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Accessibility Services

Academic Accommodations

Requesting Academic Accommodations - First Step

The online request form for academic accommodations is located at this link: Requesting Academic Accommodations.

What happens next?

What happens in my first meeting?

In our first meeting, you, the student, will work collaboratively with the Accessibility Services staff member to develop an appropriate accommodation plan. You will be provided with information on requesting printouts of your accommodation letter, as well as other necessary information based on your specific plan.

Now that I’m registered, am I all set for all four years at Merrimack?

  • Each semester you will need to request printouts of your accommodation plan.
  • Accommodation plans can be updated at any point in your academic career.  You can meet with an Accessibility Services Staff member to discuss your concerns.

Some examples of potential accommodations include:

  • Testing accommodations
  • Alternative format text and information about assistive technology
  • Notetaking support and audio recording
  • Housing accommodations
  • Medical parking exceptions

Eligibility and Documentation Information

To be eligible for services, students must have a disability as defined by the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA).

What is the definition of disability under the ADA?

It is important to remember that in the context of the ADA, “disability” is a legal term rather than a medical one. Because it has a legal definition, the ADA’s definition of disability is different from how disability may be defined under some other laws.

The ADA defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. This includes people who have a record of such an impairment, even if they do not currently have a disability.

What does the Accessibility Services Office consider in our determination of accommodations?

There is no one-to-one correspondence of disability to accommodation. This process evolves through a series of conversations and in consideration of documentation.

We consider your disability, history, experience, request, and the unique characteristics of Merrimack’s courses, programs, and requirements in order to determine whether or not a specific accommodation is reasonable.

I am looking for academic accommodations, what are the general guidelines for documentation that I should provide?

  • Documentation should be signed and dated from a licensed and/or credentialed professional.
  • Documentation must be current (testing is suggested to be within the past 3 years and psychological documentation within the past 1 year).
  • Documentation is typically in the form of an assessment (typically either neuropsychological testing or academic achievement testing). The assessment should include the following:
    • A clear diagnostic statement identifying the disability and a clinical summary of strengths and functional limitations;
    • Recent scores from either the Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) or the Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS), and other relevant tests with scores; and
    • The examiner’s impressions, a list of current services, and recommendations for possible college accommodations.
  • Recent Individualized Educational Program (IEP), a 504 Plan, and/or any other evaluations and reports are welcome but are often insufficient as standalone documentation.

Grievance Procedure

Any student who believes the services that have been received are unsatisfactory has the right to file a complaint with the ADA Compliance Officer, Jodi Rachins. In the case that the complaint is in regard to Mrs. Rachins, please forward your complaint to Dean Peter Ellard, Dean of Student Success and Academic Support.  Additional documentation may be requested once a complaint has been filed. A committee will review the incident and reach a decision. If, at that time, the student remains dissatisfied, the student may file a complaint with the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.