Welcome to the Disability Access Office (DAO)! DAO is the primary point of contact for undergraduate, GSAS, and SEAS students seeking reasonable accommodations for a disability. With information from students and supporting documentation, our office is able to plan with students to provide reasonable accommodations for course work, housing, dining, transportation, and other aspects of student life as appropriate.
Advance communication with DAO is important to prevent delays in the accommodation process. Students should expect that their Access Meeting will occur no sooner than one week after submitting their completed application, including all relevant documentation. Further delays may occur during busy times, including the first two weeks of the semester or the week before final exams. Accommodations are not retroactive.
Special note for GSAS students: PhD students should register with DAO for all medical and disability-related accommodation requests, including requests related to academics, lab research, and teaching. We acknowledge that disability may impact various areas of the PhD student experience. Therefore, once you connect with DAO, we will partner with University Disability Resources and any other campus partners needed to determine and implement reasonable accommodations.
Please follow the steps detailed below to request disability or health-related accommodations for academic, residential life, and campus activities:
Step 1: Apply
We ask that you complete an Application on AIM. You will be asked to upload your most up-to-date documentation.
Step 2: Submit documentation
Our office is committed to working with students to formulate the most appropriate accommodations for a disability. Current documentation helps us to determine whether a student is eligible for accommodations and ensure that students’ needs are being met. Some conditions may change over time and we want to know the current functional impact of any disability.
We ask that you please share our documentation guidelines with your medical provider to ensure they are providing the most relevant information for DAO's purposes.
Please note if you have provided documentation to Harvard University Health Services, you must also send a separate copy to DAO.
We do not want written documentation to pose a barrier to connecting with DAO. If you encounter difficulties at any step in the process or would simply like to set up a consultation call or meeting with a member of our staff, please email email@example.com or call us at (617) 496-8707.
Step 3: Attend an Access Meeting
Impersonal documents do not provide the whole picture of who students are or what their accommodation needs may be. Once we have received application materials, an in-person meeting with an DAO Accessibility Advisor is required to move forward with implementing accommodations. An access meeting provides time for open discussion and helps DAO assess what accommodations might be appropriate on an individualized, case-by-case basis.
After the Access Meeting
DAO partners with Faculty, staff, and students to ensure that accommodations provide equitable access. Examples include: assuring architecturally-accessible classes, referral for adaptive technology consultation, securing interpreters or assistive listening devices for students with a hearing loss, referrals for study strategy assistance, and working with House Administrators to implement housing accommodations.
Please review the accommodations & services section and the rights and responsibilities for more information.