The AHEAD Documentation Guidance at 10 Years: Continuing Concerns


  • Benjamin J. Lovett Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Will Lindstrom University of Georgia



college students, accommodations, disability documentation


In 2012, the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) released guidance for disability documentation meant to help support students’ requests for accommodations. Even at that time, the guidance went against AHEAD’s own prior statements, and was contradicted by a developing body of empirical research. Since the release of the guidance, that body of research has grown substantially, continuing to question the accuracy of students’ self-reports and the value of casual conversations and observations made by disability services professionals. In addition, recent research has suggested that even external documentation from disability evaluators (such as psychologists) must be very carefully reviewed to ensure that there is sufficient evidence to support disability accommodations. We discuss selected findings from the empirical literature and propose improvements to documentation review processes. Subscribe to LDMJ

Author Biographies

Benjamin J. Lovett, Teachers College, Columbia University

Associate Professor of Psychology and Education, School Psychology Program

Will Lindstrom, University of Georgia

Regent's Center for Learning Disorders, Department of Psychology