Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

I am a returning student who has already received accommodations through the Office of Accessibility Services. Do I have to fill out and submit the Accommodation Request Form? Why do I need to request accommodations again when I have already been approved?

Yes, returning students who have already been approved for accommodations through OAS do need to fill out and submit the Accommodation Request Form at the beginning of the academic year in order to receive their Academic Accommodation Authorization Document. Returning students have always had to request their authorizing document (formerly the Accommodation Letter) at the beginning of each new semester. The Accommodation Request Form gives you a clear and reliable mechanism to do so—and you will only need to do it once for the entire academic year. It also offers you an opportunity to request any additional accommodations you feel you need for the upcoming academic year. 

Please submit the Accommodation Request Form before or soon after the start of the semester, so that Accessibility Services can prepare your authorization document for you in a timely manner. 

How will I receive my Academic Accommodation Authorization document?

Your Academic Accommodation Authorization Document will be delivered to you by secure file transfer. You will receive an email from access@simmons.edu with the subject line “Accessibility Services: Your AY 19/20 Academic Authorization Document.” Inside you will find a link to download your document. You will need to use your Simmons University account credentials to login and download your document. Documents will be sent as PDFs.

Will OAS deliver my Academic Accommodation Authorization document to my faculty? How will my Academic Accommodation Authorization document get to my faculty members?

OAS does not deliver your Academic Accommodation Authorization document to your faculty. We will electronically deliver your document to you. After you receive your Academic Accommodation Authorization document, it is your choice which faculty you notify about your accommodations by providing them with a copy of your document. Please note: your accommodations as listed on your Academic Accommodation Authorization document are effective upon delivery of your document to your faculty. If you do not deliver your document to your faculty member, your accommodations will not be applied to that course. 

How do I deliver my Academic Accommodation Authorization document to my faculty?

OAS encourages you to hand-deliver your document to your faculty members. Doing so will offer you an opportunity to discuss your accommodations with them one-on-one and establish mutual understanding of your accommodations early in the semester. 

That said, you do not have to hand-deliver if you would prefer to send your document electronically, but be aware that email is not a 100% secure method for sending documents. You can use Simmons' secure file transfer system to send your document to your faculty by going to the Simmons Connection page and finding the "secure file transfer" option under the Quick Links menu. Double check to make sure you have the correct email for your faculty member before sending if you elect to use this option. (This file transfer method is also how you will receive your authorization document from OAS). 

I submitted my documentation. Will OAS reach me? What next?

As a self-selected service, students initiate meetings While OAS will send out reach information concerning deadlines and updates, we do not reach individual students to schedule meetings or tests.

How do I make an appointment with an OAS staff member?

You have a number of options for making an appointment with an OAS staff member. You can call 617-521-2658 and speak with an OAS student worker, email access@simmons.edu with your availability, or stop by our office in the Center for Student Success on the ground floor of Lefavour Hall and make your appointment in person.

I have some questions and want to talk to an OAS staff member, but I don’t have an appointment. Can I just stop by and speak with someone?

Due to the high volume of meetings and appointments that our staff participate in on a daily basis, appointments must be scheduled in advance. You are always welcome to stop by and schedule an appointment. We also invite you to email access@simmons.edu with your questions or concerns. If you have a day of urgent need, we encourage you to stop by the Center and you will be seen by a staff member.

Consider coming to our open hours during “Cupcakes and Conversations with the OAS”! This event will be held from 3:00pm to 4:00pm on Wednesdays starting on September 11th in the Center for Student Success conference room (L-028). We hope to see you there for a chat and some tasty treats!

How do I know if I am registered with the OAS?

If you have followed the instructions on our website under the “Where Do I Begin?” heading by submitting sufficient documentation from a licensed provider, you are registered with the OAS and are eligible to request accommodations. 

How do I know if you have received my Accommodation Request Form?

We will email you back after receiving your Accommodation Request Form. 

Can the OAS help me change my room placement?

OAS reviews and approves reasonable and appropriate requests for accessible housing accommodations. When an approval is granted, OAS notifies the Office of Residence Life of the approved housing accommodation but does not determine specific room or hall placements. The Office of Residence Life assigns students to university housing based on their approved accommodations and the availability of rooms meeting the approved accommodation. Any subsequent request to change a residence assignment should be submitted directly to the Office of Residence Life. 

