Guidelines for Psychological Disability Accommodations
Who is considered a Qualified Student with a Disability?
In order to provide quality services to students with disabilities, Texas State University, requires a student provide verification of disability to the Office of Disability Services (ODS) at the time services are requested. Verification of a psychological disability includes, but is not limited to a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation by a licensed mental health practitioner, which has been completed within 12 months of the first day of class of the initial semester for which the student is requesting accommodations. A student may submit this documentation to the ODS for consideration. In certain cases, updated information may be required. To qualify for services and accommodations at the university, a diagnosis for psychological disability must meet the criteria outlined in this guideline. Those disabilities addressed in this guideline include, but are not limited to, bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
A student needing documentation of a psychological disability can receive referral from the ODS. It is the responsibility of the student, not the ODS or the university, to pay for the cost of an evaluation. Disability documentation from the Texas Rehabilitation Commission or other state or Federal agencies will also be considered.
Students should keep a copy of any disability documentation provided to the ODS for their own records. The ODS will maintain a student's file no longer than ten years after graduation or the last semester services are requested.
What is Psychological Disability Criteria?
An evaluation for a psychological disability should include the code and disorder name of the diagnosis according to the diagnostic codes established in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) and should identify the learning areas impaired by the disorder. Accommodations cannot be granted without a
DSM-V diagnosis verified by a mental health practitioner.
The diagnostic report should include the following information:
- A Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) diagnostic code and disorder name
- Psychological test results used to support the diagnosis
- Learning areas impaired by the mental disorder
- Academic accommodations recommended by the examiner
- The time period for which academic accommodations are recommended
- Examiner's name, address, phone number and credentials to include professional license number
Will Documentation Need to be Updated?
Academic accommodations for students with psychological disabilities are generally granted for one year. In certain cases where the disability is chronic, an annual update may not be required. This would be determined on a case-by-case basis by the ODS.
Students whose disability requires an update will be notified in writing by the ODS at the time accommodations are approved. The update must be provided by a private licensed mental health practitioner, or the university Counseling Center. Upon request, professional staff in the university Counseling Center will assess each individual student’s counseling needs to determine if he/she falls within the department’s service guidelines. If the student does not, the student will be referred to an off-campus resource for on-going counseling and the annual update.
How are Accommodations and Support Services Determined?
Within 30 working days of receiving the diagnostic evaluation report, the ODS will review the need for accommodations and support services based on the individual's disability documentation. The ODS will notify the student after determining appropriate accommodations in accordance with Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Amendments Act of 2008, and university policy and procedure.