This section includes commonly asked questions that students have regarding academic accommodations and support provided by Student Accessibility Support.
About Student Accessibility Support (SAS)
If you suspect that you have a disability, please schedule an appointment with an Accessibility Specialist with SAS by calling the Academic Services main phone line at 781-736-3470 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to meet with you to answer any specific questions that you may have, and can review resources and provide referrals for testing.
While SAS does not perform disability testing, we can make recommendations for where you can get the appropriate testing done. Please call the Academic Services main phone line at 781-736-3470 or email email@example.com to schedule an appointment with an accessibility specialist to learn more about testing.
You are not required to disclose your disability to your instructors. By providing an official accommodation letter to your instructor, you are letting your instructor know that you have a documented disability with SAS and that you are approved for accommodations. You do not have to share any specific disability information with your instructor.
SAS arranges accommodations for students with disabilities. 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." If you suspect that you have a disability, or aren't sure whether a condition you're experiencing qualifies as a disability, you can reach out to SAS at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss. If your condition is not yet documented by a provider, we can suggest next steps for getting documentation and discuss whether any supports you might need are appropriate in the meantime.
For pregnancy or religious accommodations, please email the Office of Equal Opportunity, email@example.com.
Overall, SAS cannot share student information with parent/s or guardian/s about anything regarding a student without a written waiver from the student explicitly saying they give us permission to talk to their parent/-s or legal guardian/-s. We are happy to talk to parents/guardians about accommodations generally and support through our office. You are welcome to check out our Information for Families page. For more information, please contact SAS (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Yes. Students with temporary impairments or injuries must follow the same procedure for providing documentation and meeting with an accessibility specialist to request accommodations. To schedule an appointment, please call the Academic Services main phone line at 781-736-3470 or email email@example.com. When appropriate, accommodations are approved on a temporary basis.
This section includes guidance on how to request academic accommodations through Student Accessibility Support and the documentation required.
A reasonable accommodation can be an added support, the removal of a barrier, an adjustment to a policy, or other modification of materials, practices, and spaces. Accommodations are designed to support equal access for people with disabilities/medical conditions. Requests for accommodations that would fundamentally alter the nature of a course, assignment, experience, etc., or would result in an "undue hardship" as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act may not be considered reasonable and may not be approved.
The type of documentation depends on how your disability presents and what you are requesting for accommodations. We generally recommend you submit what you can readily provide from a licensed provider. We will always try to work with what you are readily able to send us, and will only ask for more information if we need it to determine appropriate accommodations or eligibility. Once you submit documentation, an Accessibility Specialist will review your submission and invite you to schedule an appointment to discuss next steps. Please visit our Providing Documentation page for more information.
Once your documentation is evaluated by SAS and deemed sufficient, you do not need to submit any further documentation, unless your condition is considered temporary. If there is a change in your condition or you request a new accommodation, then you may need to provide SAS with updated documentation.
Yes, the good news is that you can request accommodations at any time during your time as a student at Brandeis.
Of course, we recommend requesting accommodations as soon as you think or know you have a qualifying condition. Accommodations cannot be granted retroactively and some accommodations can take time to effectively implement, so the sooner the better.
It's possible, but unlikely. We are required to provide “reasonable accommodations", although we cannot alter programmatic requirements. If the request is not reasonable based on the documentation provided, your documentation does not show that you have a disability as defined by the ADA, or you are requesting an accommodation that would fundamentally alter course requirements or place an undue burden on faculty or the university, we cannot grant the accommodation. When you meet with an Accessibility Specialist in your initial meeting, you will have a discussion to ensure that you receive what you need. If further documentation is required, we will discuss that during the meeting.
The testing agencies that administer professional exams typically require individuals seeking disability related accommodations to submit current documentation of their disability and/or a test packet form completed by their higher education institution’s accessibility office. SAS must verify that the documentation of the disability on file is current and complete, and that the student used the requested accommodations while in attendance at Brandeis. Any students or recent alums who plan on requesting testing accommodation for standardized testing should contact SAS with the appropriate test information and forms. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is important to note that SAS may accept documentation for academic accommodations at Brandeis that does not meet the same specific guidelines as those required for standardized tests, so approval for accommodations here does not necessarily translate directly to approved testing accommodations. Please consult the specific testing website and follow their guidelines for requesting accommodations.
