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Guidelines for Students with Hearing Impairments


Penn State's Documentation Guidelines for Hearing Impairments

Students seeking academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services from Penn State are required to provide diagnostic documentation from a licensed clinical professional familiar with the history and functional limitations of the student's impairments. All documentation must adequately verify the nature and extent of the disorder in accordance with current professional standards, techniques and practices. Also, the documentation must clearly substantiate the need for the student's specific academic adjustment, auxiliary aid, and/or service request. All documentation must be submitted on the official letterhead of the professional. The report should be typed, dated, signed, and include the professional credentials of the evaluator including information regarding licensure or certification. The cost of obtaining documentation is borne by the student. If the initial documentation is incomplete or inadequate to determine the extent of the disability and reasonable academic adjustment, auxiliary aid, and/or service, Penn State university has the discretion to require additional documentation. Any cost of obtaining additional documentation is also borne by the student.

Documentation of hearing impairments must include a report from an audiologist. The report should include results of an audiogram, which shows the type of hearing loss (i.e., conductive, otosclerosis, congenital, sensory- neural), and the degree of hearing loss. The report must reflect the current functional limitations of the impairment (documentation for hearing impairments may require periodic updates, especially if changes occur in the student's functioning). In addition, documentation of hearing impairments must fully explain the following criteria of the student's impairment (if applicable)

  • Medical diagnosis
  • Duration (chronic, episodic, or short term) of the impairment
  • History of the impairment and the symptoms related to the impairment
  • Severity (mild, moderate, or severe) and an explanation of the severity
  • Dates and frequency of contacts with the student
  • Differential diagnoses and reasons for ruling out these diagnoses
  • Explanation of how the symptoms related to the student's condition cause significant impairment in a major life activity
  • Detailed explanation of how the impairment limits the student's functioning for the learning or testing environment
  • List of the student's current medication (dosage, frequency, and adverse side effects) and an explanation of the extent medication mitigates the symptoms of the disorder
  • Explanation of any significant limitations in functioning directly related to the prescribed medication
  • Specific recommendations regarding academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services related to the student's condition and a rationale as to the reason these academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services are warranted based upon the student's functional limitations
  • Indication as to the reason the stated academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services are necessary if the current treatments are successful
  • Information regarding situations that may exacerbate the student's impairment


In addition to the above documentation guidelines for hearing impairments, the student must have their provider fill out the Verification Form for Hearing Impairments. The Verification Form for Hearing Impairments is not to be utilized in place of the documentation requirements above; rather, it is supplemental to a full audiological evaluation and report from the evaluator.

This form can be printed from the following page on this web site: (Link to the Verification Form for Hearing Impairments). information above can also be provided to ODS by having the physician fill out the Verification of Physical/Health Related Disabilities Form. The Verification of Physical/Health Related Disabilities Form can be obtained from ODS located in Room 116 Boucke Building, University Park, PA or call 814- 863-1807 (V/TTY) to have a copy sent to you.

The Verification Form for Hearing Impairments can also be obtained from the Office for Disability Services (ODS) located in Room 116 Boucke Building, University Park, PA or call 814- 863-1807 (V/TTY) to have a copy sent to you.

All documentation submitted should be sent with the student's identifying information (name, social security number, address and phone number). If the student is attending the University Park location, the documentation should be returned to the ODS. If the student is attending another Penn State location, the documentation should be returned to the Disability Contact Liaison (DCL) at the location.

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