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A Culture of Care

Read Smith’s plans for the spring 2022 semester.
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Psychiatric Disability

It is your responsibility to obtain and supply the college with all necessary disability information. If needed, we can assist you in finding local providers or clinicians who can do psychoeducational testing. Clear, comprehensive and current documentation must be submitted with sufficient time for it to be reviewed and for any necessary accommodations to be arranged. Insufficient information that does not follow our guidelines may result in delays in receiving accommodations. If you have documentation already, please bring it with you to your first meeting with us or have it sent from your providers.



A psychiatric disability should meet the criteria for a DSM-V diagnosis, excluding Adjustment Disorders and Other Conditions that May Be A Focus of Clinical Attention (V Codes). Most typical diagnoses would include:

  • Schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders
  • Major affective disorders: clinical depression, bipolar, etc.
  • Chronic eating disorders
  • Anxiety disorders: ADD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Mental disorders secondary to a medical condition
  • Personality disorders
  • Substance abuse or alcoholism


Documentation must include information on how the psychiatric disorder and/or related medications and treatments interfere or limit any major life activity including participation in courses, programs, services or activities of the college.

Information to be provided by diagnostician

  • A brief description of the condition.
  • Assessment of the severity of current symptoms and of the chronicity of the disability.
  • A brief assessment of the history/current status of the disability, including medications and treatments.
  • A description of accommodations provided in the past.
  • Accommodations recommended to address specific functional limitations.
  • Additional information that may be useful in providing appropriate and effective accommodations at the post-secondary level.
  • The diagnostician's name, title, address, phone number and signature.

Documentation Standards

Documentation Must:

  • include diagnosis and course of treatment
  • describe the nature and severity of the student's functional limitations
  • state the duration for which the limitations are expected to continue
  • contain scores and identify tests administered as appropriate
  • substantiate the need for specific accommodations requested

If the clinician feels that the student's condition or learning difficulties are significant enough to constitute a disability, this should be explicitly stated.

We Do Not Accept

  • Brief note from a doctor that simply requests an accommodation; information or notes written on prescription pad; or a copy of aftercare instruction given to patients.
  • Documentation of a learning disability which is not comprehensive or which identifies learning "problems or challenges," but does not specifically diagnose a learning disability will need to be supplemented in most cases.
  • Medical documentation or testing for learning disabilities in grades K-12 under special education programs which meet the requirements of individual states may or may not be acceptable at the college level.
  • Disability information is not reviewed to assess the need for medical or clinical intervention or remedial educational services. Clinical consultation to correct or remediate specific learning or medical problems is not provided or paid for by the college.