Bryn Mawr College welcomes the full participation of individuals with disabilities in all aspects of campus life. The College is committed to providing equal educational opportunity for all qualified students with disabilities in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended (ADAAA). Students with access needs due to a learning, physical, or psychological disability are encouraged to contact Access Services as early as possible for additional information and to discuss their needs.
The term substantially limits means the individual is restricted with regard to the condition, manner, or duration with which s/he performs a major life activity compared to most people in the general population.
With regard to post-secondary education, a qualified person with a disability is one who, with or without reasonable accommodation, meets the academic and technical standards for admission to or participation in an educational program, activity, or service.
Appropriate academic adjustments and reasonable accommodations refer to modifications necessary to ensure that College requirements do not discriminate against students with disabilities or have the effect of excluding students on the basis of disability. A reasonable accommodation helps to minimize, as much as possible, the limitations resulting from the disability and provides the individual with an equal opportunity to participate in College courses, programs, services, and activities. The College is not required to make a modification that it can demonstrate would substantially alter an essential element of a College standard, requirement, or program. Reasonable accommodations may include the elimination of physical barriers whenever possible, and academic adjustments such as the following when appropriate: the use of a calculator, spell-checker, recorder, or note-taker; reduced courseload; alternate formats for print materials; sign language interpreting or captioning; adaptive equipment; assistive technology; and substitution of specific required courses when appropriate. Testing accommodations such as extra time, a distraction-reduced room, word processing, scribes, and readers are also provided when necessary.
Students with disabilities that substantially limit them in the College environment have the right to. . .
Students with disabilities have the responsibility to . . .
The College, through its faculty and staff, is entitled to . . .
The College has the responsibility to . . .
Bryn Mawr provides reasonable accommodations for qualified students who disclose a disabling condition that currently causes substantial limitations to their functioning in the College environment. Decisions about eligibility and the need for reasonable accommodations are made by the Coordinator of Access Services in collaboration with the student, and other College professionals as appropriate.
To be eligible for services and reasonable accommodations, a student must meet the following criteria:
Determination of the need for accommodations is based on the following considerations:
Please note that a prior history of accommodation does not mean that similar accommodations will automatically be provided at the College. Consideration of a student’s current functioning and needs is important when confirming eligibility and determining appropriate accommodations. Also, the College is not obligated to make an adjustment that would fundamentally alter an essential element of a course, program, service, or activity. Reasonable accommodations are implemented to provide students with equal access; they do not guarantee success. Accommodations will not be implemented retroactively.
Students are encouraged to request accommodations and to provide the required information as early as possible to allow sufficient time for consideration and planning. Please review these guidelines for information about documenting specific types of conditions. In general, to confirm the need for reasonable accommodations, the documentation should be a typewritten report on letterhead stationery from a qualified professional not related to the student.
At a minimum, the following information should be included:
Students should also submit verification of prior eligibility for accommodations from educational institutions and testing agencies if available, such as an IEP or 504 Plan, approval of accommodations from ETS or ACT, and letter from their high school or previous college when relevant. Although these documents on their own are not typically sufficient to substantiate the current need for accommodations, they may provide useful information about the student’s educational history.
All documentation should be submitted to the Coordinator of Access Services as early as possible. Additional information may be necessary to substantiate the need for accommodations. If inadequate documentation is submitted, accommodations may not be arranged until the necessary information is received. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain any required documentation.
To document an Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a student must submit a current report based on the results of an evaluation (preferably within the last three years) by a psychiatrist or licensed psychologist experienced in diagnosing ADHD in young adults and adults. The report should include the following information:
To document a learning disability (LD), a student must submit a current report from a comprehensive psycho-educational or neuropsychological evaluation (preferably within the last three years) performed by a licensed psychologist or certified school psychologist experienced in evaluating LD in young adults and adults. Test instruments must be well recognized and age appropriate, and the most recent edition should be used. Adult norms are preferred.
