impact academic access , such as taking notes, copying material from a blackboard, reading standardized print, etc.

  • Additional documentation will be required if symptoms or residual side effects of the injury continue past the initial reported recovery time.