Register with Accessibility Services

New Students

In order to fully register with the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS), a student must provide documentation of the disability that substantially limits a major life activity, such as learning, hearing, seeing, reading, walking, and speaking. All submitted documentation must include the name and professional credentials of the evaluator on the diagnostician's letterhead in clear and legible writing.

New students entering a Simmons University program may begin to submit documentation upon enrolling. Documentation for a future semester should be submitted to OAS two to four weeks prior to the start of the semester to allow time for full review of eligibility. While students can register with OAS at any time during the year, OAS recommends starting early so that documentation can be reviewed and accommodations can be requested in a timely manner. See steps below.

OAS Registration Timetable

  1. New student submits documentation and the Accommodation Request Form to OAS
  2. OAS first reviews the student's documentation. Once the student’s eligibility for accommodations is established by review of their documentation, the OAS then reviews the student’s Accommodation Request Form
  3. OAS emails the student to confirm the student's registration with OAS and eligibility
  4. New Student meets with OAS staff to review accommodations and OAS policies and procedures
  5. Student receives their Academic Accommodation Authorization (AAA) document from OAS by secure email (5-7 business days)
  6. Student provides their AAA document to each faculty member for whose course the student intends to activate their accommodations

For students entering in the fall 2020 semester, OAS will review documentation and accommodation request forms beginning in July.

Submitting Documentation to OAS

Documentation Guidelines

Why is Documentation Required for Registration?

All accommodations are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Students submit documentation to OAS so that OAS staff are able to understand each student's individual circumstances and needs and how the student is impacted by their diagnosis in Simmons University's programs and the classroom learning environment. This information allows OAS staff to assess the student's accommodation requests and their need for OAS services.

Documentation Criteria and Requirements

In order to qualify for full registration with OAS and establish their eligibility for academic accommodations, students must submit documentation which addresses the following criteria:

  • Documentation must include descriptions of the following:
    • Diagnosis and DSM-IV or DSM-V (if applicable)
    • History of the diagnosis (date diagnosed, treatment/management up to current date, etc.)
    • Prognosis
    • Robust description of diagnosis’ current impact on this student relative to the education setting and this student’s ability to learn. The description of the impact should refer to the documented or measured experience of this student and not refer to people in general with this diagnosis.
    • Medication or medical equipment currently prescribed
    • Effects of current medication or medical equipment on the educational setting and the student's ability to learn
    • Academic accommodations recommended by the health care professional
  • Documentation must be signed by the health care professional

Documentation must meet these four requirements in order to be processed:

  • Documentation must be received on letterhead from the health care professional or on the OAS's Practitioner's Verification of Diagnosis form, which may be used when other diagnostic tools or reports are not available
  • Documentation, if hand-written, must be legible
  • Documentation must be complete (e.g. no pages omitted, no white out, includes all above criteria)
  • Documentation must be current (within four years from the date of the diagnostic tool). If documentation is not current or does not yet exist, the student must request updated documentation from a provider or specialist

OAS is not able to accept or process documentation which does not meet these requirements.

Examples of Acceptable Documentation:
  • Neuropsychological or Psychoeducational Evaluation: The most recent educational testing scores (e.g. Aptitude Testing, WAIS, IQ & Information Processing Testing, or Academic Achievement Testing, etc.) for cognitive diagnoses (learning differences, conditions or incidents impacting the brain, ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder)
  • Practitioner's Verification of Diagnosis: This verification form can be used as primary documentation for medical, physical, chronic health, and psychological diagnoses. The completed form must address the diagnosis and assessment, the impact causing substantial limitation, the student's history of accommodations if applicable, and the completing practitioner's recommended accommodations for the academic setting.
  • Transfer and graduate students: In addition to documentation required for registration, transfer and graduate students are encouraged to submit a letter or other document from their previous institution which includes the timeframe in which they were provided services and the accommodations used at that institution.
Options for Submitting Documents to OAS:
  1. Use our Documentation Submission and Accommodation Request Form to submit documents to the Office of Accessibility Services.
  2. Care providers and health care offices may use our secure file transfer link to submit their patient's documentation directly to OAS.
  3. Care providers and health care offices may return the completed documentation to their patient so that the student may submit their documentation through the secure form linked in option 1 above.
When Will Documentation Be Reviewed?
  • First-Year or Transfer students starting classes in the fall semester: Documentation will be reviewed starting in July, even if received by OAS in earlier months following the student's enrollment at Simmons University
  • First-Year or Transfer students starting classes in the spring semester: Documentation will be reviewed starting in January
  • Documentation from any student submitted after the start of the current semester: Documentation will be reviewed within five to seven business days after receipt by OAS
  • Online Students: Documentation will be reviewed within five to seven business days after receipt

Accessibility Services

On Ground Programs
  • (617) 521-2658
  • Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Center for Student Success, Ground Floor, Lefavour Hall

Accessibility Services

Online Programs
  • (617) 521-2658
  • Monday - Thursday 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. EST
  • Remote