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Documentation Required to Verify a Psychological/ Psychiatric Disability

All DeSales University students must provide appropriate documentation for the diagnosis of psychological/ psychiatric disabilities prior to receiving accommodations based on that disability. Accommodations will be determined on an individual basis.

It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with the Academic Resource Center and to provide appropriate documentation of the disability and related functional limitations for which they are requesting accommodations. This process follows the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973*, and current case law and is designed to ensure that reasonable, appropriate accommodations are provided to all qualified students in a timely manner. A diagnosis of a disorder/condition/ syndrome in and of itself does not automatically qualify an individual for accommodations.

All diagnostic evaluation reports submitted as documentation of psychological / psychiatric disorders must meet the following requirements:

1. Be in the form of a signed and dated report on official letterhead, prepared by a qualified professional such as a psychiatrist or licensed psychologist trained in the differential diagnosis of psychological/psychiatric disorders.

2. Include test scores that substantiate a significant impairment** in cognitive functioning as it relates to the diagnosed condition. If the disorder interferes with cognitive performance, specific diagnostic test data must be provided as evidence of this interference. Poor grades are not sufficient evidence of a condition's impact on academic functioning.

3. Address both the current level of functioning and present need for accommodations. If documentation is more than six (6) months old, the treating professional must provide a letter updating all pertinent information.

4. Include a clear statement of the DSM-IV-TR or ICD-10 diagnosis. Not all conditions listed in the DSM-IV-TR or ICD-10 are disabilities or impairments for the purposes of ADA.

5. Include a summary of assessment procedures used to make the diagnosis.

6. Describe present symptoms and fluctuation conditions/symptoms in relation to the diagnosis.

7. Describe current medications, including side effects.

8. Describe functional limitations supported by the diagnosis and substantiated by test scores.

9. When accommodations are requested based upon multiple diagnoses, documentation for each disability must meet documentation criteria for each disorder.

*In order to meet the adult criteria of "disability" under these federal laws a person must provide documentation of how their significant impairment "substantially limits" their cognitive/academic functioning.

**A significant impairment means below-average functioning as measured by an objective psycho-educational/neuro-psychological /psychological evaluation. An IEP or 504 Plan from the public school system is not sufficient documentation of a disability for accommodations at the college level.

Contact the Coordinator of Learning and Disability Services for a more detailed explanation of these criteria.
Telephone: (610) 282-1100, x. 1453; Fax: (610) 282-3241

Documentation should be sent to:
Coordinator of Learning and Disability Services
DeSales University
2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034

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