Student Disability Services Traumatic Brain Injury

Student Disability Services Traumatic Brain Injury

Guidelines for Documenting
Disability: Traumatic Brain Injury

A PDF version of these guidelines is available here. In addition, the corresponding verification form is available here.

Students seeking support services from Student Disability Services (SDS) on the basis of a previously diagnosed Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) must submit documentation that verifies their eligibility under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act.

The documentation must describe a disabling condition, which is defined by the presence of substantial limitations in 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 attention problems, academic problems, and test difficulty/anxiety in and of themselves do not constitute a disability.

The guidelines below are intended to provide guidance for the assessment process, including the areas that must be assessed in order for SDS staff to make appropriate decisions. Examples of specific tests that may be used within each area are available upon request. Please do not hesitate to contact SDS at (972) 721-5056 if you have any questions.

Students submitting documentation of physical and/or cognitive sequelae related to a traumatic brain injury (e.g., head trauma, CVA’s, tumors, other medical conditions) must submit evidence of a disabling condition with evidence of functional impairment in major life activities of relevance to the classroom. Such documentation should include:

  1. DSM-IV or ICD Diagnosis (text and code): Detailed background information– including information obtained in diagnostic interviews, relevant hospital and/or rehabilitation records, history of premorbid functioning (including prior academic history and developmental history), any pertinent medical and psychological history, and a discussion of dual diagnosis, if present; this includes a history of any coexisting disorders that could affect functioning. As above, all testing/evaluation reports should be current (within the last three years), comprehensive, and have been conducted and signed by a qualified professional. Qualified professional should not be related to the individual being assessed.
  2. Evaluation: Comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation– conducted after the injury, which includes, but is not limited to, the domains described above for learning and communication disorders.
  3. Functional Limitations: Evidence of current impairment, including behaviors that significantly affect functioning, and how these relate to academics should be provided. A discussion of estimated premorbid functioning should also be included. Detailed information regarding residual physical or medical impairments– current treatment regimens, including current medications. 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.
  4. Accommodations: Suggested recommendations, modifications and/or accommodations.

General Guidelines for all Disabilities

It is important to recognize 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 a like accommodation.

SDS will make the final determination as to whether appropriate and reasonable accommodations are warranted and can be provided to the individual.

In addition to documentation as described above, transfer students should provide written verification of accommodations received (and dates served) from the previously attended school(s).

The diagnostic report must include the name and title, and license number of the evaluator.

All documentation submitted to SDS is considered confidential.

Documentation should be sent to the following address:

University of Dallas
Student Disability Services, Academic Success Office
1845 East Northgate Drive
Irving, Texas 75062

Documentation may be faxed to (972) 265-5712, emailed to, or delivered to Braniff 132.