Psychiatric Disability

1.   A Qualified Professional Must Conduct the Evaluation

Qualified evaluators may include psychologists, neuropsychologists, psychiatrists, neuropsychiatrists, other relevantly trained medical doctors, clinical social workers, licensed counselors, and psychiatric nurse practitioners.

The name, title, and credentials of the qualified professional writing the report should be included. Information about license or certification should also be clearly stated in the documentation. All reports should be in English, typed or printed.

2.  Documentation Must Be Current and Address the Individual's Current Level of Functioning.

3.  Documentation Necessary to Support the Diagnosis Must Be Comprehensive

  • a specific diagnosis
  • a description of current functional limitations in the academic environment as well as across other settings
  • relevant information regarding medications expected to be in use
  • relevant information regarding current treatment 

4.  Historical Information, Diagnostic Interview, and/or Psychological Assessment

  • duration and severity of the disorder
  • relevant, developmental, historical, and familial data, relevant medical history, including the individual's current medication regimen compliance, side effects (if relevant), and response to medication
  • a description of current functional limitations
  • if relevant, a description of the expected progression or stability of the impact of the condition over time
  • if relevant, information regarding kind of treatment and duration

Documentation Must Include a Specific Diagnosis based on the DSM-IV-TR or ICD-10 diagnostic criteria.

Alternative Diagnoses or Explanations Should Be Ruled Out and Rationale for Requested Accommodations Must Be Provided

The evaluator must describe the degree of impact of the diagnosed psychiatric disorder on a specific major life activity, as well as the degree of impact on the individual.

The ETS guidelines for documentation of psychiatric disabilities as well as policy statements pertaining to LD and ADHD can be found at http://www.ets.org/disabilities/documentation/documenting_psychiatric_disabilities/

Villanova University Learning Support Services  7/10