Documentation Guidelines

Welcome to Student Accessibility Services at UVM!

We encourage students who think they may qualify for disability services to make an appointment to meet with an SAS staff member.  In order to be eligible for academic services through SAS, students should provide documentation about their disability and meet with an SAS staff member to discuss their disability, how it impacts their learning and possible accommodations.  On the basis of documentation and the student meeting, SAS determines whether students have disabilities and which accommodations are reasonable and appropriate.

It is helpful if students send their documentation regarding their disability to the SAS office prior to their appointment so the SAS staff member is prepared for the meeting. If students do not have documentation, but think they may qualify for disability services, they should still make an appointment with SAS. SAS can direct students on a case-by-case basis as to what types of documentation would help to determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations.
To learn more about working with SAS, you are encouraged to contact us for an initial meeting:

  • Call SAS at 802-656-7753
  • Email us at

TRANSFER STUDENTS: We encourage you to request a letter from the Institution you previously attended that includes the services and the accommodations you used.

Dietary-Based Accommodations

Emotional Support Animal

Requesting to Use an Emotional Support Animal on Campus

The information below describes the process for requesting the use of an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) on the University of Vermont campus.  You are not permitted to keep an emotional support animal in a residential building without prior approval as a reasonable accommodation through Student Accessibility Services (SAS).

Definition of Emotional Support Animal

An ESA is an animal that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. ESAs are distinct from service animals.  The University of Vermont has a University Operating Procedure regarding the presence of Service and Emotional Support Animals.

For more information about domestic animals on campus, please see UVM’s Domestic Animals Policy.

Request Process and Required Documentation

Please note that requests for ESAs in campus residential housing made within three (3) weeks of the start of the semester may not be reviewed for up to five (5)  weeks.
To request an ESA, you must complete the following steps:


  1. Complete the online Getting Started  form in the myACCESS student portal.
  2. Meet with an SAS disability specialist. (If you are not yet living on campus, you can schedule a phone appointment.) The specialist will provide guidance about this accommodation request and necessary forms to complete.
  3. Provide the necessary supporting documentation from a qualified medical or mental health provider. The SAS specialist will discuss what documentation is required when you meet with them.  The supporting documentation includes:  Request for Emotional Support Animal (ESA) in Campus Housing and Documentation Guidelines for Students with a Psychiatric/Psychological Disability.

The SAS specialist, in consultation with the SAS Housing Committee  will make a decision about the eligibility for the accommodation of having an ESA.   Requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.   Prior approval of an animal at a previous institution or residential setting does not guarantee you or your chosen ESA will be approved at the University of Vermont.  An ESA request will be approved with clear evidence that the ESA will ameliorate the symptoms of a disability.  While a student may receive generalized approval for an ESA, the actual animal that will serve in this capacity must also be approved as part of the interactive process.  Students should be aware that animals who, by their nature, are likely to cause a threat to health or safety, or a significant disruption within the residence hall may be denied where appropriate controls will not sufficiently mitigate these possibilities.  Examples include ferrets due to a strong natural odor, poisonous or constrictor snakes, and some small rodents and reptiles due to their ability to fit through small spaces and escape.

Process When The University of Vermont Has Approved the Use of an ESA

The SAS Program Manager will communicate with you regarding the decision of your request.   Additional time may be needed to inform roommate(s), floormates, or suitemates of the presence of an ESA and to make necessary housing changes that may be required based on the presence of the ESA.
Animals are approved on a yearly basis; you may be asked to submit updated documentation.
If you wish to change to a different ESA than the one approved, you must submit a new request for review with additional information from your care provider that verifies the disability-related need for a different animal.

Concerns and Questions

Students who have questions or concerns about any matter or policy affecting their use of an emotional support animal should contact SAS at 802-656-7753 or

Parking Accommodations

SAS does not process requests for parking passes.  Student seeking parking accommodations on a temporary basis should submit their requests to the Center for Health and Wellbeing using the form listed below:

Additionally, Transportation and Parking Services always honors state-issued accessible parking placards on the UVM campus

Temporary Accommodations

Transitory Impairments

Students with Transitory Impairments and Section 504

Section 504 , part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, is a Federal law designed to protect the rights of students with disabilities who attend schools receiving Federal financial assistance. To be protected under Section 504, a student must be determined to (1) have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, or (2) have a record of such an impairment, or (3) be regarded as having such an impairment (ADA Amendments Act of 2008, Section 3 (1)(A–C)).

A student is not regarded as an individual with disabilities if the impairment is transitory and minor (ADA Amendments Act of 2008, Section 3 (3)(B)).  A transitory impairment is an impairment with an actual or expected duration of six months or less.  A transitory impairment does not constitute a disability for purposes of Section 504 unless its severity is such that is results in a substantial limitation of one or more major life activities for an extended period of time.
The issue of whether a transitory impairment is substantial enough to be a disability must be resolved on a case-by-case basis with respect to each individual student, taking into consideration both the duration (and expected duration) of the impairment and the extent to which the impairment limits one or more major life activities of the affected student.
Student Accessibility Services recognizes students with transitory impairments, that are a result of injuries, surgery or short-term medical conditions, may need access to services and resources similar to individuals with permanent disabilities.   Examples of transitory impairments may include, but are not limited to: broken limbs, hand injuries, or short term impairments following an accident, surgery or medical treatment.

Documentation Guidelines

To receive services and resources for a transitory impairment, the student will fill out the Student Transitory Impairment Disclosure Form and include medical documentation that addresses the following criteria:

• Type of disabling condition
• Severity
• Functional limitations affecting academics
• Prognosis
• Estimated duration of the disabling condition

It is also helpful to know any adverse side effects caused by medication and recommendations for services. The documentation should be recent enough to identify current limitations.  Additional documentation may be requested to verify the need for continued services after the estimated duration of the condition has expired.

Potential Services and Resources for Transitory Impairments

Temporary services are approved on a case by case basis.

Students with a transitory impairment may want to meet with an Accessibility Specialist to discuss:

• Potential academic assistance (i.e. classroom and testing relief)
• Potential housing options
• Information on accessible routes and elevator access on campus

Student Accessibility Services does not provide personal assistance to students transitory impairments such as personal care attendants or the transport of books or other personal items. Wheelchairs, scooters and other mobility devices are considered personal devices and are not provided for loan by Student Accessibility Services.