Psychological Disabilities

Psychological 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) be completed by the evaluating professional and submitted to the Office of Disability. 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: 

At least one test in each of the following categories must be included in the battery. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale is REQUIRED and the Woodcock-Johnson – Test of Achievement is the PREFERRED Academic Achievement test. The battery should not be limited to these two tests, but should include all tests necessary to clearly define the disability. All test scores and percentiles should be provided for all normed measures together with a narrative interpretation of these results. 

Aptitude/Cognitive Ability: 

  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) 
  • Woodcock-Johnson– Tests of Cognitive Ability

Academic Achievement:

  • Woodcock-Johnson – Tests of Achievement 
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT)
  • Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA)
  • Stanford Test of Academic Skills (TASK)
  • Wide Range of Achievement Test (WRAT)

And specific tests as needed such as:

  • Gray Oral Reading Test (GORT)
  • Nelson-Denny Reading Test
  • Test of Written Language – 3 (TOWL-3)
  • Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE)
  • Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS)

Information Processing:

  • Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude—3 (DTLA-3) or Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude—Adult (DTLA-A)
  • Information from subtests on WAIS or Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery—Revised: Tests of Cognitive Ability
  • Other relevant instruments may be useful when interpreted within the context of other diagnostic information.

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.

Selected examples include:

  • 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 psychiatric 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 diagnosis 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 analyzes the data gathered by the psycho-educational testing 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.