2014-2015 Graduate Academic Catalog

Disability Services for Students

Daniel Newman,
Executive Director, Academic Support Services & ADA/504 Coordinator

Disability Services for Students with Learning Disabilities and Attention Disorders
30 Mellen, Street, Doble Hall, 2nd floor Office 212                              
617.349.8324 Fax

Disability Services for Students with Physical, Sensory and Psychiatric Disabilities
11 Mellen Street, 1st floor 
617.349.8558 Fax                                                                        
617.349.8544 (TTY)   

The University is committed to the full participation of our students in all of our programs. Our Disability Services office promotes equity and excellence in education, maximizing each student's educational potential while helping him or her develop and maintain independence. Our philosophy is one that encourages self-awareness, self-determination, self-advocacy, and independence while providing a safe, caring, respectful environment that cultivates growth and positive learning.  

The Disability Services office provides a variety of support services for students with disabilities.  The office works with faculty, staff, and students on and off-campus to make appropriate adjustments that allow all students an equal opportunity inside the classroom and around campus.  For more information about the services and support available to our students visit the website of the Disability Services office: http://intranet.lesley.edu/disability-services/ and read the policy “Reasonable Modifications of Policies, Practices, and Procedures for Students with Disabilities” here: http://intranet.lesley.edu/disability-services/policies/ That policy and our website provide information about eligibility for disability services, procedures for requesting modifications to accommodate disabilities, examples of accommodations, our confidentiality policy, and grievance procedures. 

Specific Information for Lesley Students with Disabilities 

Lesley University is committed to the full participation of its students in all of its programs.  In addition to this long-standing Lesley philosophy, students with disabilities have specific legal rights guaranteed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights law enacted to protect individuals from discrimination on the basis of disability.  Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of public accommodations, such as universities.[1]  The following is a summary of Lesley University’s policies and procedures for students with disabilities seeking reasonable modifications under the ADA (sometimes colloquially termed and referred to by Lesley as “reasonable accommodations”). 

An essential component of Title III of the ADA is the right of a qualified individual with a disability to a reasonable modification of policies where necessary to afford such individual an equal benefit.  The process for obtaining a reasonable modification is an interactive one that begins with the student’s request for a change in the usual manner in which things are done.  In the context of reasonable modifications, Disability Services may ask for documentation concerning an individual’s disability and/or the need for modifications, if such documentation is necessary (e.g., manifestation of an individual’s disability is not readily apparent), is reasonable, and limited to the need for the modification requested.  While not always necessary, documentation may come from a physician, clinician, or other provider and may set forth recommended modifications. 

Further, in accordance with Title III of the ADA, Lesley University will make reasonable modifications to our rules, policies, practices, and procedures, when such modifications are necessary to afford goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to individuals with disabilities.  Lesley University does not charge individuals with disabilities for reasonable modifications or other actions required by the ADA. 

Example: Lesley University makes reasonable modifications to its rules, policies, practices, and procedures in a variety of ways.  For example, Lesley provides testing modifications for students with learning disabilities, which may include, but are not limited to, allowing students extended time to take tests, allowing for untimed tests, or providing students with a distraction-free test taking environment.  Other students residing on campus may have a food-related disability that limits their ability to fully and equally participate in our meal program, such as an autoimmune disease like celiac disease or allergies to products like wheat, milk, peanuts, eggs, etc.  These individuals may need a modification or exception to our rule requiring that students residing on campus participate in the University’s mandatory meal plan.  One possibility is to provide food made without allergens, and a specific allergen-free food preparation and heating area for students.  Another possible reasonable modification, depending on the specific circumstances, may be to exempt the student from the mandatory meal program.  Lesley University offers its students both of these options. 

Note: The obligation to make reasonable modifications extends broadly to all programs and services offered by the University.  It includes the right to classroom modifications, use of service animals and a host of other issues.  Furthermore, rights afforded by Title III of the ADA extend well beyond reasonable modifications alone, such as ensuring effective communication through the use of auxiliary aids and services, the provision of testing accommodations, and the obligation to remove architectural barriers when readily achievable, among others. 

