Blind and Low Vision
In order to fully evaluate requests for accommodations or auxiliary aids and to determine eligibility for services, Student Disability Services (SDS) needs documentation of your disability. The documentation you provide should include an evaluation by an appropriately licensed professional who has direct experience in working with an adult population. The documentation must make evident the current impact of the disability as it relates to the accommodation(s) requested and include a description of any and all functional limitations. Those accommodations prescribed by SDS are provided so that students have equal access to activities and programs at UTSA. Professionals conducting assessments and rendering diagnoses must be qualified to do so. Such documentation should be on letterhead and contain the professional's signature and license number. The evaluator must be impartial and not related to the person being evaluated.
The general guidelines listed below are developed to assist you in working with your treating/diagnosing professional(s) to prepare the information needed to evaluate your request(s). If, after reading these guidelines and reviewing disability specific information provided below, you have any questions, feel free to call Student Disability Services at 210-458-4157 (Main) or 210-458-2945 (Downtown).
In order to receive services from SDS, documentation must be submitted in advance. Documentation validates the functional limitations, which allows consideration for accommodation requests. The currency of documentation is dependent upon the nature of the loss of vision. Thus, if the condition that leads to the loss of vision is progressive, SDS will request documentation that is within the last two years. Documentation for non-progressive visual impairments should be five years or less. However, each request will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Documentation should include but is not limited to:
A clear statement of a visual disability with supporting data.
A summary of present symptoms which meet the criteria for diagnosis of a visual disability.
Medical information relating to the student's needs and the status of the student's vision (static or changing) and its impact on the demands of the academic program and the functional limitations of the visual impairment.
Functional limitations should be determined WITHOUT consideration of mitigating measures (i.e. corrective lenses, etc.).
Narrative or descriptive text providing both quantitative and qualitative (i.e. visual acuity exam) information about the student's abilities which might be helpful in understanding the student's profile, including the use of corrective lenses and ongoing visual therapy (if appropriate).
Suggestions of reasonable accommodation(s) which might be appropriate at the post secondary level are encouraged. These recommendations should be supported by the diagnosis.
Listed below are recommended forms of documentation and appropriate professionals to complete the documentation.
Types of Documentation
Certificate of Blindness (if applicable) – Additional documentation may be necessary
General Guidelines for all Disabilities
It is important to recognize that accommodation needs can change over time and are not always identified during the initial diagnostic process. A prior history of accommodation, without demonstration of current need, does not in and of itself warrant the provision of a like accommodation. Student Disability Services will make the final determination as to whether appropriate and reasonable accommodations are warranted and can be provided to the individual.
All documentation submitted to Student Disability Services is considered to be confidential under FERPA guidelines. Documentation should be sent to the following address:
University of Texas at San Antonio
Student Disability Services
One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, Texas 78249-0690