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Documentation Requirements

SVSU offers auxiliary aids and services to students with documented disabilities.  All support services are individualized to meet the needs of students, and are based on an intake interview and proper documentation.  There is no "program" that requires special admission and there are no fees for services.  Students are encouraged to self-identify as soon as they have been accepted for admission to SVSU so that documentation can be collected in a timely manner.  SVSU does not discriminate against students with disabilities.  Contact information and the web page address are found at the bottom of this page. 

DOWNLOAD and Deliver to your diagnostician or treating professional, physician, or psychiatrist, for completion.

See below for Documentation Needed for Learning Disabilities.

Physical Dr Form (271kB)
Psychological Drs Documentation Form (192kB)
Comfort Animal Policy and Form (139kB)(Please read section on Comfort Animals Below)

 

Remember form must be completed by Dr/clinician making diagnosis.  See below for documentation not accepted.
Saginaw Valley State University follows the suggested guidelines for Information/Documentation established by the Association of Higher Education and the Disabled (AHEAD)

You must use SVSU Form as Documentation

Information must state the following:

  • Your diagnosis and course of treatment
  • The nature and severity of your functional limitations
  • The duration for which they are expected to continue
  • Contain scores and identify tests administered as appropriate
  • Must substantiate the need for specific accommodations requested
  • Documentation provided must be from diagnostician or treating professional.

Students with Learning Disabilities

Individuals with learning disabilities must provide a copy of the psycho-educational testing report no older thank three years old, supporting the diagnosis.  The report should include the results of the diagnostic tests, the tools used to make the determination, and the recommended accommodations. If you are requesting accommodations for only a learning disability diagnosis and no other disability, you will not need to complete the Disability Documentation Form with your treating health care provider.


Can I Use My High School IEP or 504 Plan to Verify My Disability?

Disability Services generally MAY accept IEPs or 504 Plans as verification for a disability, and will review the IEP or 504 that includes all testing and scores, and if the report is less than (3) three years old.  These educational plans may be helpful to you when discussing your accommodations, and you are welcomed to bring them as supplemental information for your initial registration appointment, but we reserve the right to ask for additional information.

If your clinician feels that your condition or learning difficulties are significant enough to constitute a disability, this should be explicitly stated on the form.


 Information/Documentation Not Accepted

  • Examples of unacceptable documentation include a brief note from a doctor that simply requests an accommodation, information or notes written on prescription pad, or a copy of aftercare instruction given to patients.

  • Documentation of a learning disability which is not comprehensive or which identifies learning "problems or challenges," but does not specifically diagnose a learning disability, will need to be supplemented in most circumstances.

  • Medical documentation or testing for learning disabilities in grades K-12 under special education programs which meet individual state requirements may or may not be acceptable at the college level.

Disability information is not reviewed to assess the need for medical or clinical intervention or remedial educational services. Clinical consultation to correct or rededicate specific learning or medical problems is not provided or paid for by the college.


SPECIAL NOTES FOR COMFORT ANIMALS
THERAPY/EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL POLICY

Comfort Animal Policy and Form (139kB)

BACKGROUND:

Saginaw Valley State University is committed to fulfilling its obligations under state and federal laws, including providing reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities.  This Policy governs the use of therapy/emotional support animals as accommodations in University housing by persons with disabilities.

Requests for accommodation regarding a therapy/emotional support animal shall be considered on a case-by-case basis and must be supported by sufficient documentation, as more fully described below.

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this policy is to outline under what conditions, where, and when a therapy/emotional support animal is permitted in University housing.

DEFINITIONS:

A therapy/emotional support animal is an animal that is necessary to afford a person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling when there is a disability-related need for the assistance provided by the animal and assistance from an animal is an integral part of a person’s treatment process.

POLICY:

Therapy/emotional support animals are only allowed in the person’s University housing residence, except to the extent that a service animal also qualifies as a therapy/emotional support animal, in which case the Service Animal Policy applies. 

The use of a therapy or emotional support animal as an accommodation is determined by the Director of Disability Services (DS) based on documentation completed by a licensed psychiatrist.  A resident desiring to use a therapy/emotional support animal in University housing must be registered with DS in advance; the animal should not be brought into University housing until a meeting with DS has occurred and written approval for the animal granted.  This policy applies to all forms of University housing.  Therapy/emotional support animals are not pets and the University continues to enforce a no-pet’s policy in University housing.

