Required Documentation of Psychiatric Disorders (other than AD/HD)
Students requesting accommodations or other support services from the Office of Disability Services are required to submit documentation to verify eligibility for protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The provision of reasonable accommodations and services is based upon an assessment of the current impact of the student's disorder on a major life activity, such as learning. Because the nature of many psychiatric disorders is such that remission can occur, the documentation must consist of a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation conducted within the past year by a licensed mental health professional. A specific DSM-IV diagnosis must be presented in the report. Note that, because of their transient nature, adjustment or stress disorders are usually not considered to fall under the protection of the ADA or Section 504. Further, note that test anxiety is not, in and of itself, considered to be a psychiatric disability covered by either piece of legislation.
The diagnostic report should be generated from a structured or semi-structured psychiatric interview, and must address the following areas:
Current Clinical Symptoms
Documentation of psychiatric disorders must report the extent to which the student currently meets the DSM-IV criteria for the disorder(s).
Support from Diagnosis-Specific Psychological Rating Scales
When available for use. These may include norms-referenced assessment scales such as the Beck Depression Inventory, the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale, or others. The inclusion of such scales as part of a psychiatric or psychological assessment is recommended whenever possible, especially in the absence of the use of a structured interview such as the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV.
Discussion of Severity of Functional Impairment
The report must demonstrate, via scaled scores and/or clinical detail, that the disorder currently causes substantial impairment in an area of functioning relevant to the learning and/or social environment of college.
Student's Response to Treatment for the Disorder
Documentation should include a discussion of treatment history, current approach to treatment, and the student's response to treatment. If medications are currently being used to control the disorder, please include a discussion of any side effects that negatively impact the student's functioning.
If recommendations for particular accommodations are contained in the report, justification for their provision should be given. Any proposed accommodation should be specifically targeted to functional impairment caused by the disability, and should describe how the accommodation would alleviate the impact of that impairment.
Professional Credentials of the Clinician
Professionals conducting assessments and rendering diagnoses of psychiatric disorders would generally include licensed clinical psychologists, neuropsychologists, and psychiatrists. The report must be typed on official letterhead, and must include the name, title, professional credentials, address, phone and fax numbers of the clinician.
Important Related Information
Prior history of any particular accommodation does not, in and of itself, warrant its continued provision. An Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 Plan is not sufficient documentation of a disability. Submission of documentation does not constitute a request for services or accommodations. Such requests must be initiated by the student by contacting the Office of Disability Services (ODS). The ODS is ultimately responsible for determining appropriate accommodations. All documentation is confidential and will be assessed according to these requirements.
Submit all documentation to:
Dr. Yvonne Foster
Director of Disability Services
Lebanon Valley College