Documentation of Psychological Disabilities

The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that documentation is appropriate to verify eligibility and to support requests for reasonable accommodations, adjustments and/or aids and services on the basis of psychological or psychiatric disability which currently substantially limits one or more major life activities. Students are responsible for the costs associated with obtaining documentation.

1. A clear statement of medical/psychological diagnosis according to the Diagnostic and Disability Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV-TR) and a description of support present symptoms, and if pertinent, past symptoms.

2. A narrative summary which includes:

a. The diagnostic studies and test used to make the diagnosis;

b. The functional limitations and impairments related to the diagnosis and medical treatment of the condition including medication (dosages and schedules should be included), which affect the student's current level of functioning in the postsecondary educational and living environment;

c. And may include a description/suggestions of reasonable accommodations that have been or might be appropriate in the postsecondary educational and living environment. The recommendations should be supported by the functional limitations evident.

3. Documentation of disability should be current, preferably in the last six to twelve months, and should include the relative stability of the present condition. If presently in treatment, documentation should include an update on the status of the disability and the impact of the student's functioning in the academic environment.

Professionals conducting diagnostic studies and rendering diagnosis should be qualified to do so. Generally, professionals recognized as qualified to make the diagnosis are psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, psychologists, physicians, and clinical social workers/mental health counselors in conjunction with specialists experienced in working with the particular condition. The diagnostician should be impartial and not a family member.


Page modified 1/13/10