Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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Disability Services

Fostering an inclusive campus culture founded on mutual respect is a part of our mission. Simon’s Rock will work with each student to ensure they have equal access to programs, services and facilities.

Documentation and Accommodations

Bard College at Simon’s Rock is committed to providing individuals with disabilities equal access to its programs, services, and facilities in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended. The director of accessibility and academic support works individually with students with disabilities to assure that they have equal access to the full range of opportunities at the College.

The accommodation process is meant to aid the individual student and the College alike. Good documentation provides a framework for establishing the accommodations and/or services that qualified students with disabilities need in order to access the College’s academic and residential offerings. Additionally, the process assists the College in making consistent, informed decisions with regard to student accommodations.


A student with a disability may be eligible for reasonable accommodations. Disability, as defined by civil rights law, must constitute a mental or physical condition that results in significant impairment in one or more major life functions. Disabilities include, but are not limited to, mobility and orthopedic impairments, sensory impairments, psychological disorders, chronic health impairments, and learning disabilities.
At the college level, if you have a disability it is your responsibility to self-disclose and to request accommodations. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain and supply the College with all necessary documentation. You can initiate the process by contacting the director of accessibility and academic support who can advise you as to what types of documentation you may need to submit. New students are encouraged to send the Notification of Need for Reasonable Accommodation Form along with any related documentation, to the director of accessibility and academic support before the beginning of the semester. Requests for services and accommodations must be made in a timely manner. Without sufficient advance notification and proper documentation, the Office of Accessibility may not be able to meet your requests. It is particularly important to be in contact early if you need services such as sign language interpreters, alternative print materials, etc. so that services are in place when you arrive. Once you have requested accommodations, the director of accessibility and academic support will arrange to meet with you when you arrive on campus to discuss an accommodation plan. At this meeting documentation will be reviewed to determine appropriate services and accommodations that are necessary and effective, and which do not compromise the academic standards of the College. Please note that while a request for accommodations can be initiated at any point in the school year, accommodations cannot be applied retroactively. Students are expected to actively participate in using the accommodations they have requested and which have been approved by the College. The College will not impose accommodations nor do we preempt a student’s responsibility to request accommodations and/or voluntarily disclose a disability. The director is available throughout the year to answer questions and to provide guidance and support with the accommodation process.
Documentation of a disability must substantiate the need for specific accommodations requested. All documentation must be current. Educational evaluations and testing for a learning disability should not be more than 3–5 years old. Documentation of psychological disabilities and other disabilities subject to frequent change should not be more than one year old. Examples of unacceptable documentation include a brief note from a doctor that simply requests an accommodation, information or notes written on prescription pad. Documentation of a learning disability which is not comprehensive or which identifies learning “problems or challenges,” but does not specifically diagnose a learning disability, will be unacceptable under most circumstances. If you have any questions about whether your documentation is sufficient, please contact the director of accessibility and academic support. Documentation must be provided by a licensed professional who has undergone appropriate and comprehensive training, and has no personal relationship with the individual being evaluated. The information provided must include a diagnosis that establishes the existence of a disability and description of the nature of the disability, duration (if temporary), limitations relevant to a residential educational setting and recommendations for accommodations. A good match between the credentials of the individual making the diagnosis and the condition being reported is expected.
Documentation is considered confidential information and does not become part of your permanent record. Any information regarding a disability is considered confidential and will be shared only with others within the college who have a legitimate educational interest. It is not normally shared with other campus offices without your written consent. The College is committed to ensuring that all information and communication pertaining to a student’s disability is maintained as confidential as required or permitted by law. This information is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Simon’s Rock maintains disability records for a period of seven years. Students and families should keep the original copies of any documentation they submit.
In the beginning of each semester, if you have registered as a student with a disability, the director of accessibility and academic support invites you to meet with her, and together you discuss what reasonable accommodations you may need. Neither previously received accommodations nor recommendations made by the diagnosing professional are automatically provided. Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis. It is your responsibility to request modifications if the provided accommodations are not effective.
After you meet with the director of accessibility and academic support, she will provide you with a letter of accommodation verifying that you are eligible to receive accommodation and identifying the appropriate accommodation(s). This letter is meant to serve as a starting point in your discussions with your professors. The letter does not identify the specific disabilities, it only lists the academic accommodations for which you are eligible.

Accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

  • Assistive technology
  • Digital textbooks for screen readers or audio versions
  • Course materials provided in alternative formats
  • Provision of open captioning, cart services or interpreters
  • Note-taking assistance
  • Testing modifications, such as extended time or reduced distraction location

Bard College at Simon’s Rock is committed to providing individuals with disabilities equal access to all of its programs, services, and facilities. This commitment is grounded in the College’s own commitment to fostering an inclusive campus and also in the law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The College strives to resolve disability-related concerns through open dialogue amongst its instructors, administrators, and students. The College has also adopted formal processes for addressing such concerns. The College’s Disability Accommodations Grievance Procedure for Students applies to disability accommodation requests and other concerns regarding disability accommodations specifically. Students who believe that they have been discriminated against on the basis of disability in ways that do not involve disability accommodations should contact the Dean of Students. Faculty and staff with disability-related concerns should contact should contact the Director of Finance & Administration.

The College does not provide services of a personal nature such as personal attendants, homework assistance, private tutors, or typing services, nor does it provide diagnostic evaluations of disabilities. Peer tutoring and writing consultations are available to all students at the College through the Win Commons.

Documentation Guidelines and Forms


Jean Altshuler

Director of Accessibility and Academic Support