For SSW Students
Students with disabilities considering Smith College School for Social Work (SSW) or who have already been accepted for graduate study are encouraged to contact us to discuss your need for services and accommodations.
If you have never been diagnosed with a disability, but suspect you might have a learning disability or ADD/ADHD, you may want to consider psychoeducational testing before entering the graduate program so that you can take time to develop new coping strategies and identify possible accommodations that would support your learning at the graduate level. Guidelines for documenting a learning disability or ADD/ADHD are available here.
Applying to Smith
Disability Not A Consideration in Admission
Disability is not considered in the admissions process for the School for Social Work. The unique academic structure and fast pace of the School for Social Work academic program can be both an asset and pose challenges for students with disabilities. It is important to consider a range of factors to determine the type of graduate program that best supports your individual learning needs.
If you have a diagnosed disability and expect to need accommodations in graduate school, you must provide the college with current testing or documentation.
Enhanced Strategies for Learning
Students who have been out of school for several years and away from the process of using disability accommodations or specialized learning and organizational strategies are encouraged to seek consultation before starting the program to determine how best to prepare for re-entry to an academic setting. Many students find that the academic demands of graduate study require new or enhanced strategies for learning. Making efforts to strengthen your studying, writing, reading and organizational skills before beginning graduate study will prove to be very beneficial.
Students who will need supports such as books in alternative format, sign-language interpreters or captioning services must contact disability services at least six to eight weeks before the start of classes. Such lead time is necessary to evaluate your request and identify qualified service providers or contractors.
Talk to Current SSW Students
Students with disabilities already enrolled in Smith College School for Social Work master's and doctoral programs are available to talk to you about the program. They are willing to share their successes and struggles in an effort to support those making decisions about coming to Smith and to help students attending have a successful and positive experience. SSW students with disabilities also maintain a weekly support/educational group that is open to people with disabilities and allies. If you would like to connect with an enrolled student with a disability, please contact us for information.