Registering with OARS
Students can disclose a disability and request accommodations at any point during their academic careers at Hampshire. However, accommodations cannot be applied retroactively, so it is strongly encouraged that students engage in the disclosure and accommodation approval process as soon as possible to allow reasonable time to implement the accommodations. Once approved, the OARS staff will support your advocacy around implementing these accommodations.
If you would like to learn more about the accommodation request process, or do not have diagnosed disabilities but think you might be struggling with disability-related functional limitations and have questions about getting assessed or diagnosed, OARS staff can meet to discuss appropriate academic strategies, possible temporary accommodations, and how to seek a diagnosis and documentation. Contact OARS to schedule a consultation appointment (usually 30 minutes; options for in-person, over the phone or via video chat).
Disclosing a Disability
To be considered for disability-related accommodations, you need to follow three easy steps to engage in an interactive process to determine reasonable accommodations for your disability.
- Self-Report: Completing our "Self-Report for Disability Disclosure" online form enables you to tell us more about yourself, the barriers you are currently facing or have faced in the past, your history of accommodation, and the accommodations you would like to request.
- This form serves as a starting point from which to reflect on your strengths, successes, barriers, and challenges; what's worked and what hasn't.
- If you'd prefer to review these questions in-person, verbally or otherwise, you can do so by scheduling a meeting with OARS staff anytime!
- Supporting Documentation: Every student must work with a treating professional to complete a Supporting Documentation Form for Care Providers. If you or your provider have questions, refer to our Documentation Guidelines (PDF)
- If you are requesting any other accommodation, your provider must complete a Form for Care Providers (PDF), Form for Care Providers (WORD)
- If you are requesting an Emotional Support Animal (ESA), you and your provider must complete an ESA Packet (PDF)/ESA Packet (WORD)
- Intake Appointment (Optional): Once your file is complete for review, you will be notified via email of your accommodations. You can reply to this email to schedule an intake appointment (usually lasting 1 hour) in which you would meet with an OARS staff member to discuss your accommodations and support recommendations. Here you will have a chance to ask any questions about your documentation and why accommodations were approved or denied, and to explore and understand any other support services available at Hampshire.
You may ask that your documentation be reconsidered or you can submit additional supporting documentation if you were not granted a specific accommodation.
Once approved for accommodations, you are entitled to those accommodations throughout the Five College Consortium during all your time at Hampshire. The circumstances in which this might not be true would be if you take substantial time off, if your accommodations are initially approved on a temporary basis, or if your disability and/or functional limitation changes.
Students may request accommodations related to academics at any point in their academic career. Academic accommodations relate primarily to:
- The exam environment.
- In-class related to how one receives, captures, and processes information or expresses ideas and conveys understanding.
- Work outside of class.
Once you have completed our disclosure process above, if you are requesting housing-based accommodations, OARS will work directly with the housing operations office (HOO) to ensure your accommodation are considered in the placement process.
- Please navigate to our Housing Accommodation Page to learn more about timelines and read our FAQs for requesting housing accommodations.
- Returning students who have already completed the initial disclosure process and are requesting housing accommodations in subsequent years do not need to complete the self-report or resubmit supporting documentation. Please only complete the housing supplement.
If you are in need of accommodations based on a short-term illness or injury, please utilize the disclosure process above and see our Temporary Accommodation Page for more information.
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.