Psychological/Psychiatric Disability

Guidelines for Documentation of Psychological/Physical Disability

The following guidelines are provided to help assure that the documentation accurately verifies eligibility for individuals with psychological or psychiatric disabilities. Any documentation submitted to Disability Support Services is confidential. The student is responsible for the financial costs and providing this information. The Assistant Director for DSS is available to consult with psychologists or psychiatrists regarding these guidelines. 

The documentation must be prepared by a licensed professional, such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, therapist, etc. Additional information may be required from other healthcare providers such as: neuropsychologists, physicians, and others. 

The documentation should demonstrate that the individual has a disability in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It should also provide sufficient data to support the specific academic adjustments requested. Since the documentation serves as the basis for determining accommodations, it is in the student's best interest to provide recent and appropriate documentation that reflects their needs in an academically competitive environment. 

The following guidelines are provided to ensure that evaluations and reports are appropriate for documenting eligibility and determining reasonable accommodations: 

  • The documentation should include a diagnosis consistent with the diagnostic criteria outlined in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) or subsequent editions. 

  • It should indicate the duration of the student's treatment by the diagnostician and the date of their last contact (updated reports may be requested for certain psychological and psychiatric disorders). 

  • A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis should be provided, including evaluation results and standardized scores if applicable. 

  • The documentation should describe the diagnosis, as well as the type and severity of the current symptoms. 

  • It should summarize how the disability impacts the student's postsecondary educational environment. 

  • Information about current treatments, medications, and assistive devices/services prescribed or in use should be included. 

  • Any existing side effects of medication that may affect the student's ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary educational environment (e.g., physical, perceptual, behavioral, or cognitive) should be noted. 

  • The documentation should describe the expected progression or stability of the disability over time. 

  • Suggestions for academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and services may be provided, but the final decision rests with the Disability Support Services office. 

The documentation should be written on professional letterhead, signed by the licensed professional, and include their title, license number, address, and phone number. 

If there are any questions regarding documentation, please contact the Assistant Director for Disability Support Services at or 509 527-2313.