 

PROCEDURE:

  1. A resident wishing to use a therapy animal in University housing must identify and register with Disability Services (DS) before housing for the animal is needed.  Documentation of disability must be provided on SVSU Comfort Animal Request Form.  In addition to the form, the psychiatrist must attach a letter (on letter head) that state the need for the animal.  The diagnosis and disability and detailed information about the relationship between the student’s disability and the assistance the animal will provide.   You must also state that you see the student on a regular basis, how often you see the student and that the comfort animal is part of ongoing treatment.  The letter must be signed with your credentials and on letterhead.  Your form must be signed by a licensed psychiatrist.  DS reserves the right to request additional documentation or clarification.
  2. Each request will be reviewed individually.  The resident will be notified in writing of the decision by the Director of DS and, if the accommodation is approved, DS will work with Housing and Student Life to process the move in.
  3. Documented effectiveness of animal therapy for a minimum of 6 months is necessary as prescribed by your mental health professional.  In addition, the student should be in ongoing or continuing treatment in addition to using the therapy animal.  Notes from your general MD, are not accepted.
  4. The University reserves the right to request documentation that the therapy/emotional support animal is licensed and vaccinated and to have the animal examined by a licensed Michigan veterinarian of its choosing.
  5. The University will prohibit a specific animal that poses a threat to the health or safety of others if that threat cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation; a resident requesting a therapy/emotional support animal shall provide background to DS regarding any history the animal has of biting or injuring others.  The University will prohibit a specific animal that would cause substantial physical damage to the property of others or the University if said damage cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation.  Also, if approval of a therapy/emotional support animal poses an undue financial or administrative burden on the University, or would fundamentally alter the nature of University housing operations, approval shall not be granted.
  6. The resident is responsible for the animal’s behavior and care, maintaining control of the animal at all times and sanitary disposal of animal waste.  The animal is to be crated when the resident is not present.
  7. Therapy/emotional support animals are limited to University housing.  Therapy/emotional support animals are not allowed in food service or food preparation areas on campus, nor are they permitted in classrooms.
  8. The resident receiving approval for a therapy/emotional support animal will be expected to adhere to the same housing and student code policies as all other students.
  9. SVSU may place other reasonable conditions or restrictions on the animals depending on the characteristics and nature of the animal.
  10. A resident wanting to dispute a decision of DS regarding the use of a therapy/support animal, including denial of such use, or other terms of this policy should contact DS at (989) 964-7000.

Saginaw Valley State University reserves the right to make exceptions to, modify or eliminate this policy or its content.  This document supersedes all previous policies, procedures or guidelines relative to this subject.  9/2016

Service animals as defined by the ADA are allowed in University housing as a reasonable accommodation. Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Fair Housing Amendments, an individual with a disability may also request to keep a support animal, sometimes called assistance animals, as a reasonable accommodation in housing facilities as a modification to pet policies or other imposed restrictions or prohibitions on animals. In order to qualify for such an accommodation, the support animal must be necessary to afford the individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling or to participate in the residential life program. Further, there must be a relationship, or nexus, between the individual’s disability and the assistance the animal provides.

Support Information/Documentation provided must state:

 Comfort Animal Psychiatric Form -

  • Your diagnosis and "course of ongoing treatment" that includes the use of a comfort animal
  • The nature and severity of your functional limitations
  • The duration for which they are expected to continue
  • Contain scores and identify tests administered as appropriate
  • Must substantiate the need for specific accommodations requested to include the need for the comfort animal.  The comfort animal must be a demonstrated part of an ongoing treatment plan as prescribed by your psychiatrist.   In addition, you must provide documented therapy for at least 6 months.

Note: The psychiatrist that provides this documentation, must be the mental health professional, who prescribes the "emotional support animal",

Again, please note the documentation listed above that is not accepted.

Please download this form and have your psychiatrist complete.  NOTE:  Form must be legible or it will be returned and may delay process.  

Comfort Animal Policy and Form (139kB)