Academic Accommodations

  • For students with visual impairments, the college can provide:

    - Recorded readings
    - Note-takers
    - Braille materials
    - Use of special “talking” software
    - Recorded or large-print examinations
    - Oral presentation of materials written on chalk boards
    - Reverse color chalk boards
    - Loans of special four-track recorders
    - Loans of computer equipment with large type fonts

    For students with hearing impairments, the college can provide:

    - Tutors
    - Note-takers
    - Recorded Notes
    - One-on-One consultations with professors/and or a dean
    - Student residences with TDD and light signals that meet ADA requirements

    For students with chronic illnesses, autoimmune disorders, arthritis, allergies, and other diseases, the college can provide:

    - Special dietary accommodations
    - Other appropriate accommodations on a case by case basis

  • For students with psychological disabilities, the college can provide:

    - Health maintenance programs
    - Filling prescriptions
    - Administering injections
    - Therapists

    This list of provisions is not exhaustive. Reasonable accommodations are determined and provided on an individual, case-by-case basis.

    All students have equal access to College resources such as:

    - The Writing Workshop
    - The Math and Science Resource Center
    - Peer Tutoring

    - Individual appointments with faculty and staff.

    In addition, the College has made the following accommodations available to students:

    - Extended time on examinations

    For students with documented Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the college can provide:

    - Extended time on examinations
    - Separate room in which to take examinations

    This list of provisions is not exhaustive. Reasonable accommodations are determined and provided on an individual, case-by-case basis.

  • Reduced Course Load Petition:

    In the event that a Williams College student believes that a full course of study should be modified because of disability, the student may petition the Disabilities and Accommodations Advisory Group (DAAG) to be granted a Reduced Course Load Accommodation(RCL).  A Reduced Course Load accommodation permits students with documented need based on a disability to take three rather than four courses each semester.  Students approved for a reduced course load must still complete all academic requirements of the college (including passing 32 courses, completing a major, and completing all of the distribution requirements) in order to graduate.

    Such a petition must be accompanied by a statement from the student identifying the circumstances that have necessitated the request and a professional evaluation from a health care provider which addresses the rationale for a reduced course load. The petition may also be augmented by a recommendation from a Dean though this is not required.  If the consideration of a student’s petition and supporting documentation leads to approval, the petition is forwarded to the Committee on Academic Standing which formalizes the approval by DAAG. Williams College.

    When to File a Petition for a Reduced Course Load Accommodation:

    Petitions for the Reduced Course Load Accommodation are ideally made prior to the beginning of the semester in which the accommodation will apply.  Petitions for the Reduced Course Load Accommodation that apply to the current semester must be made prior to the end of the add/drop period. If a student wishes to submit a RCL petition for the current semester after the add/drop period, they must make an appeal in writing that will be submitted to DAAG.  DAAG must approve the appeal prior to a formal request for the RCL accommodation can be made.

    Semester-long Reduced Course Loads and Ongoing Reduced Course Loads:

    There are two types of reduced course load.  Students may be approved for an ongoing reduced course load.  Students on an ongoing reduced course load should confer with Associate Registrar Mary Morrison and with Dr. G.L. Wallace, Director of Accessible Education, at least once each semester to make plans for completing the degree.  Since the student will complete fewer than 32 Williams courses in eight semesters, the student will need to either take summer courses elsewhere or petition to take an additional semester(s) at Williams in order to complete their graduation requirements.  Note, however, that only Williams courses can be used for completing distribution requirements.

    Students may also be approved for a semester-long reduced course load.  This form of reduced course load will be approved for students whose need for a reduction in classes is short-term based on illness or a temporary exacerbation of chronic issues related to a disability.

    Students who are not approved for an ongoing reduced course load may be approved for a semester-long reduced course load as a means of determining whether an ongoing reduced course load is an appropriate means of accommodating the student’s needs.  Students who have been approved for a semester-long reduced course load are not prohibited from applying again for a semester-long or ongoing reduced course load accommodation.

For further information about specific academic accommodations in the classroom setting, please see the page on explanations of accommodations.