Documentation Guidelines


Documentation can be uploaded to the STUDENT PORTAL during or after application submission, or submitted via email to [email protected].

UCSF Student Disability Services generally requires students to provide the following documentation that describes the relationship between the individual's disability or condition, and how the requested accommodation is necessary to afford the individual equitable access to all areas of the university experience. Documentation typically includes:

  • Diagnosis of condition (for academic or clinical accommodations)
  • Description of the functional limitations the student will likely experience in the specific area of the university experience
  • Documentation may include recommendations from providers for reasonable accommodations, but are not required. If recommendations are made, they must establish the nexus between the disability and how the accommodation would allow the student access.

The documentation provided by the student is considered private in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Please read the FERPA language carefully, as there are instances when student documentation must be released without consent.

Documentation Guidelines by Condition Type

Healthcare providers are encouraged to use our forms. If they are unable to complete a form, they are also welcome to provide a letter using the forms below as a template for required information.

These forms are fillable PDFs that can be completed in Adobe or Preview — not typically fillable in a browser

Learning Disabilities
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Psychological Conditions
Medical or Physical
Sensory Impairments
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Emotional Support Animal Form (please see ESA guidance below)
Housing (other than ESA)

Note: board and licensing agencies frequently require more extensive documentation than the level required by SDS for accommodations. It is important to check with each testing agency for specific documentation requirements so that there will be time to obtain additional testing if needed.

Emotional support animals (ESAs) FOR UCSF HOUSING ONLY:

It is strongly recommend to use the ESA form: Emotional Support Animal Form. Please note that the SDS does not accept letters from the numerous (often online) companies or individuals who purport to offer verification or certification of an emotional support animal in exchange for a fee. There are no Federal or State recognized "certifications" or certificates of emotional support animals; these are all unofficial and have no standing in regards to the legitimacy of an ESA.

To warrant approval of a request for an emotional support animal, a requestor should be prepared to submit documentation that describes the needed accommodation or modification, and shows the relationship between the individual's disability and how the requested accommodation or modification is necessary to afford the individual with a disability equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling or housing opportunity. Verification and recommendation of an ESA must come from a licensed provider, qualified to both diagnose and treat the condition in question, and with which the requestor has, or has recently had, an ongoing therapeutic relationship (as per CA state law, this is a minimum of 30 days).

Please reach out to SDS before paying any fees related to the provision of ESA verification paperwork, as legitimate providers should not be asking for a separate fee for this service. If you have had to change providers upon moving the Bay Area, a recent, former therapist that meets the aforementioned criteria is fine as well. If there are any questions please contact SDS directly.