Welcome to the Office of Disability Services!
The Office of Disability Services (ODS) serves as a central point of information and coordination to ensure equal access and full participation for students, faculty, staff and visitors with disabilities in all programs and activities at Smith College. Principles of Universal Design guide us in our work as we strive to proactively identify and remove barriers to participation wherever possible. We also strive to promote a disability positive and inclusive climate at Smith that recognizes each student's multiple identities and values the diverse perspectives that contribute to a multicultural living and learning environment.
Approximately 500 undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities, about 20% of Smith students, receive support through the Office of Disability Services. Represented in all academic fields, many of these student scholars study abroad, work in jobs on and off campus, serve as campus leaders, and are engaged at the national and international level in research, service, and scholarship of all kinds. Three of our students recently earned Fulbright Fellowships!!
The Office of Disability Services seeks to support students in developing academic and life skills, learning about campus and community resources, and gaining the confidence, resilience, and empowerment needed to meet their individual, career, and life objectives. Smith's commitment to providing support and services is balanced with a humanistic and developmental approach that requires student engagement and responsibility in the accommodation process.
ODS promotes access to the curriculum, campus facilities, programs, and technology, by:
1. Identifying and addressing physical, communication, and informational barriers;
2. Providing individualized accommodations and support services;
3. Collaborating and consulting with other departments on campus;
4. Conducting educational programming designed to build an accessible, equitable, and inclusive campus community.
ODS is also deeply committed to fostering community and connections among students with disabilities where self-knowledge, understanding and peer support, mentoring, empowerment, and engagement around common challenges and solutions can blossom. We help students form these connections through our Peer Mentoring program and by connecting them with the Disabled Student Alliance, a student organization comprised of students with all types of disabilities, that works to create community, promote visibility, and address ableism, particularly at its intersections with other social justice issues.
Students specifically interested in scholarship around disability and its intersections with other identities and experiences, will find a growing interest in disability culture and the arts, as well as three new courses in Disability Studies offerred through our American Studies department in the 2016/2017 academic year.
Disabled students come to Smith College from neighboring towns, across the nation, and around the globe, and bring unique strengths, talents, creativity, and experiences that strengthen and enrich the diversity of the Smith academic and residential community.
Laura Rauscher, Disability Services Director and Jeannette Landrie, Disability Coordinator for Academic Access, have weekly drop in hours during which anyone is welcome to stop in without an appointment. Appointments can be made by calling Lisa Roberge at (413) 585-2071 or by email to ODS@smith.edu. Geary Gravel, Deaf Services Coordinator can be reached by email to email@example.com
Convert Print to accessible Formats here!
Converting documents to digital or audio formats can make them more accessible to students with visual impairments, learning disabilities, ADD, and others struggling with reading, by creating equitable access for all learners. Use this site to quickly convert your scanned or existing electronic documents!
Photocopying and Scanning Guidelines for Creating Accessible Documents
NEW STUDENT RESOURCE!!
A new website for Black or African American college students, sponsored by AHEAD and the HBCU consortium, is filled with resources, articles, student organizations, and contact information for services and accessiblilty. The website also contains information for college administrators about creating culturally appropriate services and promoting access at the intersections of race and disability.
Events and Meeting Access Guidelines
Happy Birthday ADA!
July 26th, 2016 marks the 26th Anniversary of the Passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act!
Take our quiz (PDF) on rights and accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Look for events marking this occasion this summer!
School for Social Work Students
Information on access and support services for School for Social Work Students with disabilities is available here
ASSETS (Advancing Student Success in Educational Transitions at Smith) provides structured support for entering undergraduate students with disabilities that impact learning (such as learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, mental health concerns, Autism. etc.) to help smooth the transition from high school to college and enable students to develop the independence, self-confidence and skills necessary for academic success. The ASSETS brochure (PDF) includes a registration form.
Study Abroad Information
One of the most rewarding Smith College experiences is spending a semester or a year abroad. Attend the Study Abroad Fair at Wright Hall or find answers and valuable resources here.