Documentation for Psychological Disabilities

For students requesting services, the Disability Resources for Students (DRS) office requires documentation from a qualified professional that describes the disability and its likely impact on the student’s academic experiences. This documentation serves three purposes:

  • To establish that the student can be considered a person with a disability, and therefore eligible for protection against discrimination on the basis of disability.
  • To supplement information from the student regarding the impact of the disability.
  • To support and inform the development of reasonable accommodation (auxiliary aids and services) designed to facilitate equal access to University environments on a case-by-case basis.

Documentation Guidelines:

Documentation should include:

  • A DSM-V diagnosis of the psychological condition.
  • A description of the symptoms and current effects on the student in a university environment.
  • Whether the psychological disability is temporary, or chronic.
    • If the condition is temporary or likely to change often please include the anticipated duration, and indicate when re-evaluation would be appropriate.
    • If chronic, please note that in most cases, DRS provides temporary accommodations and periodically requests additional documentation for continued services.
    • Information on any medications being used and their side effects.
    • Rationale for any recommended accommodations.
    • A date and signature of a qualified professional who is licensed and properly credentialed to diagnose and treat psychological disabilities.

Submitting Documentation

Students can submit a letter from their healthcare provider that includes the information above, or submit the DRS Health Care Provider Form. To download the Healthcare Provider Form and for more instructions on how to submit documentation please visit: http://depts.washington.edu/uwdrs/prospective-students/getting-started/.

What to do if your existing documentation does not meet the above guidelines?

Students are encouraged to submit what they have for review by a DRS counselor.  Provisional accommodations may be established, while additional documentation is being obtained.  If additional documentation is needed, the DRS counselor can work with the student and diagnostician to clarify what information is needed, and a list of service providers who may be of assistance.

What to do if you do not have documentation?

Students who do not have documentation are encouraged to schedule a meeting with a DRS counselor to learn more about relevant assessments, and where to obtain them.  DRS counselors are glad to offer advice on what assessments may be helpful.

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