Accessible Education Office (click to go to home page)

1350 Massachusetts Avenue
The Richard A. & Susan F. Smith Campus Center, Fourth Floor
Cambridge MA 02138
tel: 617-496-8707 - fax: 617-496-1098- tty: 617-496-3720

Serving Harvard College and GSAS Students
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About our Services \ Info for Students \ Info for Faculty \ About our Office \ Sitemap spacer
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About Our Services
+ Who is Disabled?
Accommodations & Auxiliary Aids
+ Assistive Technology
+ Transportation
+ Housing
+ Glossary of Terms
+ Residential Events Relocation Policy
+ Major Accessible House Venues
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ABOUT OUR SERVICES: Accommodations and Auxiliary Aids

"Accommodations" are modifications to the course, program or educational requirements such as are necessary and appropriate so that such requirements do not discriminate or have the effect of discriminating on the basis of disability. Academic requirements that are essential to the course or to the program of instruction being pursued by the student or which relate directly to licensing requirements will not be regarded as discriminatory within the meaning of this section. Potential modifications that may be considered include (but are not limited to) changes in the length of time permitted for completion of a degree, substitutions of specific courses required for the completion of degree requirements (when approved by faculty), extended time on an examination or paper, and other appropriate accommodations which do not fundamentally alter the essential nature of a course or academic program.

"Accommodations" is a broad term, not limited to wheelchair usage. Accommodations include such considerations as adjustable lighting, sound amplification, material format and presentation, working with others to find suitable relocations for inaccessible classes, meetings and events as circumstances and availability permit; and a wide range of other methods of assistance addressing any number of different concerns.

Since conditions can be variable and change without warning, it is important that you seek guidance over the course of the school year so that we can determine what is working and what isn't working. Monitoring helps us to determine the most appropriate accommodations for you.

Auxiliary Aids and Services
"Auxiliary Aids and Services" may include but are not limited to note-takers, readers, Brailled or large print materials, and mobility training for students with visual impairments; sign language interpreters, real time captioning, and note-takers for students who are deaf or hearing impaired; and typists and scribes for students with manual impairments. (This is not an exhaustive list.) Devices or services of a personal nature such as personal attendants, individually prescribed devices, or readers for personal use or study are not provided.

Even though students may have disabilities which seem to be quite similar, individuals have the right to differing accommodations or auxiliary aids and services based upon their own training and experience. AEO helps coordinate and customize a number of resources to accommodate a wide range of disabilities.

Resources can include:

  • Introductory letter, presented by the student to designated persons, outlining students' needs for accommodation (only with student authorization)
  • Coordination with academic and administrative departments
  • Sign language interpreting and C.A.R.T. services as well as note taking support.
  • Assistive Technology Center (ATC): Adaptive Software Consultations, Accessible E-Text, Enlarged Text and Images, and Braille; All services require an AEO referral
  • Liaison for learning disability screening, peer support group and counseling services; Role-play interviewing focusing on questions of when and how to disclose disability when applying to graduate schools and/or seeking employment
  • Certain loaned equipment and supplies
  • Information about alternative testing arrangements and documentation for GMAT's, GRE's, LSAT's, etc.
  • Information about disability support groups (EMPOWER - Encouraging Mankind to Perceive Others With Equal Respect; and campus, regional, and national service organizations
All students must meet with the AEO staff member before any accommodation can be granted.
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