Accommodations and Services for Students with disabilities
The Office of Disability Services determines, coordinates, and provides accommodations and support services for students with disabilities based on information about their disability and the areas where they are experiencing difficulties and need support. Students must meet with the Disability Services Director to begin the process of registering with the Office. Once students register, they can fill out an Accommodation Request Form identifying their specific accommodations online or on paper.
Request for Accommodations
Paper requests can be made by submitting the Accommodation Request Form with your signature to the Office of Disability Services by mail, email or in person. New requests for housing or other non-academic accommodations must be discussed in person.
Academic Accommodations: If we have your information/documentation on file and you have not made any changes from the previous semester we will process your request for academic accommodations in approximately three - five business days. You will receive a letter to send to your faculty specifying that you registered with ODS and outlining the specific accommodations for your courses that have been approved.
Sign language Interpreters/C-Print: Services should be requested by students with as much notice as possible. Please review your schedule with ODS as soon as possible and schedule anticipated meetings and events as far in advance as possible. At least several days notice is required for unplanned daytime activities, and a week or more for weekend or evening activities. Interpreters for performances are very difficult to find in this area so as much lead time as possible will help make this a possibility. Contact Geary Gravel by email to submit a request at firstname.lastname@example.org
Accessible Instructional Materials: Books and other print material needed in audio/digital formats should be requested with as much notice as possible. Please review our guidelines in more detail in the section on Assstive Technology and Alternative Formats link on the side bar.
ODS ACCOMMODATE: Online Request Process
The Office of Disability Services (ODS) has an online accommodation and services request system that can be used by students using their shiboleth log in. New students will need to also make an appointment to meet with the Disability Services Director before accommodations and services will be approved.\
Both new students and returning students who are already registered with ODS, can log in here with their secure Shibboleth password to:
- Request accommodations,
- See what accommodations and services have been approved,
- View and print out each semester’s accommodation letters for faculty,
- Find and print out copies of your medical/educational documentation.
You will also find information, updates, and notices from ODS each time you sign on.
Students may still make requests in person or contact us for assistance in using the online system.
Please be patient as we work through any glitches and definitely let us know how this is working for you.
Common Student Accommodations & Services
Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis considering an individual's limitations and the academic demands and responsibilities of residential life at Smith College. Contact Disability Services to talk about the accommodations you may need. Common accommodations made by the college include:
- extended time allowed for examinations
- computer access for examinations
- distraction-reduced testing locations
- additional time for written assignments
- classroom note takers
- audio books or books in electronic format
- sign language interpreters
- housing accommodations
- dietary accommodations
- in exceptional circumstances, a plan for a reduced course load
Accommodations are arranged through the Office of Disability Services after discussion and with significant ongoing involvement of the student. Professors are notified of necessary academic accommodations through a letter from Office of Disability Services delivered by the student in order to initiate communication and collaboration.
Students are responsible for notifying the Office of Disability Services if difficulties arise during the course of the semester. Students must also work closely with the office when ongoing support services are being provided such as sign language interpreters, alternative format materials or transportation. Failure to keep in communication or adhere to reasonable expectations for responsible use of accommodations and services may result in temporarly suspension of services.
Smith College does not provide testing for learning disabilities or ADHD, but Smith's student health insurance offers coverage for some of these costs. Please consult the student health insurance provider. We also do not provide specialized LD tutors, academic or personal coaching, or case management. Individuals who need this type of support will be referred to appropriate resources in the community to the extent that they are available.
If you disagree with the final decision of the Disability Director or with a faculty member about your accommodations, please speak to your Class Dean to see if an informal resolution can be achieved. If you wish to file a formal grievance about decisions or treatment by any staff or faculty member you may contact the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity at 413-585-2141 and follow the college's procedures outlined on their website.
Service Animal and Support Animal Policy
Smith College is committed to assuring equal access for disabled students, staff, and faculty, as well as guests and visitors to the campus. It is the College’s policy to permit service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act in most areas of the campus, and may permit Support Animals on a case by case basis, to reside in the residence hall with a student with a documented disability. Please contact the Office of Disability Services to make such a request. Bringing any animal to stay in campus housing takes planning and preparation by students and staff from several college departments. It will also be important that you have a care plan for your animal in case of emergency and that you communicate that plan to Disability Service as part of bringing an animal to the residence halls.
Please take careful note of the timeline for submitting these requests found in the Service Animal Policy below.