ADA Guidelines for Documentation

Mental Health Disability

A specific mental health disability must currently substantially limit some major life activity, to support eligibility under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.  Professionals who are qualified to provide documentation include: licensed psychologist, psychiatrist and other relevantly trained and licensed mental health providers. The following guidelines describe the necessary components of acceptable documentation for students with mental health disabilities.  Students are encouraged to provide their clinicians with a copy of these guidelines.

To initiate the accommodation review and determination process, appropriate documentation must include the following:

  • A clearly written comprehensive statement of the disability diagnosed by a qualified professional trained in this area including current functional limitations and history of impairment relevant to academic functioning or any aspect of University life. 
  • A specific diagnosis corresponding to a category in the most current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) and should refer to specific symptoms associated with diagnosis.
  • Documentation should be current, within three years, and must include a signature on professional letterhead.
  • Documentation should specify how an individual’s mental health disability impacts academic functioning.
  • The University has the right to request additional documentation if the original documentation is incomplete or insufficient in determining a qualifying disability or reasonable accommodation(s).
  • The University has the right to deny accommodations in the event that the request is deemed unreasonable, or presents an undue hardship.
  • The University has the right to deny accommodations in the event that the documentation provided does not support the specific accommodation request in accordance with the ADA.
  • Documentation must demonstrate a direct correlation between the diagnosed disability, the barrier to access caused by the disability, and the requested accommodation.
  • Reasonable accommodations cannot fundamentally alter any program or course requirements.
  • Any cost incurred in obtaining additional information must be borne by the student.