As a first step, we recommend that you refer to the specific testing agency website to take a look at their accommodation request process. Here are the most common ones:
This section includes guidance on how to notify instructors, utilizing your accommodations in class and for final exams.
Through SAS, you will request your accommodation letter to send to your instructors. The letter lists your approved accommodations. If your faculty have any questions regarding how to implement your accommodations, please encourage them to reach out to SAS (email@example.com).
Students are highly encouraged to share their accommodation letter with their instructors as soon as the student receives their letter from SAS. Waiting until late in the semester to share an accommodation letter with an instructor may jeopardize the student’s ability to use their accommodations. For example, exam accommodations are not retroactive, so the student must show their accommodation letter to their instructor before their first quiz, exam, or timed assessment takes place in the course.
In order to receive accommodations for a specific course, you must provide your accommodation letter to your instructor. If a student chooses not to share their accommodation letter with their instructors, then the instructor will have no basis for providing accommodations.
Please notify SAS as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to a staff person you have worked with directly so we can ensure your approved accommodations are implemented effectively.
If at any point you feel like your accommodations are not working, then you can contact SAS to set-up another meeting. An accessibility specialist will work with you to ensure you receive the best possible services. To schedule a meeting, please call the Academic Services main line at 781-736-3470 or email email@example.com. You can also contact the SAS staff member directly who you have worked with in the past to schedule a meeting.
Final exams are administered through the Office of the University Registrar. SAS works closely with the Registrar to ensure that all of our students receive their accommodations for their final exams.
Once the Office of the University Registrar posts online the semester’s final exam schedule, SAS will communicate with all of our registered students via email regarding important information for requesting to use your accommodation/-s for your final exams.
This section includes information about non-academic accommodations and their processes available at Brandeis.
Student Accessibility Support helps students acquire academic accommodations, but there are different processes for housing, dietary and parking accommodations, as well as requesting to use the Accessible Transport Van. If you require these other types of accommodations, it is important that you familiarize yourself with these different processes.
For pregnancy or religious accommodations, please email the Office of Equal Opportunity, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Campus Resources
This section includes information about other supports and accessibility reporting systems. We also encourage you to check out our Accessibility Resources webpage for a list of SAS related resources that we have compiled together in one place.
Please let SAS know of any accessibility issue that you either experience or observe on campus by filling out the “Report an Accessibility Issue” form. You can report issues regarding: how accommodations are implemented in a specific course, general campus accessibility issues (i.e. an inaccessible classroom, ice clearing needed in a walkway, an automatic door opener pad not working, etc.), or attitudinal/classroom climate observations.
If you do not wish to share your personal information, you can keep your report anonymous. If you do share your identity with us, this will allow us to collaborate with you directly. We want to resolve the issue and to advocate with the campus partners we work with for campus accessibility.
The SAS Fellows Program is in place to support their peers in their adjustment to college life, both academically and socially. They are upperclass students who are registered with SAS and who have shown success and personal growth during their time at Brandeis University.
Fellows are available to advise students on many different topics including but not limited to: campus resources, accommodation letter discussions with faculty, time management skills, using the Accessible Transport Van, importance of campus involvement, and navigating the dining halls. To meet with a SAS Fellow, you can either attend one of their office hours during the week or email them directly.
If you need support or further strategies on self-advocacy and communicating with your instructors, please schedule a meeting with an accessibility specialist. We would be happy to work with you! Additionally, you could meet with a SAS Fellow if you wanted to learn more from a peer perspective.
We encourage you to check out our Accessibility Resources webpage for a list of SAS related resources that we have compiled together in one place.
We care for you. Brandeis is committed to providing you, as a student, faculty or staff member, the resources you need to thrive in our community. Whether it’s mental health, financial or academic support — or another form of assistance — we’re here for you. Please visit Support at Brandeis for more information.
The following section is guidance for prospective students on required documentation and accommodations available at Brandeis.
Yes. We are happy to meet with prospective students remotely via Zoom to provide you with an overview of SAS’s services. Determination of appropriate accommodations for the individual student is done once the student is admitted and enrolled at Brandeis.
SAS cannot accept documentation or determine reasonable accommodations until a student has officially matriculated at Brandeis. Our team will still be happy to meet with you to answer any general questions that you may have about our processes and procedures.
Congratulations! You are now a current student. Please visit the Current Students FAQ section above for more information. If you have any further questions, we encourage you to reach out to us via email (email@example.com).