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ADD/ADHD Disability

Students that are requesting accommodation or services because of ADD/ADHD are required to submit documentation to determine whether their eligibility is in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A diagnosis of ADD/ADHD does not automatically qualify a student for academic accommodations under the law. To establish academic accommodation sons under Section 504 and the ADA , the student must provide current documentation from a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other related medical professional indicating that the disability substantially limits some major life activity, including learning. Students who were diagnosed and did not receive continuous medical or educational support may be required to have a comprehensive evaluation to determine whether academic accommodations are appropriate.

The following guidelines are provided to assure that the documentation is complete and supports the request for accommodations. The following requirements provide the students and professional diagnosticians with a common understanding of the documentation and the impact of the individuals’ educational performance.



Report by qualified professional on letterhead, typed, dated, and signed

The assessment must be administered by a trained and qualified (i.e. certified and/or licensed) professional, who has direct experience with adolescents and adults with ADD/ADHD. A qualified professional may include but is not limited to a medical doctor or psychologist. The evaluator’s name, title and professional credentials and affiliation should be provided. The professional completing the evaluation should not be a family member. All reports should be on letterhead, typed, dated, signed, and otherwise legible.


Documentation must be current, age appropriate, and include a specific DSM-IV diagnosis (within the last three years)

The report must include a specific diagnosis of ADD/ADHD based on the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria and it is recommended that the clinician report the diagnostic criteria used to support the diagnosis. The diagnostician should use direct languages in the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD, avoiding terms such as: “suggest,” “is indicative of,” or “attention al problems.”

In this assessment the evaluator should consider the possibility of co-existing conditions, whether they be learning disabilities, mechanical or psychiatric disorders. In addition, any alternative disorders that may mimic ADD/ADHD should be addressed.

Include a thorough diagnostic interview

It may include the following: histories-family, medical, educational, developmental, and social. Review of previous psycho-educational reports. Descriptions of current functional limitation pertaining to education and relevant history of therapeutic treatment.

Documentation must include relevant testing information:

Psycho-educational assessments are important in determining the current impact of the disorder on the individual’s ability to function in an academic setting. The report must include objective data, which might include, but not be limited to psychological assessments, educational assessments, rating scales, memory function tests, attention or tracking tests, or continuous performance tests. A score report page(s), which presents the tests, sub tests, standard scores, and percentiles, should accompany the report

Current plan for treatment and effects of medication:

Please summarize current plans for treatment including the use of medications. Please indicate whether or not the individual was evaluated while on medication, and whether the use of medication mitigate the impact of the disorder on the individual’s ability to function in an academic setting

Recommendations for accommodations:

A diagnostic report may include specific recommendations for accommodation(s). A prior history of an accommodation, without a demonstration of a current need, does not in and of itself warrant the provision of similar accommodation. Each accommodation recommended by an evaluator should include a rationale. The evaluation should support the recommendations with specific test results or clinical observations. If an accommodation is not clearly identified in the diagnostic report, the evaluator may be asked for clarification .

Further assessment by an appropriate professional may be required if coexisting learning disabilities or other disabling conditions are indicated.

All documentation is confidential and should be submitted to: Office of Disability Services, Duquesne University, 309 Union, Pittsburgh, PA 15282

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