Office of Accessibility Resources and Services

The office of accessibility resources and services (OARS) coordinates accommodation service and provides advocacy and support to assist students with documented physical, learning, sensory, psychological, developmental, and other disabilities achieve to their full potential.

OARS staff are working hard to enhance the information available here to address questions about our services and provide connections to resources for prospective, incoming, and returning students as well as parents and Hampshire faculty. If you aren't finding what you're looking for, please call us at 413.559.5498. If front office staff are unable to answer your question, you can schedule a meeting with the director. We look forward to working with you!

Aaron Ferguson, director of accessibility resources and services 

Hampshire College offers services on an individual basis to students with documented disabilities. The College recognizes its obligation under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities so they may participate as fully as possible in the College's academic programs. The office of accessibility resources and services is responsible for the coordination and provision of services and accommodations for students with disabilities and supporting the campus community in making Hampshire an accessible place to live and learn.

Scheduling appointments may be done via phone 413.559.5498, via email or by coming in person to the Lemelson Building.

OARS holds office hours for anyone from the community to drop in from 1-3 p.m. every Friday and meet with staff on a first-come-first-served basis. 


Any current or prospective Hampshire student, faculty, or staff member can meet with OARS staff to consult on our supports and services.

These are typically a half-hour and can be useful for any of the following reasons:

  • Request additional accommodations based on a previously disclosed disability.
  • Learn about the transition to Hampshire as a new student.
  • Understand ways to support specific students who seem to be struggling and/or get them connected with OARS. 
  • How to seek a formal diagnosis if not yet diagnosed.
  • Options available for support without a formal diagnosis.
  • Interest in collaborating to enhance accessibility at Hampshire or throughout the Pioneer Valley.

Disclosing a Disability

Students can disclose a disability and request accommodations at any point throughout their academic career at Hampshire. To be considered for disability-related accommodations, students will need to follow three easy steps:

  1. Complete a Voluntary Disclosure Form to tell us more about you and the accommodations you would like to request.
  2. Submit the Voluntary Disclosure Form with appropriate documentation. (See our Documentation Guidelines below for more information).
  3. Once your file is complete,* you will meet with the director of OARS for an intake meeting to review accommodations and other supports available to you (Usually 1hr).
    • *Intake appointments are recommended to be scheduled at least two business days after submitting a complete file to allow for adequate time for review. 

Documentation Guidelines and Forms

Whether you are a new or current Hampshire student, to request accommodations, please refer to the below guidelines relative to your disability. OARS may request additional documentation if initial submission does not meet guidelines or is insufficient to determine eligibility of a student's request.

These guidelines are available here in PDF format for ease of printing or saving to give to your doctor. Documentation and specific requests for accommodation should be sent to: The Office of Accessibility Resources and Services (OARS), Box AC, Hampshire College, 893 West Street, Amherst, MA 01002. or via fax: 413.559.6098 attn: Accessibility. 


Hampshire does not provide psycho-educational evaluations for students. OARS and health and counseling services staff do have a list of local practitioners who are qualified to conduct such evaluations at the student's expense.

Requests for Accommodations at the Five Colleges

Hampshire students frequently take courses at the other four colleges in the Five College system. Requests for accommodations in courses at other colleges must be made through the director of accessibility resources and services at Hampshire, who will forward your request to their counterparts at the other college. The final decision regarding the appropriateness or feasibility of such a request for accommodation rests with the disabilities services administrator at the other campus.


The decision to disclose a disability to the College is wholly voluntary. You may not, however, receive an accommodation from the College without such disclosure and providing appropriate supporting information and documentation. The information provided by you will be treated as confidential and will be disclosed by the College only as necessary for it to assess or implement your requested services or accommodations. Students are legally considered to be adults. Communication of confidential information with parents or professionals regarding disabilities must be authorized by the student.


Hampshire College does not provide special transportation for students with disabilities. The director of accessibility resources and services will facilitate application for paratransit (van) services provided by the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority and the Five Colleges for students with mobility impairments that prevent them from using Five College bus transportation.


Hampshire has several housing units specially equipped for students with physical disabilities. If you need such accommodations, please indicate that in your Request for Accommodations.

Assistive Technologies and Study Skills

Hampshire has several computers equipped with text-to-speech and speech-to-text programs to assist students with learning disabilities. The director of accessibility resources and services is available to work with students, individually or in small groups, who have problems with organization, time management, or study skills. These services are open to all students, although first priority for use of assistive technologies and study skills services is given to students with documented learning disabilities.

Auxiliary Aids

Hampshire College believes that its responsibility to ensure the availability of necessary auxiliary aids ordinarily can be met by assisting disabled students to obtain such aids from governmental units, such as the state vocational rehabilitation agencies, through the student's health insurance, or from private charitable organizations. Accordingly, students with disabilities will be expected to exercise reasonable self-help in obtaining and maintaining funding from outside sources for required aids. In the event that a student with a documented disability is turned down by outside agencies for auxiliary aids that the College has determined are necessary to give the student an equal opportunity to obtain the same educational benefit from the course or courses in which the student seeks to enroll as may be obtained by a student without disabilities, then the College will take whatever action is necessary and reasonable to fulfill its obligations to ensure that the student is not denied the right to participate in any such class or classes due to the absence of educationally necessary aids.

To ensure the availability of necessary aids at the start of any particular semester, students with a disability who believe that they will need an auxiliary aid to participate in a course or courses offered by Hampshire College must notify the director of accessibility resources and services of the need at least four weeks before the first day of classes for that term. Such notice is required in order to give the student and the College a reasonable period of time to evaluate whether the requested aid is necessary to provide the student with an equal opportunity to benefit from the College's educational programs, to identify sources for purchasing, leasing, or hiring any necessary aid, and, if possible, to obtain funding for required aids from appropriate governmental or other agencies.

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Office of Accessibility Resources and Services (OARS)
Mail Code AC
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
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