At a minimum, the following areas should be evaluated:
The report should include the following information:
A student with a physical disability or chronic medical condition may be required to provide current information to support a request for an accommodation or to help identify appropriate accommodations. The documentation must be a written report of an evaluation by an appropriate professional (e.g., medical doctor, physical or occupational therapist, audiologist) relating the current impact of the condition to the requested accommodations. At a minimum, information about the following should be included:
To document a psychological disability, a student must submit a current report based on a comprehensive evaluation (preferably within the last year) performed by an appropriate professional (i.e., psychiatrist, licensed psychologist or clinical social worker) relating the current impact of the condition to the requested accommodations. The evaluation should include the following information:
Students who think they may need accommodations at the College are encouraged to contact the Coordinator of Access Services as early as possible to discuss their needs and submit the necessary documentation. Appropriate accommodations may include arrangements that require advance planning, so early contact is essential. For academic accommodations and services requiring considerable advance planning and preparation, such as alternatives to print materials, ASL interpreting, or CART, it is strongly recommended that requests and any required documentation be submitted at least six weeks before the first class. If one of those services is required for an activity or event on campus, requests should be submitted as early as possible, preferably at least one week in advance.
Requests and documentation related to modifications in Residential Life should be submitted by March 30 for continuing students and June 15 for new students. For additional information, please see the next topic titled Requests for Modifications in Residential Life.
Newly admitted students who think they may need accommodations are encouraged to contact the Coordinator of Access Services soon after their decision to matriculate at Bryn Mawr to discuss their academic history and needs, and to learn about the process for requesting Access Services. The documentation necessary to support an accommodation request should be submitted as early as possible before the start of the academic year, in accordance with the timelines indicated previously. Early notice will help to alleviate unnecessary inconvenience and delays, and allow time to obtain any additional information if necessary.
Continuing students should contact the Coordinator as early as possible to discuss their needs, submit any required documentation, and request accommodations when necessary, preferably before the start of the semester for which accommodations are being requested.
Eligible students requesting academic adjustments should use the following procedure each semester:
Continuing students who need classroom accommodations and services requiring considerable advance planning (e.g., accessible classroom locations, alternatives to print materials, ASL interpreting or CART) should submit their requests to the Coordinator as soon as they pre-register for the upcoming semester.
Students requiring facilities access are advised to contact the Coordinator whenever necessary, well in advance of the semester or event for which access is required.
The College will consider reasonable modification of housing assignment procedures or arrangements when necessary to provide equal access for students with disabilities that limit their ability to participate in residential life. Students should contact the Coordinator of Access Services to request modifications and to provide the necessary documentation as early as possible to allow sufficient time for consideration and planning. Requests should be made well in advance of established Residential Life timeframes; otherwise, options may be limited:
Students may be required to provide current documentation of a disability or significant chronic medical condition to verify their access needs and to help determine the modifications necessary in the residential setting. All information should be submitted to the Coordinator of Access Services and will be maintained on a confidential basis. The information must be a written report of an evaluation by an appropriate professional not related to the student (i.e., medical doctor, psychologist, physical or occupational therapist, audiologist).
The report should verify the existence of a disabling condition that currently causes substantial limitations to the student’s ability to participate in residential life, and relate the current impact of the condition to the modification(s) requested. It should be on letterhead stationery, provide the date, and include the signature, title, and credentials of the professional providing the information.
At a minimum, the following information should be included:
Students must complete and submit a form, Request for Modifications in Residential Life, which is available from Access Services. They should also submit documentation of any previous provision of modifications or auxiliary aids or services in a residential setting.
Reasonable modifications are determined by the Coordinator of Access Services in collaboration with the Director of Residential Life, the student, and other College professionals as appropriate, based on the following considerations:
In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended (ADAAA), Bryn Mawr College will provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities when necessary to ensure equal access to our programs, services, and activities. Although animals are not allowed in College facilities, an appropriately trained service animal, as defined below, will be permitted if necessary to ensure access for a person with a disability.
