The Accommodation Request Process
Students, staff, faculty, and guests who seek accommodations for their disabilities, should follow the Accommodation Request Process described below. Please contact us if you have any questions!
The College views the accommodation request process as an interactive process, and values input received from the individual requesting the accommodation.
Examples of commonly requested accommodations for disabilities:
- extended time on exams
- housing accommodations
- meal plan accommodations
- reading materials in an alternative format such as large print and audio files
- sign language interpreters
- cued speech transliterators
- student transportation services on campus
- readers and scribes during exams
- preregistration for courses when needed to plan for accommodations
- requirement alternative route for foreign language
- technology access such as voice dictation and other software
- parking accommodations
- specific job accommodations
How to Make a Request:
1. Make an appointment to meet or speak with the Director of Disability Services, Jim Wice — at (781) 283-2434 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Entering first year and transfer students will want to make first contact by filling out the Disability Services Information Form on the portal.
2. Complete the Disability Accommodation Request Form. Any time during the year, individuals may fill out the Disability Accommodation Request Form to initiate a request for accommodations.
3. In addition to meeting or speaking with the Director of Disability Services and submitting a Disability Accommodation Request Form, individuals who wish to request an accommodation must submit appropriate documentation of their disability. All medical and mental health documentation should be submitted on the individual's clinician's letterhead and typically should include:
- a description of the accommodation that the clinician recommends be provided and for how long it will be needed.
- a description of the disability that gives rise to the accommodation being requested.
- an explanation of why the accommodation being requested is needed, based on that disability.
- how long the clinician has treated the individual for the disability for which the accommodation is requested.
- any limitations as they relate to the accommodations requested; and the clinician’s address, area of specialty, signature, and date of signature.
Examples of Appropriate Documentation Might Include:
- For documentation of learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, a current age appropriate neuropsychological evaluation is needed. Although IEPs, 504 plans, and other educational plans are helpful, a current neuropsychological evaluation typically is necessary to determine what academic accommodations are needed.
- For documentation of mental health disabilities, a mental health clinician’s assessment that should include a description of the individual's disability giving rise for the need for the requested accommodation, along with any other relevant information to explain why the requested accommodation is needed due to that disability.
- For documentation of deafness or hard of hearing, an audiologist's current assessment and letter.
- For documentation of blindness or low vision, an ophthalmologist's current assessment and letter.
- For documentation of mobility impairments, a current assessment from an orthopedist, neurologist, or other clinician knowledgeable of the particular disability.
Wellesley will address each request for accommodations on an individualized basis. Therefore, the required documentation may vary and may not be limited to the examples above. The Director of Disability Services can discuss the required documentation with the individual requesting the accommodation.
After You Complete Your Request:
1. The Director of Disability Services will review the request and documentation and follow up if there are questions or if additional information is needed.
2. The Director of Disability Services may determine that he needs to consult with other persons in the course of reviewing a request for accommodation. For example, sometimes the director may need to consult with the staff or faculty who referred the individual to Disability Services. Or, in other cases, the director may need to reach out to staff or faculty for input on the requested accommodation and particular course or job requirements impacted by that request. In these situations, the director will share his need to speak to such other persons with the individual making a request for accommodation and ask the individual for his/her permission to speak with those persons.
3. If the Director of Disability Services finds the documentation requires clarification and/or is insufficient, he/she may request additional information. (For example, documentation may be considered insufficient if it does not demonstrate why a specific accommodation is needed.) Please note that documentation of the disability may not be enough to warrant accommodations, as there must be a connection between the disability, the requested accommodation itself, and the purpose of that accommodation as it relates to the education program, campus activity, or employment opportunity at issue.
4. The Director of Disability Services will determine if the individual is a qualified individual with a disability and if the accommodation requested is related to the disability and is reasonable. The director may determine that an alternative accommodation will be provided if it is effective or if the requested accommodation would fundamentally alter the nature of the program or job at issue. Note that if the requested accommodations fundamentally alters essential requirements of a program, or fundamentally alters the essential functions of the job, then it is not viewed as reasonable. (Please feel free to raise any questions regarding what constitutes fundamental alterations to the director.) In such a case, the director will assess whether an alternate accommodation is available, and encourages the individual requesting the accommodation to dialogue with him about possible alternatives.
5. The Director of Disability Services will inform the requesting individual whether his/her request for accommodation is approved, or if an alternate accommodation has been identified and approved, and assist in providing the granted accommodation, if appropriate.
6. If there is a disagreement regarding the outcome of the accommodation request review, the individual may follow up with the director and engage in further dialogue regarding the request. If more information or clarity is helpful, the individual can present it both in person and/or in writing. If no further agreement can be reached, an individual can request an appeal as outlined in the following section of this website labeled Appeal Process.
7. The individual requesting the accommodation should feel free to contact the director with any questions at any time about this process.