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Disability Rights & Policies

Admission Criteria

All students are evaluated for admission according to the same criteria and high standards, including those students with disabilities. Information shared with the Office of Disability Services is private and will not be shared with the Office of Admission. Similarly, the Office of Admission generally does not share health services information with ODS.

Smith's philosophy and approach to supporting students with disabilities is one that emphasizes self-responsibility and self-advocacy. While the college has an important role in meeting the needs of students, it is expected that students will take an active role in the accommodation process.

Before admission, students with disabilities are advised to talk or meet with the disability services team to discuss any questions or concerns about disability accommodations or services.

Disability is Not a Consideration in Admission

No inquiries will be made about disability, and your disability need not be disclosed before admission. If you have questions about disability and admission policies, please contact us or the Office of Admission.

Events and Meeting Access Guidelines


There are four essential requirements to address proactively. Additionally, the document includes more detailed accessibility guidelines for events which need to be considered in the planning process and incorporated to the greatest extent possible. All individually requested accommodations must be arranged for and provided, unless there is a specific reason that is not possible. Please contact the Office of Disability Services ( with questions.


Smith College Employees with Disabilities

Smith College strives to create a positive work environment that can accommodate employees with diverse needs. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, otherwise qualified faculty and staff may request job accommodations for a documented disability or serious medical condition. An employee must be able to perform the essential functions of a job, either with or without accommodations. All employee accommodations are managed by Human Resources. 

Prospective Employees

If you need accommodations during the job application process, please discuss with the Office of Human Resources. Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis, considering an individual's challenges, the demands and responsibilities of the position, and the needs of the college.

Responsibilities & Limitations

State and federal civil rights laws require the college to be, within certain limits, responsible for ensuring that students are not denied the opportunity to participate in college programs on the basis of a disability. The college does not provide such support services in cases where this would create an undue burden for the college. Specifically, the college is not required to and does not:

  • Make accommodations or provide support for services which fundamentally alter the academic requirements for the degree, course requirements, or basic pedagogy.

  • Normally alter consistently applied academic policies which are based on academic standards.

  • Guarantee success or bear responsibility for making students succeed in their courses.

  • Provide professional tutoring, clinical evaluation, intervention services, professional services, tutoring aimed at remediation, personal coaching, academic coaching, or case management.

  • Pay for or provide items or services of a personal nature, such as: personal care assistance; personal purchases; personal medical, adaptive, or computer equipment; private transportation; educational supplies used by all students such as pens, paper, and computer supplies. These are the responsibility of the student.


Although Smith College does not provide testing for learning disabilities or ADHD, Smith's student health insurance offers coverage for some of these costs. Please consult the student health insurance provider. The college also does not provide specialized LD tutors, 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.

Disability Documentation Policy

Smith College will provide support services to students for whom the college has current evaluations and documentation which support the accommodation or services requested. Students who find provision of documentation to be a barrier may contact or be referred to the Office of Disability Services for consultation and advice. Requests for accommodation and services will be reviewed upon registration with ODS, and determinations will be made in a timely manner. The college will consider the student's preferred accommodations but has the right to offer equally effective alternatives.



Academic Policy

Registered students with disabilities who need academic accommodations are asked to make their needs known by filing a request form with ODS in a timely way. Once approved, it is the student's responsibility to contact the Office of Disability Services if their needs have changed and they require an update to accommodations. Like all Smith students, those with disabilities should take into account their own particular strengths and challenges when selecting courses. Retroactive accommodations cannot be made. Students are expected to responsibly use the accommodations that have been approved by the college. 

Academic Honor Code

All students are bound by Smith's honor code, which includes conduct rules, academic integrity, destroying recordings created for the purpose of note-taking once the course has completed, etc. More information can be found here.

Foreign Language Requirements

Students with disabilities must complete language requirements for their major as appropriate. If they have a language-based learning disability and wish to be eligible for Latin honors, they may petition the administrative board for language course substitution with the support of the Office of Disability Services.

Credit Shortages

Please contact ODS to discuss reduced courseload accommodations or credit shortages which are due to disability-related reasons.



If you disagree with the final decision of the disability services director, please contact the Office of Inclusion, Diversity & Equity at 413-585-2141 and follow the college's procedures as outlined on their website. If you disagree with a faculty member, please reach out to your class dean or ODS to discuss.