ADHD Documentation Guidelines

The Accessibility Resource Center provides academic accommodations and services to students with documented disabilities. Students are required to provide comprehensive documentation to verify that a diagnosed disorder meets the legal definition of disability covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (ADAAA, 2009).

The ADAAA defines disability as a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities”. Merely submitting evidence of a diagnosis, and/or a discrepancy between ability and achievement on the basis of a single subtest score is not sufficient to warrant academic accommodations. Similarly, nonspecific diagnoses, such as individual “learning styles,” “learning differences,” “academic problems,” “attention problems,” and “test difficulty/anxiety” alone, do not constitute a disability.

Documentation should clearly demonstrate that a student has one or more functional limitations in an academic setting and that they are severe enough to require an accommodation to achieve equal access.

Documentation for ADHD will include ONE of the following:

The guidelines below are intended to provide guidance for the assessment process. An assessment form (opens in a new tab) is also available. Although psychological testing alone does not justify an ADHD diagnosis, such testing may be helpful in establishing the impact of the disorder on learning and determining appropriate accommodations. It is also helpful in determining the presence or absence of other conditions that frequently co-occur with the disorder, which may be relevant in an educational setting.

Please note: comprehensive psychoeducational or neuropsychological evaluations may be required to support specific accommodation requests. Evaluators should not be related to the individual being assessed. Please contact ARC at (414) 229-6287 with questions.

At a minimum, an evaluation report to support a diagnosis of ADHD should include the following:

  1. DSM-V or ICD Diagnosis (text and code) and information concerning comorbidity in order to establish a history of the condition and recency of evaluation.
    • Date of diagnosis.
    • Date of last contact. The assessment must be current. Accommodations are based on an assessment of the current nature and impact of your disability.
  2. Evaluation: A list of questionnaires, interviews, and observations used to make the diagnosis. A summary should include information regarding the onset, longevity, and severity of the symptoms as well as treatment history including medication and therapy.
  3. Functional Limitations: Should be determined WITHOUT consideration of mitigating measures (i.e. medication, etc.). If condition is episodic in nature, level of functioning should be assessed based on active phase of symptoms.
    • Major life activities that are functionally limited by the individual’s symptoms.
    • Behavioral manifestations of the diagnosis that functionally limits the individual in the academic setting. Information to consider includes the severity, pervasiveness, and frequency of symptoms.
    • Any special considerations that should be made (i.e. side effects of medication, etc.)
  4. Accommodations: History of accommodations and recommendations for current services and accommodations.

The diagnostic report must include the name and title, and license number of the evaluator. Evaluation reports should be on letterhead.

General Guidelines for all Disabilities
It is understood 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 provision of accommodations. ARC will make the final determination on eligibility for services based upon the documentation and an interview with the student.

Documentation submitted to ARC is considered confidential and maintained separately from the student’s educational record.

Documentation should be sent to the following address:

Accessibility Resource Center
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
P.O. Box 413 Milwaukee, WI. 53201

Fax to: (414) 229-2237
Email to: archelp@uwm.edu

Reviewed: August 2017