Who is eligible to receive disability support services? 

All qualified students with disabilities are eligible for modifications and support services.  It is the student’s responsibility to initiate the modification process with Disability Services. 

What are the responsibilities of students for obtaining disability support services and reasonable modifications? 

  1. To initiate the process with Disability Services.
  2. To provide documentation of the disability or disabilities if necessary, and to provide other relevant information, e.g., as to food allergies or dietary needs, or as to specific classroom modifications.
  3. To deliver modification letters, or arrange for their delivery through Disability Services, to course instructors.  
  4. To renew the request for disability support services every semester.  
  5. To work cooperatively with the University.   
It is not necessary to say the words “reasonable modification” when making a reasonable modification request.  Any request for an exception, modification, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice, or procedure because of a disability will be treated as a reasonable modification request.  Reasonable modification requests can be submitted orally or in writing and can be made by a student with a disability or by someone acting on the student’s behalf if the student also wants the requested modification and works cooperatively with the University. 

What type of services can students with disabilities expect to receive? 

While some modifications to policies are made generally, support services and reasonable modifications are determined in most circumstances on an individual basis by the Disability Services administrators in consultation with you and, when necessary, medical professionals or others with helpful information. 

Disability Services Administrators 

Documentation should be presented to the appropriate contact person listed below.    

Daniel Newman, Executive Director, Academic Support Services, serves as the ADA/504 Coordinator for students and supervises the two areas listed below.  Any questions or concerns regarding ADA/504 accommodations for either of these service areas can be directed to Daniel Newman.   

Students attending classes in Cambridge and Boston

Learning Disabilities and Attention Disorders
Kimberly Johnson, LD/ADD Academic Support Program,
Center for Academic Achievement, 30 Mellen Street, Doble Hall, 2nd floor,
Fax: 617.349.8324   

Physical, Sensory, and Psychiatric Disorders 
Ruth Bork, Director of Access Services for Students with Disabilities
11 Mellen Street, 1st floor
Fax: 617.349.8558  
TTY: 617.349.8544  

Students Attending Classes in Off-Campus Programs: 

Learning Disabilities and Attention Disorders
Daniel Newman, Executive Director
Academic Support Services & ADA/504 Coordinator
30 Mellen Street, Doble Hall, 2nd floor
Fax: 617.349.8324   

Physical, Sensory, and Psychiatric Disorders 
Ruth Bork, Director of Access Services for Students with Disabilities
11 Mellen Street, 1st floor
Fax: 617.349.8558  
TTY: 617.349.8544  

If You Believe You Have Been Discriminated Against or Harassed on the Basis of Disability 

Any student who believes that she or he has been discriminated against or harassed on the basis of her or his disability is encouraged to notify the University.  For more information about the University’s policy against discrimination and harassment, please see the Lesley University Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Violence Policy (http://www.lesley.edu/policies/discrimination-and-harassment/).    

Students may file complaints of discrimination and harassment with:   

  • The University's Office of Equal Opportunity and Inclusion/Title IX Coordinator (Barbara J. Addison Reid: 617.349.8507 or equalopportunity@lesley.edu) or   
  • The Dean of Students and Academic Development (Nathaniel G. Mays: 617.349.8539 or nmays@lesley.edu).   
For information regarding the complaint process, please see the Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Resolution Procedure (http://www.lesley.edu/policies/complaint-resolution/).   

Lesley University students also have the right to pursue other avenues of recourse. If students believe that they have experienced, or are experiencing, unlawful discrimination or harassment at Lesley University or at any Lesley University-sponsored activity or event, they may contact other resources, including the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education.  The contact information for the Massachusetts OCR office follows:   

Office for Civil Rights / U.S. Department of Education
33 Arch Street, Suite 900,
Boston, MA 02110-1491
Telephone: 617.289.0111
Fax: 617.289.0150
TDD: 877.521.2172 

Email:  OCR.Boston@ed.gov
OCR Website:  www.ed.gov/ocr      

Note: Postsecondary institutions, whether public or private, that receive Federal financial assistance are also subject to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination against otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities.