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.
An individual with a disability is a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such an impairment; or has been regarded as having such an impairment.
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 accommodation, meets the 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 programs and activities. The College is not required to make a modification that it can demonstrate would substantially alter an essential element of a College requirement, standard, or program. Reasonable accommodations may include the elimination of physical barriers whenever possible, and academic adjustments such as the following if appropriate: the use of a calculator, spell-checker, tape recorder, or notetaker; reduced courseload; alternate formats for print materials; sign language interpreters or captionists; adaptive equipment; assistive technology; and substitution of specific required courses when appropriate. Testing accommodations such as extra time, a distraction-reduced room, 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 . . .
To be eligible for services and reasonable accommodations, a student must meet the following criteria:
Students are encouraged to request accommodations and to provide the required information as early as possible to allow sufficient time for consideration and planning. To confirm eligibility for reasonable accommodations, the documentation must be a written report of an evaluation by a qualified professional, not related to the student, verifying the existence of a disabling condition, identifying deficits that currently cause substantial limitations in a college setting, and relating the current impact of the condition to the requested accommodations. It should be on letterhead stationery, indicate the date of the most recent evaluation, and include the signature, title, and credentials of the professional conducting the evaluation.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 disorder (AD/HD), a student must submit a current report (preferably no more than three years old) based on the results of a comprehensive evaluation by a psychiatrist or licensed psychologist experienced in diagnosing AD/HD in young adults and adults. The report must include the following information:
To document a learning disability (LD), a student must submit a current report (preferably no more than three years old) from a comprehensive psycho-educational or neuropsychological evaluation 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 must be assessed:
The report must include the following information:
A student with a physical disability or chronic medical condition may be required to provide 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 must be included:
To document a psychological disability, a student must submit a current report based on a comprehensive evaluation 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 must include the following information:
The College provides reasonable accommodations for qualified students who disclose a disabling condition that currently causes substantial limitations to their functioning in a college environment. Decisions about eligibility for accommodations and the identification of reasonable accommodations are made by the Coordinator of Access Services in collaboration with the student, and other College professionals as appropriate, 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 is important in evaluating eligibility for accommodations. Also, the College is not obligated to make an adjustment that would fundamentally alter an essential element of a course or program. Reasonable accommodations are implemented to provide students with equal access; they do not guarantee success. Accommodations will not be implemented retroactively.
Students with learning, physical, and psychological disabilities who require accommodations should contact the Coordinator as early as possible to discuss their needs and to submit the necessary documentation. Students requiring facilities access are encouraged to contact the Coordinator whenever necessary. Students requesting academic accommodations should use the following procedures each semester once the required documentation is on file:
Appropriate accommodations may include arrangements that require ample advance planning, so early notice is essential. For academic accommodations requiring considerable planning and preparation (e.g., alternatives to print materials, ASL interpreters, CART), it is strongly recommended that requests be made at least four weeks before the first class. Such notice will help to alleviate unnecessary inconvenience and delays.
Requests for Modifications in Housing Arrangements
The College will consider modifying housing assignment procedures or arrangements when necessary to provide equal access to the residence halls for students with disabilities. Students should contact the Coordinator of Access Services to request modifications in housing and to provide the required 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. New students are required to submit requests and the supporting documentation no later than June 1. Returning students must submit requests and provide the required information by March 30. For students who wish to live on campus during the summer months, the deadline is May 1.
Students may be required to provide current documentation of a disability or significant chronic medical condition to verify eligibility for a modification and to help determine appropriate accommodations in campus housing. 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). It should verify the existence of a disabling condition that currently causes substantial limitations to the student’s ability to function in a residential environment, and relate the current impact of the condition to the modifications requested. The report 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 are also required to complete and submit a form, Request for Modifications in Residential Life, which is available from the Access Services office.
Reasonable accommodations and procedural modifications in housing 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:
Policy Regarding Service Animals
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 and Confidentiality
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.
Complaint Resolution Procedure
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 610-526-7630.
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.
For additional information, please see the “Statement of Procedures Concerning Sexual Harassment and Other Forms of Harassment and Discrimination” available in the Bryn Mawr College Student Handbook. Retaliation against any individual because s/he has initiated a good faith disability discrimination complaint will not be tolerated by the College.
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.
Emergency Evacuation Procedures for Students with Disabilities
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 http://www.brynmawr.edu/emergency. 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: