You are here

Office of Accessibility Resources and Services (OARS)

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, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities so they may participate as equitably as possible in the College's academic programs. Disabilities are considered any documented impairment which impacts a major life function. This may include, but is not limited to diagnoses related to sensory impairments, mobility impairments, chronic illnesses and medical disabilities, learning disabilities, developmental disabilities and psychological disabilities. The OARS staff is responsible for the coordination of services and accommodations for students with disabilities. Accommodations may be provided by OARS directly, but often accommodations are implemented in collaboration with faculty or other relevant campus offices and personell. OARS may be reached at 413.559.5498 or via email: OARS@hampshire.edu. 

Student Responsibilities
The Office of Accessibility Resources and Services supports students by advocating for equitable access to all programs and services at Hampshire College. Students are expected to self-identify to OARS and requests accommodations through the Disability Disclosure and Accommodation Request process. This is an interactive process to determine reasonable accommodations for which a student is eligible and to educate a student about relevant processes, support services, and additional responsibilities to access approved accommodations of which they should be aware. Once approved for accommodations, it is a student’s responsibility to notify relevant faculty or administrators of approved accommodations and to collaborate with those entities and OARS in an ongoing process of accommodation implementation.

Confidentiality
The decision to disclose a disability to the College is wholly voluntary. The information provided by students will be treated as confidential and will be disclosed by OARS only if necessary to assess and/or implement requested services or accommodations. Evaluations, medical records, and other documents submitted to establish record of a disability or the need for accommodations are securely maintained in the OARS office and do not become part of a student’s academic record or transcript. Students aged 18 years or older are legally considered to be adults. Communication of confidential information with parents or professionals regarding disabilities must be authorized by the student.

Evaluations of Eligibility
Hampshire College does not provide educational evaluations or any other assessment of medical, learning, or mental health status to determine eligibility for accommodation. Documentation Guidelines are available to clarify types of assessments and appropriate professionals to administer such assessments which substantiate need and eligibility for disability-related accommodation. A list of local practitioners qualified to conduct relevant evaluations at a student’s expense can be made available at a student’s request. Health and Counseling Services will provide referrals to local professionals who can evaluate psychiatric and medical conditions.