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 online or on paper to identify specific accommodations which may be appropriate.
Request for Accommodations
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 after receipt of the Accommodation Request Form. You will receive a letter via email specifying that you registered with ODS and outlining the specific accommodations for your courses that have been approved. You are encouraged to print out a copy of the accommodations letter and to make an appointment to discuss your accommodations with the pertinent faculty member
Sign language Interpreters/C-Print (realtime captioning): These services should be requested by students with as much notice as possible. Please review your schedule with ODS and schedule anticipated meetings and events as far in advance as possible. At least several days notice is required to guarantee interpreters or C-Print 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 enable us to provide this service. 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 the Assistive Technology & Alternative Formats link on the righthand side bar.
Assistive Technology: Students needing information and training related to the use of assistive technology should meet with our learning specialist to discuss their learning challenges and the ways in which technology may assist them. Students will be referred to Educational Technology Services for information and training.
Common Student Accommodations & Services
Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis considering an individual's challenges 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/C-Print realtime captioning
- 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 with ODS and with significant ongoing involvement of the student. Professors are notified of necessary academic accommodations in a letter from ODS, 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 such as sign language interpreters, alternative format materials or transportation are being provided. Failure to maintain communication or to adhere to reasonable expectations for responsible use of accommodations and services may result in a temporary suspension of services, pending a discussion with the Director of ODS to resolve the issue.
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.
If you disagree with the final decision of the Disability Director or with a faculty member about your accommodations, please contact 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 Inclusion, Diversity & Equity at 413-585-2141 and follow the college's procedures as outlined on their website.
Dining Services strives to provide a wide range of food options for students through its many dining halls. Students needing dietary accommodations for specific allergies, diabetes, eating disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, or other medical conditions must register with Disability Services. To register, you need to complete the ODS accommodation request form, submit a written description of your food concerns, and meet with the Disability Services Director. You will also need to provide information from an appropriate clinician about any specific dietary restrictions or needs. Disability Services will then refer you to Dining Services to develop a food plan. You may come in to discuss your needs at any time, with or without documentation
Dining Services provides a fully gluten-free dining option located at Dawes House. Disability access and parking are available from the rear parking lot. Students with Celiac or other conditions that cause gluten intolerance may request access to the Dawes dining option by registering with Disability Services and providing medical information about their condition and any additional restrictions or allergies that need to be addressed. Students granted access to Dawes must carefully adhere to those rules designed to keep the location free of gluten contamination. Depending on their level of need, students may be offered more limited gluten-free options at other locations.
Service Animal and Support Animal Policy
Smith College is committed to ensuring equal access to the campus for disabled students, staff, and faculty, as well as for guests and visitors requiring service animals. It is the college’s policy to permit service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act in most areas of the campus. The college may permit Emotional Support Animals (ESA) to reside in the residence hall with a student with a documented disability on a case-by-case basis, according to the requirements defined by the Fair Housing Act amendments.
Individuals with Service Animals not living in Smith Housing are not required to register with Disability Services, but are encouraged to do so, in order that we may ensure you have the best possible experience on campus, and so that we can avoid classroom conflicts with other disabled students who may have severe animal allergies.
Service animal handlers and those with Emotional Support Animals who wish to have an animal in the residence halls will need to meet/talk with the Disability Services Director and submit the following information:
1. Completed ODS Accommodation and Services Request form to register, including a written statement explaining your reasons for requesting a support animal.
2. Completed Animal Housing Contract
3. Proof of registration of the animal where required.
4. Medical information about the animal's health including necessary shots.
5. An emegency care plan for your animal that does not rely on other students.
6. Roommate agreement Form, if applicable
Students applying for or requesting permission to have an ESA in the residence halls will need to submit information from a clinician documenting their disability and the need for this type of support animal. Documentation Guidelines are available on the ODS website.
Bringing an animal to stay in campus housing takes planning and preparation on the part of students and staff from several college departments. Please allow up to a month for this request to be processed.
It is important that you consider the needs of the type of animal given that it will be alone for long periods of time. Think through your own willingness and ability to focus time on its care while going to school.
Please take note of the timeline for submitting these requests found in the Service Animal Policy below.