According to the ADAAA, a service animal is a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. The work or tasks must be directly related to the effects of the handler’s disability. Other animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not considered to be service animals. Dogs that are not trained to perform specific tasks that mitigate the effects of a disability, including animals used for emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship, are not considered to be service animals.
The health and safety of Bryn Mawr’s students, faculty, and staff are of utmost importance. The handler is responsible for the overall care and management of the service animal, including appropriate waste clean-up. A service animal should have a harness, leash, or other tether, unless that is not feasible due to the nature of the disability or the dog’s work. If it becomes disruptive or aggressive, or is not housebroken, a service animal may be required to leave the College.
Bryn Mawr students with disabilities who need to bring a service animal with them to the College should contact the Coordinator of Access Services prior to their arrival, and may be asked to provide the following information:
Disclosure of a disability is voluntary. Disability-related information is considered confidential material and does not become part of the student’s academic record at the College. It will not be released without written consent unless required or permitted by law. Information about a disability is shared with members of the campus community only with permission from the student, on a need-to-know basis.
Bryn Mawr College is committed to ensuring equal access for individuals with disabilities in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended. When students believe they have been subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability, the following procedures are available to address their concerns. If appropriate current documentation of a disability is not on file, the student may be requested to provide it to the Access Services office.
A student who believes s/he has been denied equal access or a reasonable accommodation is encouraged to meet with the Coordinator of Access Services as soon as possible to discuss her/his concerns and seek resolution informally. If the student prefers, or the outcome is not to the student’s satisfaction, s/he should contact the College’s ADA/504 Compliance Officer no later than the end of the semester in which the situation occurred. The Compliance Officer may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 610-526-0300.
The Compliance Officer will schedule a meeting with the student as quickly as possible after being contacted. If, after consultation with the Compliance Officer and any resulting actions, the student continues to believe that disability discrimination has occurred, s/he should submit a written statement to the Compliance Officer within two weeks of their last contact. The statement should include an explanation of the facts relevant to the concern and the actions taken previously to resolve it if any.
The Compliance Officer will convene an access review committee which will include appropriate administrators and faculty knowledgeable about disabilities and/or information relevant to the complaint. The committee members may communicate with the following individuals to gather pertinent information: the student, the Coordinator of Access Services, individuals suggested by the student and others with relevant knowledge of the issues involved. The committee will render a decision which will be forwarded to the student in writing within 30 days of the committee’s initial notification of the complaint. All information related to the process will be kept confidential by all parties involved.
Students who continue to believe discrimination on the basis of disability has occurred may contact the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education in the Philadelphia area at 215-656-8541 or OCR_Philadelphia@ed.gov.
Students with disabilities are advised to prepare for an emergency ahead of time and to familiarize themselves with the College’s Emergency Response Guide which is available online at the Emergency Response Guide. They should locate and remember important areas in buildings they frequent including exits, exit routes, rescue areas, stairways, elevators, and telephones. Individuals who will need assistance leaving a building during an emergency are advised to identify in advance someone nearby who can assist them. They should discuss with that person a plan for leaving the building and/or informing emergency personnel of their presence and location so assistance can be provided.
Students with hearing impairments who require visual alarms in their dorm rooms should inform the Coordinator of Access Services about their needs as early as possible.
Resident students with disabilities that limit their ability to move quickly are urged to contact the Coordinator at (610) 526-7351, at the start of each semester to request that Public Safety be informed about their identity and campus residence so assistance can be provided if an evacuation is necessary.
They also should inform Residential Life staff in advance about their need for assistance in the event of an emergency in the dormitory. Those needing assistance to evacuate should identify two individuals on their halls beforehand (e.g., one HA and one student) who can assist them and inform emergency personnel of their presence in the hall. They should discuss with these individuals in advance the specific nature of the assistance needed. In the event relocation is required, the College will make every effort to provide accessible housing, when necessary.
At a minimum, students with conditions affecting their ability to evacuate a building should take the following steps during an emergency:
If using a cellular phone, dial 610-526-7911 to reach Public Safety.