Can OAS help me change my course schedule?

Upon request, OAS can assess a student’s documentation to see whether changes to the student’s schedule are necessary and appropriate based on the documentation on file. OAS will then inform the student’s academic advisor that the student’s file with the OAS supports the student’s need to make adjustments to their course load or schedule. The student will then work with their advisor to create a schedule which meets their needs, and the advisor will coordinate the schedule change with the Registrar’s Office. 

I have a diagnosis/disability which impacts my ability to succeed in a language class. How do I apply for a Language Alternate? 

Students seeking approval for a Language Alternate accommodation must submit supporting documentation to the OAS through our secure file transfer link. The student must also complete the Accommodation Request Form found under the “How Do I Request Academic Accommodations?” section of our website and specify that they are seeking a Language Alternate accommodation.
The student will then schedule an appointment to meet with an OAS staff member to discuss their request. If approved, the OAS will supply the student with a letter stating OAS’s support and approval of the student’s request for a Language Alternate. The student will then work with the Office of Undergraduate Advising to select alternate courses to replace the standard language requirement. 

I am taking a summer class at a different institution and need documentation to give to their Accessibility Services office. Will the OAS give me/send copies of my documentation to my summer class institution?

For a summer class at an outside institution, OAS will provide you with a Verification of Use letter certifying that you are registered with our office and stating your approved accommodations at Simmons University. If your summer institution requires that you submit primary documentation of your diagnosis/disability, OAS recommends that you contact your licensed care provider for copies if you do not have any. 

I am taking a specialized entrance/certification exam and need OAS to complete part of my accommodations application. Can OAS do that?

Specialized tests usually have unique accommodation request processes and forms. Research the accommodation request process for the exam you intend to take, then email access@simmons.edu with your request, a description of the information or supporting documentation you need from OAS, and any applicable forms attached as PDFs. OAS will complete the institutional part of the form and return it to you by secure file transfer. Please allow 2 weeks processing time. 

Exam Questions

How do I make a request to take my exam in the OAS testing center?

Please use our online Exam Request Form to submit an exam request at least ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE of your exam. Submit the form once for every test you intend to take in the OAS testing center. 

My class is taking our exam at X:XXxm, but I have a class at Z:ZZxm. With my extended time, I will miss some of my next class. Can I reschedule my test?

Yes. Because your conflict is academic in nature, you may reschedule your exam. You should speak to your professor about your academic time conflict, and they must send written approval of your rescheduled exam date and time to access@simmons.edu.

My class is taking our exam at X:XXxm, but I have a party/flight/train/doctor’s appointment/ recital/group project meeting/other prior commitment at Z:ZZxm. With my extended time, I will miss some of my outside prior commitment. Can I reschedule my test?

No. Your conflict is not academic in nature, so you may not reschedule your test. You should plan to take your test at the same time and on the same date as your class. If your professor grants you permission to take your test at a different time due to your non-academic conflict, OAS must receive your professor’s permission in writing to access@simmons.edu or OAS will be unable to administer your test. 

I have a test today, but I did not submit an exam request. Will I be able to take my test in the OAS testing center?

No. You should plan to take your test in class.

I arrived late for my exam in the OAS testing center. Can I still take it?

Just as if you were taking your exam in class, your extended time begins at your scheduled exam time. For example, if your extended time begins at 9:00am and ends at 12:00pm, but you do not arrive until 9:15am, you still must finish at 12:00pm. 

If you arrive more than 20 minutes late for your exam, OAS will not be able to give you your exam without re-authorization from your professor. Whether or not your professor gives their approval for you to take your exam at a later time or date is entirely at their discretion. Please arrive on time for your exams.

I would like to request a private room for my test. Can you guarantee that I will have a private room?

OAS will try to honor requests for single-occupancy testing rooms that are submitted along with the Exam Request Form. However, we proctor a high number of exams on a daily basis and cannot always guarantee that a private room will be available at the time of your test. If all single-occupancy testing rooms are in use at the time of your test, you will be placed in a limited small group testing environment. 

OAS cannot guarantee that we will be able to honor requests for a single-occupancy room that are not made before the day of your test.