If you would like to apply for accommodations, please:
1) Download and fill out the Disability Request Form PDF below.
2) Return it to G. L. Wallace, Director of Accessible Education, either
- Email the completed form to [email protected]
- Bring the completed form to Academic Resources, Paresky Room 203.
The process of receiving accommodations at Williams is consistent with the approach taken at other academic institutions around the country and begins with the intake. The intake process involves discussing the circumstances that brought the student to the office, reviewing available documentation, discussing the needs of the student, and identifying how resources can be deployed. This “interactive process,” as it is often referred to in directives from federal agencies, is a key feature of our efforts. Providing targeted, individual attention to the articulated needs of a student is a core feature of the work done in this office.
A number of students come to Williams College with a history of academic accommodations. There are no official numbers as the college by law cannot request this information from incoming or prospective students. It is not uncommon, however, for high school students who have a formal history of accommodations (IEPs, 504 plans) to forgo academic accommodations in college. For some students, the decision not to seek formal accommodations in college occurs because they felt stigmatized in high school and want to approximate a “normal” identity. Others opt out because their parents were in charge of the accommodation process in high school and they lack the advocacy skills to initiate a request on their own in the college setting. Other students received informal accommodations in high school and therefore have no formal history to draw upon and do not seek accommodations. For a number of students who subsequently seek academic accommodations, chronic issues that would warrant accommodations have been managed and were not deemed problematic (particularly by parents) as the student was a high academic achiever in the high school setting
An increasing number of students at Williams seek accommodations because of mental health issues that present themselves during their time in college. Whether the initial meeting with the student has resulted from the desire to receive support for a previously diagnosed condition or something that has only recently presented itself, the availability of health resources at Williams means that virtually every student who seeks support in the form of academic accommodations is able to receive them.
The graph below identifies the top ten diagnosis warranting academic accommodations at Williams College over the last two and one-half years (out of the 55 diagnoses tracked).
Fall 16-Spring 17 Fall 17-Spring 18 Fall 18 Anxiety Disorder 51 51 31 ADHD 40 49 39 ADD 24 18 16 Chronic Illness (various)) 6 7 7 Concussion 80 94 48 Depression 13 8 7 Dyslexia 6 8 6 Physical Injury 23 18 12 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 1 2 2 Processing Speed 17 19 16