Documenting Psychological/Psychiatric Disorders

The University of Puget Sound is committed to providing equal access to educational opportunities. Therefore, students who have a diagnosed disorder (e.g., panic disorder, bipolar disorder, delayed traumatic stress syndrome, etc.) may be eligible for support services. In these cases, the student will work with university personnel to develop appropriate and reasonable support and, if necessary, accommodations.

Students who are seeking disability support services on the basis of a diagnosed psychological disability are required to submit documentation to verify eligibility.

The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that the evaluation and report are appropriate for documenting eligibility and that the documentation will facilitate the implementation of appropriate educational support services or other accommodations.

  • The verifying documentation must be prepared by an appropriately credentialed professional. Depending on the disorder, an appropriate evaluator might be a licensed social worker, psychiatrist, psychologist, neuropsychologist or other qualified and licensed mental health or medical professional. 
  • All diagnostic reports must be current. In most cases, that means they must have been prepared within the past year.
  • Each report must describe the procedure used in the diagnostic process, including names and results of tests. It is quite possible that a diagnosis will be made based upon an interview. A diagnosis must be stated in the nomenclature used by the DSM-IV or successive editions.
  • In addition, the report should specify the nature, severity and effects of the psychological impairment upon university-level academic and related endeavors, and recommend appropriate educational compensation strategies and suggest accommodations. It is helpful for the diagnosing professional to address the student's ability to function effectively in a university environment.
  • If medication is a part of a treatment plan, then it is helpful to know which medication is prescribed, how effective the medication has been in alleviating symptoms, and any side effects which may necessitate accommodation.


Documentation should be sent to:

Peggy Perno, Director of the Office of Accessibility and Accommodations
Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching
University of Puget Sound
1500 North Warner
Tacoma, WA 98416-1096
Fax: 253.879.2692
pperno@pugetsound.edu

The university shall endeavor to make reasonable accommodations to qualified students unless those accommodations fundamentally alter the nature of the university's curriculum or otherwise violate university policy.