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Disabled students come to Smith College from neighboring towns, across the nation, and around the globe. Disabled students bring unique strengths, talents, creativity, and experiences that strengthen and enrich the diversity of the Smith academic and residential community.

The Accessibility Resource Center is deeply committed to fostering community and connections among students with disabilities where self-knowledge, understanding, peer support, mentoring, empowerment, and engagement around common challenges and solutions can blossom.

Events & 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 Accessibility Resource Center ( with questions.

For Faculty

ARC offers this Quick Tips Sheet Downloadable PDF overview of our office process. 

Disabled Student Alliance

The Disabled Student Alliance is 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.

Peer Mentoring Program

The Peer Mentoring Program launched in 2013, in response to a history of disabled students expressing an interest in connecting with one another socially and academically.

The Peer Mentoring Program matches experienced students with disabilities to incoming students with disabilities in a mentor/mentee relationship. Mentors provide support and advice to their mentees based on their own experiences navigating Smith with a disability. Individual weekly meetings between mentor and mentee are encouraged. Please contact the office for more information or to sign up. 

Email Templates for Students with ARC Letters

Dear Professor [Last Name], 

[[Personalized greeting.]]

I am writing to share my ARC letter with you. I would like to follow up by [[coming to your office hours / scheduling a brief meeting to discuss how the accommodations will be implemented in your class / another form of conversation option which you propose]].  Please let me know what works for you. 

Thank you!

[Student Name] 

Dear Professor [Last Name], 

[[Personalized greeting.]]

I am a student in your [insert class] class. I provided my ARC letter to you on [insert date]. As a reminder, I have [insert specific accommodation] and need to use it for our assignment due on [insert date]. I would like to talk with you about submitting the assignment on [[date that complies with your accommodation]]. Can I [[come to you office hours/however you want to communicate]] before the due date to discuss how the accommodation will be implemented?  Please let me know what works for you. 

Thank you!

[Student Name]

Dear Professor [Last Name], 

[[Personalized greeting.]]

I am a student in your [insert class] class. I provided my ARC letter to you on [insert date]. As a reminder, I have [insert specific accommodation] and need to use it for our test on [insert date]. I would like to [[come to your office hours/however you want to communicate]] before the test to discuss how the accommodations will be implemented.  Please let me know what works for you.

Thank you!

[Student Name]

Campus Resources

In addition to the accommodations provided to students with documented disabilities by the Accessibility Resource Center, students are encouraged to use the following on-campus resources.

The Assistive Technology Lab is located in the Neilson Library Learning commons in room 108H and is available during the library's regular open hours. The lab contains Mac and Windows machines which have the manufacturer's built-in software as well as specialized accessibility software. Students may Reserve the Assistive Technology Lab  up to 1 week in advance.

Technology for Learning: If you would like to learn more about how these technologies could be applied to your learning needs, contact the Office of Disability Services at

Software Training: If you would like information about what the current offerings in the lab include, if you need assistance learning about the software available in the lab, or if you would like to learn how to use the accessibility features of your own computer or laptop, please contact

Exam accommodations: Students needing computer access for exams should get approval with the Office of Disability Services at at least a week in advance to make arrangements.

Assistive Listening Devices: Assistive listening devices must be made available in any space that requires amplification. Please review the guidelines linked here

Please continue to request approval for Access Van usage through ODS. Please also note that the Access Van is now operated out of Campus Safety. You may email Access Van Coordinator Zachary Parker-Mayforth to find out the current hours or to schedule rides. Once students have been approved for the van through ODS, a phone number is provided for requesting unscheduled rides. Please note that when rides are not scheduled in advance, there is sometimes a wait for an available driver. 

View the Smith College interactive campus map, which shows accessibility access.

Use Robobraille to quickly convert your scanned or existing electronic documents. The success of this conversion depends upon the quality of the original document. 

The Jacobson Center for Writing, Teaching, & Learning

The Jacobson Center, located in Seelye 307, offers a variety of services to help students develop skills in writing and effective learning. Jacobson Center staff make every effort to address the needs of students with learning disabilities. Writing counseling and peer subject tutoring are provided to all Smith students through the Jacobson Center.

Professional Writing Instructors

During the week, a staff of professional writing instructors is available to review student drafts, point out strengths and weaknesses, listen to new ideas, and make suggestions for improvement.

Tutorial Program

In the tutorial program, students seeking help with a particular subject taught at Smith are matched with student tutors who have done well in that subject and who have been recommended by faculty members. All of these services are free and are used by substantial numbers of Smith undergraduates, ranging from first-year students taking their first college courses to seniors writing honors essays.

Time Management & Study Skills

The Jacobson Center also offers workshops and one-to-one sessions on time management, organization and academic study skills.

Other Resources

Lazarus Center for Career Development

The Lazarus Center for Career Development provides assistance to students and recent alums. The center’s professional staff offers advising individually and in groups, in-person and online, throughout the calendar year.

Health & Wellness

As an inclusive community, the needs of the most impacted individuals must be understood and considered in our planning decisions. From that perspective, we can strive to remain a healthy and welcoming community for all and sustain a culture of care.

Doctor bandaging an injury to a woman's wrist

Additional COVID-19 Support

In our COVID-19 efforts we want to clearly acknowledge there are students, staff, and faculty with immune disorders, disabilities, or other health conditions who will continue to live with greater risk for the foreseeable future.

We are committed to exploring accommodations and alternative strategies where possible and necessary, and to finding individualized solutions wherever it is reasonable and efficacious to do so, in order to safely care for all members of our community.