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Student health 101

Psychological Disabilities Documentation Guidelines

Students requesting accommodations on the basis of a psychological disability provide current documentation by a qualified diagnosing professional. Examples are licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, and in some instances family practice physicians. The diagnosing professional must not be related to the patient.

The documentation should include:

  1. A specific, current psychological diagnosis as per the DSM 5 which indicates the nature, frequency and severity of the symptoms upon which the diagnosis was predicated. A diagnosis without an explicit listing of current symptoms is not sufficient. Primary and secondary Axis I and Axis II diagnoses are to be included.
  2. Evidence of current functional limitations. In order to receive services or accommodations, an assessment of the individual's presenting symptoms and evidence of current behaviors that significantly impair functioning, including ability to function in an academic setting and/or within university activities, must be provided. 
  3. Relevant information regarding prescribed medications, dosages and schedules which may influence the types of accommodations provided.
  4. A clinical summary which: (a) indicates the substantial limitations to major life activities posed by the psychological disability, (b) describes the extent to which these limitations would impact the academic context for which accommodations are being requested, (c) suggests how the specific effects of the psychological disability may be accommodated, and (d) states how the effects of the psychological disability are mediated by the recommended accommodations.

Accommodations and Support Services

Requests for accommodations are considered on an individual basis by taking into account the student's qualifications related to the educational activity, the reasonableness of the request and whether or not the accommodation would fundamentally alter the nature of the activity in question.

Impairments rising to the level of disability protect individuals from discrimination on the basis of disability; however, services and accommodations related to those impairments must reflect specific limitations affecting the ability to participate in one or more major life activities.


A qualified diagnosing professional may complete the Provider Verification of Disability Form.

Students also complete a Request for Services Form with the disability documentation.



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Phone: 805-756-1395
Fax: 805-756-5451
Email: drc@calpoly.edu

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