Psychiatric Disabilities

Disability documentation for the purpose of providing accommodations must both establish disability and provide adequate information on the functional impact of the disability so that effective accommodations can be identified.

Some general guidelines include [but are not limited to]:

The above criteria for documentation can be submitted and supplemented in the following way:

Documentation of a chronic mental illness must come from an individual qualified to diagnose and/or treat mental disorders. It should provide substantial evidence of a diagnosis, use of and recommendations for accommodation and be recent enough (preferably and in general, less than one year old*) to address how a student is currently functioning. To assist students in providing this information, our Disability Verification Form is available at the following link:

Disability Verification Form (PDF, opens in new window)

The following supplemental information is also useful (but not required) in planning for accommodations in coursework and study – these pieces on their own cannot usually be considered complete, comprehensive documentation:

* These are preferences. If documentation does not meet these preferences, please submit it for review. The information will be used to determine eligibility of reasonable/appropriate accommodations. If documentation is outdated/incomplete, students may be asked to provide an update to their information.

** Diagnostic & Statistical Manual, 4 th edition text revision produced by the American Psychiatric Association

When in doubt, students are encouraged to contact ACCESS for guidance at 802-656-7753 or

Back to Documentation Guidelines

ACCESS created these Guidelines in compliance with and in consideration of the Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA, its amendments, updated regulations, and guidance from the Association for Higher Education and Disability, AHEAD.