The Office of Accessibility Services serves as a hub for students with documented disabilities to determine the scope of any reasonable campus accommodations and to facilitate communication with other parts of campus.
A reasonable accommodation is a predetermined reasonable alteration or modification that allows students to have equal access to campus life and educational opportunities. Reasonable accommodations can be used to assist with academics, housing and campus parking. Students with disabilities might register with our office for various reasons, including learning needs, psychiatric conditions, physical limitations and medical diagnoses.
As a young adult who is likely learning to advocate for your disability for the first time, it is important that you are the one to initiate the registration process with our office and maintain your accommodations each semester. It is your choice whether or not to identify yourself as a student with a disability. While we advise that you contact us before you start at Merrimack, you may begin this process at any time in your college career.
It is often a big transition from high school to college. We welcome contact with your parents and families, but you are the driver in this relationship. We hope that once you establish a relationship with our friendly and helpful staff, you will feel comfortable working alongside us to learn how to advocate for all your campus needs.
Establishing an Accommodation Plan
Students interested in receiving an accommodation must:
Request services through the appropriate online Request for Accommodations form AND submit documentation by attaching electronic documents to the form or emailing the documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Complete the process. You will be contacted by an accessibility services staff member to either schedule a meeting to develop a reasonable accommodation plan or next steps.
The accessibility services staff will review your documentation, identify your documented disabilities and suggest potential reasonable accommodations. We will contact you should we need additional or more recent documentation.
Please note that your request for accommodation activates the review process, but that other steps are required before your plan is approved and you are registered with accessibility services.
For academic accommodations, you will meet with one of our staff members to develop a plan and complete the process. For more information, visit the Academic Accommodations page on this website.
What Are Reasonable Accommodations?
Reasonable accommodations provide equal access to education but must not interfere with academic/technical standards or essential course requirements (defined as core curriculum that students must master and that to alter would affect the integrity of the course). Accommodations must be directly linked to a student’s functional limitations as determined by a comprehensive review of documentation completed by the accessibility services office.
Notably, accommodations that are determined to be proper in a high-school setting are not automatically deemed as reasonable in the higher-education setting. We will work closely with you to help determine the scope of reasonable accommodations that meet your needs in this new setting.
For more information, reference the table located on the For Parents page of this website.