Mental Health Disabilities

Mental Health Disabilities Documentation Requirements

Clinical documentation that is complete and timely provides the basis for decisions on appropriate accommodations for students. Students requesting academic accommodations need to register with ODS and submit documentation prepared by a qualified evaluator that substantiates the disability, provides information about the functional limitations, and demonstrates the need for accommodations.

The documentation requirements are as follows:


The Office of Disability Services requires that the Psychological Disability Diagnostic Report (PDDR) or document providing equivalent information be completed by the evaluating professional and submitted to the Office of Disability along with Request for Accommodations. The PDDR requires a specific diagnosis based on the DSM-IV or ICD-10 diagnostic criteria. To arrive at this diagnosis, the evaluator must also investigate and rule out the possibility of other potential diagnoses involving neurological and/or medical conditions or substance abuse. The report must clearly define the functional limitations and impact of the condition in the academic setting. Any academic accommodations recommended must be demonstrated to be necessary.

Testing/Rating Scales: 

In some cases a neurological evaluation may be appropriate.

These may include:

Personality Tests:

  • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
  • Millon Clinical Multiaxial Personality Inventory-II
  • Rorschach Inkblot Test
  • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

Rating Scales:

Self-rated or interviewer-rated scales for categorizing and quantifying the nature of the impairment may be useful in conjunction with other requested data.

  • Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale
  • Beck Depression Inventory
  • Beck Anxiety Inventory
  • Hamilton’s Depression Rating Scale
  • Zung Depression Rating Scale
  • Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale

Currency of Documentation: 

Due to the changing nature of mental health disabilities, it is essential that a student provide recent and appropriate documentation from a qualified evaluator. The Diagnostic Report should be no more than 6 months old; however, if a report is dated within one year, an update of the functional impact would be acceptable. The updated letter must include a description of the student’s current level of functioning during the preceding 6 months and demonstrate the need for the requested academic accommodations.

Evaluation of Documentation:

ODS independently evaluates the documentation provided to determine necessary accommodations. Recommendations made by the evaluator will be seriously considered but are not binding on ODS.  In some cases, ODS may wish to include a consultant in the review of the documentation and in these cases the process of assessment is necessarily longer. 

Qualified Professional: 

The evaluator conducting the assessment must have comprehensive training and relevant experience with adolescents and adults. These trained professionals may include licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, and neurologists with training and experience in the assessment of adolescents with disabilities. The diagnosing professional must have expertise in the differential diagnosis of the documented psychological disorder or condition and follow established practices in the field. The name and contact information as well as credentials and areas of specialization of the evaluator must be clearly stated.