Guidelines for Visual Impairments

If you are blind or have a visual impairment

Students who are requesting support services from the Office of Accessible Educational Services (AES) at Indiana University Southeast are required to submit documentation indicating that a disability substantially limits some major life activity, such as learning, to verify eligibility under the ADA of 1990.

Documentation guidelines

The following guidelines are provided in the interest of ensuring that the documentation is complete and appropriate.

Things to include as documentation of a visual impairment:

  1. Cause of visual impairment (prenatal influence or congenital, infectious disease, injury, general disease, undetermined), and if it is non-progressive, progressive, or the result of secondary complications.
  2. On-set of visual impairment.
  3. Clinical diagnosis (blind, partial vision, low vision) and/or Level of visual disability (moderate, severe, profound).
  4. Snellen Chart measurement of acuity.
  5. Visual field (central loss, peripheral loss).
  6. Color measurement (ability to discriminate colors, light and dark).
  7. Assessment of visual efficiency.

Documentation should include a Functional Visual Characteristics and a physical needs assessment. It should express clinical terms as more concrete information for the setting of higher education.

A summary of the condition and evidence of a substantial limitation to learning or other major life activity must be provided.

Specific cognitive processing strengths, weaknesses, and deficits should be discussed. Clear documentation of deficit areas is necessary in order for Indiana University Southeast to provide appropriate, reasonable accommodations.

A statement of functional impact or limitations of the disability on learning or other major life activity.

  1. Names of the assessment instruments used.
  2. Quantitative and qualitative information which supports the diagnosis.
  3. The areas of educational impact and the severity of the condition.
  4. Recommendations for prescriptive treatments.
  5. Notation of medications prescribed, if any, and potential impact on learning.
  6. Additional observations or recommendations which could assist us in adequately serving the student.
  7. The names, titles, addresses, and phone numbers of the evaluator(s), as well as date(s) of testing.

How to submit documentation

Documentation may be submitted by email to, dropped off at the Office of Accessible Educational Services between Monday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or via snail mail. Our office is located in the Academic Success Center in University Center South, Room 207.

Note: To keep your medical information private, please do not slide documentation under the door when the office is closed. 

Reviewing your request

The aforementioned guidelines are provided so that AES can respond appropriately to the individual needs of the student. AES reserves the right to determine eligibility for services based on the quality of the submitted documentation.

Please note that in reviewing the specific accommodation requested by the student or recommended by the physician/evaluator, AES may find that while a recommendation is clinically supported, it is not the most appropriate accommodation given the requirements of a particular student’s academic program. In addition, AES may also propose clinically supported accommodations that would be appropriate and useful for the student, but which neither the student nor the evaluator have requested.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email the Coordinator of the Office of Accessible Educational Services at, or call (812) 941-2243.