The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), revised in 2008, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, offer protections for students with diagnosed disabilities. The ADAAA defines “disability” as (a) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual; (b) a record of such impairment, or (c) being regarded as having such impairment. Under this legislation, students requesting University services for individuals with disabilities are required to submit current and comprehensive documentation of their disabling condition.
Documentation of a psychological or psychiatric disability should meet the following requirements:
- It should be written by professionals who are qualified to make psychological or psychiatric diagnoses, referring to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – 5 of the APA . Generally, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists or clinical social workers are considered qualified to render a differential diagnosis
- Documentation should be in the form of a practitioner’s letter (written on professional letterhead ) , clinical summary or full clinical report.
- Documentation should include the evaluator’s credentials , signature and date.
- Evaluation and report by a family member or close associate to the student is not acceptable.
- The letter or report should include functional limitations as they apply to full participation in the University both academically and socially.
- A list of current medication and an explanation of impacts of medication on daily academic functioning should be provided.