The Disability Services Office (DSO) offers services to qualified students with documented physical, medical, visual, hearing, learning, or psychiatric disabilities. All student requests for accommodations must be directed to and evaluated by the DSO staff.
Please make your requests in a timely manner to give us time to arrange the necessary accommodations. To request a test accommodation, contact the DSO early in the semester, well in advance of any exams.
Students with disabilities are not required to register with the DSO. However, to receive accommodations, you must register with the DSO and request them. Accommodations may or may not be different than previous disability services you may have received (e.g., in high school).
To request an academic accommodation:
- Contact your doctor or another qualified professional and request documentation of your disability. (See our documentation guidelines.)
- Download and fill out the request form, giving your reasons for requesting accommodation. Return this form to the DSO along with your documentation. (You may bring documents to our office or send them via mail or fax.)
- Schedule an interview with the DSO to review diagnosis, treatment history, learning challenges, and requested accommodations. This interview can take place in person, on the phone, or on Skype.
- After reviewing your request and supporting documentation, the director or assistant director will decide whether you are eligible to receive the requested accommodation or an alternative one, and will inform you in writing of this decision.
- Inform your professors of the accommodations granted, so they can provide the requested accommodation in a timely manner.
To request a housing or meal plan accommodation:
- Download the request packet for release from your meal plan contract or housing contract.
- Complete the form and return it to the DSO, along with written documentation of your disability and the relationship between the condition and your request for release from the meal plan or housing contract. The report should indicate the reasons why adjusting the meal plan or moving to a different location on campus is not a feasible alternative.
- Schedule an interview with the DSO to review your request and supporting documentation. (Students who have yet to arrive on campus should download the request packet and send the completed form to the DSO, who will contact the student to review his or her request.)
- The DSO will present your request to the Food and Housing Board for review.
- The DSO will inform the Office of Housing and Residence Life of the decision, who will then contact you in writing.
The DSO is not required under law to assist students with temporary disabilities such as injury, psychological trauma, or short-term illness. However, on a case-by-case basis, we sometimes provide accommodations to such students. Documentation is still required. The DSO will evaluate the documentation to determine whether the condition qualifies for accommodations and what accommodations can be arranged.
The DSO can only provide services to students who have disabilities documented by a professional in a field related to the disability. If you think you may have a disability, contact us, the Counseling Center, or the Health and Wellness Center to discuss your concerns and find out how to receive evaluation.
216 Tremont Street, 5th Floor
Disability Services Office
120 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116
Diane Paxton, Director
Matt Fisher, Assistant Director
Erin Glover, Assistant Director
McKenna Riley '15 has been a strong advocate for students with dyslexia.
She completed her senior capstone project on dyslexia to help others gain a better understanding of the challenges those with dyslexia face. She will continue her reserach and work in hopes of making a full-length documentary on the topic.