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Documentation Requirements

Psychiatric

In order to fully evaluate requests for accommodations or auxiliary aids and to determine eligibility for services, Student Disability Services (SDS) needs documentation of your disability. The documentation you provide should include an evaluation by an appropriately licensed professional who has direct experience in working with an adult population. The documentation must make evident the current impact of the disability as it relates to the accommodation(s) requested and include a description of any and all functional limitations. Those accommodations prescribed by the SDS are provided so that students have equal access to activities and programs at UTSA. Such documentation should be on letterhead and contain the professional's signature and license number. The evaluator must be impartial and not related to the person being evaluated.

The general guidelines listed below are developed to assist you in working with your treating/diagnosing professional(s) to prepare the information needed to evaluate your request(s). If, after reading these guidelines and reviewing disability specific information provided below, you have any questions, feel free to call Student Disability Services at 210-458-4157 (Main) or 210-458-2945 (Downtown).

Documentation

In order to receive services for psychiatric disorders from SDS, documentation must be submitted in advance. Documentation must be within the past 3 years and completed by a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, or other appropriately licensed psychiatric practitioner. Documentation validates the functional limitations, which allows consideration for accommodation requests. Each request will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Documentation should include but is not limited to:

  • A complete DSM IV-TR diagnosis must be provided with an accompanying description of the specific symptoms the student experiences. This diagnosis should be based upon a comprehensive clinical interview and/or psychological testing when testing is clinically appropriate. (Note: a comprehensive clinical interview meets mental health service provider standards of care in length (50 min.) and focus which should include a complete developmental, family, psychiatric, medical history, and mental status exam.)

  • A complete description of the functional limitations as they impact the student's academic functioning in the classroom (e.g. description of impact upon study skills, classroom behavior, test taking and organizational skills).

    • Functional limitations should be determined WITHOUT consideration of mitigating measures (i.e. medication, etc.). If the condition is episodic in nature, the level of functioning should be assessed based on active phase of symptoms.

  • Suggestions of reasonable accommodation(s) which might be appropriate at the post secondary level are encouraged. These recommendations should be supported by the diagnosis.

The written report should also include responses to the following list of questions:

  1. What is the diagnosis, date of diagnosis, and your last contact with the student? Indicate the diagnostic criteria used (e.g. DSM IV-TR), and describe the salient features met by this individual.

  2. Describe the historical characteristics, including but not limited to developmental, educational and medical evidence used in making your diagnosis. To assist us in anticipating needed accommodations and services, include information that can be used to understand the range and impact of the condition.

  3. Indicate all instruments and procedures used to diagnose the psychiatric disorders (i.e. clinical interview, psychological testing, behavioral rating scales, etc.) Also, report all results of these assessments including but not limited to all test scores. You are encouraged to include a diagnostic report.

  4. Describe the treatment recommendations including medication. If the student is medicated, state the type of medication, the dosage, the frequency of use, and the adverse side effects.

  5. How does the psychiatric disability impact this student in an educational setting (functional limitations)?

  6. What recommendations do you have regarding accommodations and your rationale for each of the accommodations?

  7. Are there any indications that this student may have an additional diagnosis (i.e., learning disability, etc.)? Please describe pertinent characteristics and give an explanation for your reason to suspect this secondary diagnosis.

  8. What is the current prognosis?

General Guidelines for all Disabilities

It is important to recognize that accommodation needs can change over time and are not always identified during the initial diagnostic process. A prior history of accommodation, without demonstration of current need, does not in and of itself warrant the provision of a like accommodation. Student Disability Services will make the final determination as to whether appropriate and reasonable accommodations are warranted and can be provided to the individual.

All documentation submitted to Student Disability Services is considered to be confidential under FERPA guidelines. Documentation should be sent to the following address:

University of Texas at San Antonio
Student Disability Services
One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, Texas 78249-0690
210-458-4157 (voice-Main), 210-458-2945 (voice-Downtown)
210-591-7318 (Videophone)
210-458-4980 (fax)
disability.services@utsa.edu