Reasonable Accommodations 

Qualified students with disabilities, who with reasonable accommodations can meet essential qualifications, criteria, standards, and functions of courses, degrees, services, programs, jobs, or activities, are entitled to equal access the same as other students.  A reasonable accommodation is a reasonable modification or adjustment that enables qualified students with a disability to have equal access to education, services, jobs, and facilities at the college. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, defines persons with disabilities as those who:

1. have a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

2. have a history of such an impairment.

3. are regarded as having such an impairment. 

The Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008 added:

1. major life activities include  major bodily functions, including, but not limited to digestive, bowel, bladder, immune, neurological and respiratory functions.

2. includes impairments that are episodic or in remission.

3. a condition is disabling regardless of the ameliorative effects of medication, medical devices (with the exception of eye glasses or contact lenses), other therapy or treatment, accommodations or auxiliary services. 

A qualified person with a disability is one who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can meet the essential qualifications, criteria, and functions for participation in the services, programs, jobs, or activities in question. 

Reasonable accommodations are not intended to eliminate a student's disability, but to support the student's own efforts to circumvent obstacles to learning. Students are expected to meet the essential course and degree requirements. Accommodations are not substitutions for faculty academic decisions such as course content, grading, or syllabus requirements.  These determinations are not within the jurisdiction of AccessAbility Services. 

When requesting an accommodation, students must provide documentation and complete the process of registering with AccessAbility Services . The college respects the student's right not to disclose a disability or request accommodations. This decision rests with the student.    

Disclosure of a disability is voluntary; however, it is important to note that the college is not responsible for providing accommodations to a student who has not provided appropriate documentation of a disability to AccessAbility Services and requested a reasonable accommodation in a timely manner. Please note: disclosing a disability on the Mount Holyoke College application does not constitute registering with AccessAbility Services. 

To Access Accommodations a Student Must:

register with AccessAbility Services by submitting the ISIS form, providing to AccessAbility Services current and appropriate documentation that verifies the disability and supports the accommodations that are being requested, and completing an intake appointment.

make requests for accommodations in a timely manner.

provide an Accommodation Letter that has been prepared by AccessAbility Services to the faculty member that is to provide the accommodation.

AccessAbility Services will provide the student with the Accommodation Letter. The Accommodation Letter provides notification that the student has provided appropriate documentation to AccessAbility Services that supports the requested accommodation. 

Students are responsible for promptly providing the faculty member with the Accommodation Letter from AccessAbility Services. Please note that this is a very important student responsibility because without this notification, a faculty member is not responsible for providing an accommodation. Accommodations are not retroactive; faculty are not required to provide accommodations until they receive the accommodation letter. Students requesting testing accommodations must present their professor/s with an Accommodation Letter at least two weeks prior to the test. Last minute or retroactive requests for testing accommodations will only be considered in the case of  medical emergencies. In such cases, appropriate medical documentation must be provided to AccessAbility Services.

Academic accommodations have a duration of one-semester because accommodation needs may change. Established accommodations must be renewed from semester to semester.  The student determines whether or not their approved accommodations are needed for each semester.  Once approved, students may request accommodations in person or over the phone at an accommodation meeting or by filling out an Academic Accommodation Request Form. 

If a problem arises with a requested accommodation, the student should bring the situation to the attention of AccessAbility Services right away.  It is important to keep communication lines open with faculty, AccessAbility Services, and others who are involved in providing an accommodation. Students must notify AccessAbility Services of changes in class schedules and the need for accommodation adjustments. 

Please note, the college has the right to deny a request for accommodations and services if an individual fails to provide the required documentation, the provided documentation does not support the requested accommodation, the student fails to make the request in a reasonable time period, the requested accommodation poses a health or safety risk, or the requested accommodation imposes an undue burden or fundamental alteration to a program, service, or activity.