Psychological/Psychiatric Disability

Guidelines for Documentation of Psychological/Physical Disability

Students who are seeking support services from Walla Walla University on the basis of a psychological/psychiatric disability are required to submit documentation to verify eligibility. Documentation of a psychological/psychiatric disability consists of a written report, which includes a DSM diagnosis and addresses specific academic needs of the student. The cost and responsibility for providing this professional evaluation shall be borne by the student.

The following guidelines are provided in the interest if assuring that the report is appropriate for documenting eligibility. All requests for accommodations will be considered, but the University will make the final determination on whether the requested accommodations are reasonable under state and federal guidelines for private universities. Documentation presented to Disabilities Support Services will remain in a private confidential file in the DSS Office. The DSS Coordinator is available to consult with diagnosticians regarding these guidelines. The report must:

  1. Be prepared by a professional (e.g. licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric nurse practitioner) qualified to diagnose a psychiatric or psychological disorder.
  2. Be comprehensive. The documentation should include a diagnosis which is consistent with the diagnostic criteria found in the American Psychological Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) and how the disorder impacts the student's functioning and education. Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if co-existing learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated.
  3. The report should be on professional letterhead, signed by the individual making the diagnosis, and include the following information:
    1. How long the diagnostician has treated the student and the date of last contact;
    2. Instruments and/or procedures used to diagnose the condition;
    3. Current symptoms, level of severity, and approximate date of onset;
    4. DSM-V diagnosis;
    5. Treatment(s) being used (e.g. medication, counseling, etc.);
    6. How this disorder functionally limits and/or impacts the student in the post-secondary environment;
    7. The expected duration, stability, or progression of the condition;
    8. Diagnostician's name, title, license number, address and phone number.
  4. Be current. In most cases, this means within the past year. Due to the nature of some psychological and psychiatric disorders and impact of medications, updated reports may be requested. Since assessment constitutes the basis for determining reasonable accommodations, it is in a student's best interest to provide recent and appropriate documentation to serve as the basis for decision-making about a student's need for accommodations in an academically competitive environment.
  5. Present clear and specific evidence, which identifies the individuals present level of functioning and how the student's education may be impacted.
  6. Provide sufficient data to support the particular academic adjustment(s) requested. The documentation should demonstrate the individual has a disability in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Requests which are not supported by documentation may not be approved without additional verification.

Reports should be submitted to: 
Sue Huett, M.Ed.
DSS Coordinator
Walla Walla University
204 S. College Ave.
College Place, WA  99324

Phone:  (509) 527-2366