Accessibility and Disability Resources
Erika van der Velden
Director of Accessibility and Disability Resources
South Hoffman 96, phone: 7532
Bard College strives to create an accessible, equitable, and welcoming campus community for students with disabilities. The College is committed to maintaining compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, by providing otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities equal access to academic courses, programs, and activities. In support of this mission, the College provides services and reasonable accommodations to students through the Office of Accessibility and Disability Resources when a barrier to access exists. Students who may require particular accommodations to ensure access should register with Disability Services by June 1 (incoming students) or as soon as the diagnosis of disability is made. The student will be asked to complete the disability registration form and present documentation that verifies the disability, details the impact of the disability, and provides suggested accommodations to mitigate the impact. Registration forms and additional information can be found at bard.edu/accessibility/students/
Students who have a properly documented disability are entitled to reasonable accommodations
or modifications to help them meet academic standards and access the programs and services of the College. “Reasonable” is here understood to exclude any accommodation or modification that places an undue burden on the College or would require a fundamental alteration of programs or services. Typical accommodations include, but are not limited to: exam modifications (extended time, alternative formats, reduced-distraction testing locations); alternative ways of completing assignments; housing policy accommodations; and auxiliary aids and services. The particular accommodations afforded a student will be determined jointly by the student and the disability support coordinator through a dynamic process that includes the professional documentation and recommendations provided by the student, student history, and current academic requirements. What is considered appropriate for one student may not be considered appropriate for another student. Every consideration to prioritize the student’s requested accommodation will be made, though the College reserves the right to provide an alternative accommodation if it will serve the student’s needs equally as well and places less of a burden on the College.
Students who think they have been discriminated against on the basis of disability should file a detailed written complaint with the director of accessibility and disability resources as soon as possible after the alleged discrimination occurred. The director will investigate the complaint and issue a report, normally within 30 days. Unsatisfactory resolutions should be taken up with the dean of studies, who serves as the College’s ADA coordinator. Further appeals may be addressed directly to the president. Students who file a complaint are protected against retaliation in any form. If a student suspects that such retaliation has occurred, s/he should file a written complaint, as per the above.
The Office of Accessibility and Disability Resources strives to support students holistically, offering ongoing advising, coaching, and workshops aimed at strategies for success and quality of life with various disabilities, as well as serving as liaison to other student services throughout the academic year.