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 members 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.

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. During high-traffic time (like the beginning of the semester) OARS holds additional drop-in hours. To learn about additional drop-in hours, stop by Lemelson or give a call.

Scheduling appointments may be done via phone 413.559.5498 or by coming in person to the Lemelson Building and are  for the purpose of intake or consultation.

Intake Appointment

Once students have completed their request for accommodation and provided supporting documentation, we recommend a meeting to review accommodations for which they are approved. Intake appointments are typically an hour.

Consultation Appointments

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

These are typically a half-hour and can be useful for (but not limited to) any of the following reasons:

  • For prospective and incoming students to learn about the transition to Hampshire as a new student.
  • Learn about requesting academic accommodations or requesting housing-based accommodations.
  • Request additional accommodations based on a new or previously disclosed disability
  • Understand ways to support specific students/peers 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.

Evaluations

Hampshire does not provide educational evaluations for students. Health and Counseling Services staff do have a list of local practitioners who are qualified to conduct such evaluations and can help a student identify options for themselves. For more information about how to access support and referral for evaluation including support for medication and prescription filling.

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 his 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.

Transportation

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.

Housing and Dining

Hampshire has several housing units specially equipped for students with physical disabilities. We also place students in specific locations for proximity to resources or in housing with specific elements to meet their accommodation needs and can support connection to dining staff or approve accommodations related to dining on campus. If you need such accommodations, please see our Housing Accommodations page.

Assistive Technologies and Study Skills

Hampshire has several public spaces with computers equipped with assistive and educational software. Staff are available to consult with students about low and no-cost options for learning technologies as well as disability-specific supports for students needing tools and programs as an accommodation. Please review our Assistive Technology page for self-service and other support options and call OARS to schedule a consult meeting to discuss further.

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)
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Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
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